Hamptons Police Respond to 4:50 a.m. Fireworks Display on July 8

Fireworks at dawn
Fireworks at dawn, Photo: shaffandi/123RF

The Hamptons Police Department was overwhelmed with calls in the early morning hours last Sunday as residents of Lazy Point phoned in with tales of loud explosions in the area. Police were initially flummoxed by the reports, and immediately sent officers to investigate.

“We hadn’t received any reports of fire or gas leaks that might cause explosions,” Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch says, who noted that calls began pouring in at around 4:45 a.m. “It was still dark out. The sun was just beginning to peek over the horizon—it’s usually the quietest time of day for us. We certainly didn’t expect what we found.”

According to Hirsch, what officers found a full-fledged 4th of July fireworks display in progress when they arrived at Lazy Point. “This wasn’t just a couple of kids with bottle rockets,” Hirsch says. “This was the whole enchilada: We’re talking chrysanthemums, spiders, palms—you name it, it was happening at Lazy Point.”

Mystified by the elaborate spectacle, officers managed to locate a few firemen who were overseeing the proceedings. “Our officers approached the members of the Lazy Point Fire Department who were engaged in setting off these fireworks,” Hirsch says. “When they were asked why they were doing so at 4:50 in the morning, they appeared confused by the question.”

Further inquiries revealed that the Lazy Point Fire Department (LPFD), instead of doing their fireworks show after sundown as is typical, had decided this year to stage their annual display before sunup instead. This had been decided at their regular planning session in March, Hirsch says.

“Seems they got to talking about ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ and that line about the dawn’s early light,” he continues. “They also took into account that there were all of these other fireworks displays happening out here on every night of the week, which means a lot of competition for spectators. So, long story short, the LPFD figured it would be more historically accurate and would set them apart to have their rockets’ red glare lighting up the sky right before the sunrise, rather than after sunset. And you have to admit it’s kind of an interesting point, given the lyrics of our National Anthem. The trouble is, the LPFD forgot to tell anybody!”

As a consequence, almost nobody witnessed the expensive fireworks display, and hundreds of people had their sleep disturbed and were frightened by thunderous fireworks reports.

The LPFD apologized to the public for the disturbance. A spokesman for the department says they plan to get the word out better next year.

Read more tales from the Hamptons Police Blotter

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