Fireworks cap Independence Day at Jones Beach

Posted: Updated:
JONES BEACH -

Tens of thousands of people packed Jones Beach State Park for this year's Fourth of July Fourth fireworks show -- a grand finale to the extended holiday weekend.

The fireworks featured a wide range of colors, from red, white and blue for the holiday to purple and gold. Many spectators said it was worth fighting traffic to see the show up close.

One group of spectators told News 12 Long Island that they have been coming to Jones Beach on Independence Day for nearly 20 years. 

"We work hard all year, and it's always good to spend one day with your family," one of the revelers said. "The Fourth of July is that day,"

Beachgoers said they faced traffic even when they tried to arrive early. Initial estimates predicted a crowd of about 200,000.

Parks officials also announced an increased security presence at the beach for the day.

"We are being very careful," said George Gorman, of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. "We want to make sure we make this as safe as we possibly can." 

He said authorities installed cement barriers along walkways, and there were dump trucks parked near the bus ramp to prevent cars from crossing over into the pedestrian areas. Security measures also included some screenings at park entrances. 

Aside from the Jones Beach fireworks, there were other displays planned Tuesday at John J. Burns Town Park in Massapequa and Umbrella Beach in Montauk. Around the Island, some beaches were so packed that authorities closed them to incoming traffic for portions of the day.

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