SEA BRIGHT – The largest Fourth of July holiday fireworks display in New Jersey will be held on the beach in Sea Bright next month, and it’s all to benefit a good cause.
Capping off a day of charity events on Monday, July 1, at the Driftwood Cabana Club in Sea Bright, the legendary Garden State Fireworks crew will stage what will be the largest fireworks display in New Jersey this year. It will provide an exciting finish to a daylong beach bash at Driftwood, the private beach club that will open its doors and facilities to the public for the day.
Driftwood and its owners, the Stavola family, are spearheading the benefit event to raise money for two local rebuilding funds, Sea Bright Rising and the Permit Relief Fund, created specifically to assist residents who are rebuilding their homes and businesses after the destruction caused by Super Storm Sandy.
The event is called Rebuild Sea Bright, and it promises to be the party of the year.
“The Stavolas have told us they want this display to be as big as KaBoom! – and it will,” said August Santore of Garden State Fireworks, which previously produced not only KaBoom! in Red Bank, but also the Macy’s fireworks on the Hudson River and the nation’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration in Washington, D.C. “It will be the largest Fourth of July fireworks show in New Jersey this year.”
The Stavola family, which has operated Driftwood Cabana Club since 1956 and also owns the Italian restaurant Ama Ristorante which is located inside Driftwood, are donating the cost of the fireworks. The funds raised through sales of tickets to the beach events and fireworks display will directly benefit Sea Bright Rising and the Permit Relief Fund.
In addition, the Stavolas are hosting a one-night-only special menu dinner at Ama on the night of the fireworks that is also open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.
“We have all suffered as a result of Sandy, and some of our neighbors are still suffering,” the Stavola family said in a statement. “We wanted to show our solidarity with our neighbors and to do our part in helping to rebuild Sea Bright. We think it’s going to be a fantastic event, especially with the fireworks on the beach.”
The daytime events at Driftwood will include a Beach Bash Clambake with live music starting at noon. Ticket holders will be provided full use of the club, pool and beach with lifeguards on duty, a clambake, children’s menu and two complimentary beverages from the Tiki Bar. The live music headliner will be local favorites Brian Kirk and The Jirks, who will play from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
At around 9 p.m., the fireworks will begin.
Santore, whose family has produced fireworks displays since 1890, said the Sea Bright show will have a variety of colorful, spinning fireworks and “some ground-to-air projectiles, like you see at Epcot.”
Garden State Fireworks, internationally recognized for its pyrotechnic skill, have produced displays for Walt Disney World, SeaWorld, the Statue of Liberty Bicentennial celebration and hundreds of other national and international events.
“But it’s always special when we’re involved with an event like this, where people are helping people,” Santore said.
“Sea Bright Rising has raised over $1 million and distributed 90 percent of what we raised so far,” said Ilene Winters, the director. “We are now in need for additional funds quickly to get 100 more families back into their homes this summer.
“We thank the Stavola family for this fabulous opportunity to help us reach our goal,” she said.
Tickets for both the Beach Bash and Fireworks are $125 each for adults and $25 each for children age 16 and younger. Evening-only tickets (6 p.m. admission), which include the live entertainment, free beverage and fireworks show, are $75 for adults and $25 for children 16 and under. This ticket price will increase after June 24.
Tickets for the special-menu meal at Ama are $275 and seating begins at 5 p.m. Tickets for both events – the Beach Bash/Fireworks and Ama dinner – are $335.
The purchase of tickets and additional information are available at www.sea brightrising.org, by calling 908-400-3617 or emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.