Inaugural fireworks display was created by longtime New Jersey fireworks family
New Jersey was well-represented on stage at Wednesday’s “Celebration for America” virtual concert to commemorate President Joe Biden’s inauguration. Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Willingboro native Ant Clemons all performed songs. But few people realize the fireworks finale was also the work of a New Jersey institution.
The finale display was created by the Santore family’s Garden State Fireworks.
“You look at where we are, the monument, as you see in the background, and say, ‘What an opportunity to paint the sky,” says Chris Santore.
“To be a part of that, it’s an honor,” says August Santore Jr.
The crew from Garden State Fireworks - the Santore family – is New Jersey's first family of fireworks. Italian immigrant Augusto Santore started the Morris County company in 1890.
News 12 New Jersey spoke with Augusto Santore’s great-grandsons Chris and August Jr. and Adam Pisco from their partner company Strictly FX as they were breaking down the display on the National Mall.
“Of course, like any professional entertainment and live entertainment, there's a lot of details a lot of things happening and changing on the fly. But you know, we've been doing this for literally 130 years in our family. And you have faith in what you do and you make sure you execute and stay focused on the plan. But yeah it was an exciting night,” says August Jr.
Garden State Fireworks packed almost the same amount of firepower as they would for a 20 or 30-minute show into four minutes as Katy Perry sang her hit song “Firework.”
“That's a pyrotechnic dream, when that song was written I felt like that song was written for pyros who love doing what we do,” says Chris.
The company has done displays for Super Bowls and Fourth of July celebrations in Washington D.C. and other major cities. But this was the company’s first inauguration.
The Santores say that security was by far the tightest of any event display they have put on. They will be in Washington for a few more days to pack up their things.