Garden State Fireworks

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Garden State Fireworks is a pyrotechnics company based in the Millington section of Long Hill Township, Morris County, New Jersey, United States. It was founded in 1890 and has been owned by the same family for four generations.[1][2] It is one of the largest fireworks manufacturers in the United States.[3]


The company was founded in 1890 by Augustine Santore, a recent immigrant from Italy, where he had learned the trade of manufacturing fireworks. His sons and grandsons ("the Santore Brothers") continue to own and operate the company.[2]

The company has produced some notable fireworks shows, including those for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary[4] and the New Year's Eve celebration in New York's Times Square.[5] The Santores co-produced (with three other families) the fireworks display for the "Liberty Weekend" centennial celebration of the Statue of Liberty on July 4, 1986, which is the largest fireworks show in United States history, and at the time was the largest fireworks show ever produced.[6]

In 1997 the company hosted and produced an International Fireworks Competition at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. There were displays from a different country each day for five days, followed by a non-competitive display by Garden State. Competitors came from China, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.[3]


In 1982 the firm won the World Fireworks Championship, held in Monaco, and in a 1983 repeat competition they won the International Grand World Fireworks "Interlauriat" Championship, the fireworks world's highest honor. They won the San Sebastian International Fireworks Competition in Spain in 1991 and again in 1994.[2]


A fireworks company often comes to public attention only when there is an accident. Some such accidents have included:

  • 1984: An unexploded shell landed on a boardwalk audience, killing a 9 year old boy in Seaside Heights, NJ.
  • 1999: Fireworks showered an audience in Roselle Park, New Jersey causing minor injuries to 18 people. After that, the company doubled the size of the safety zone around its staging areas.[4]
  • 2002: High school football fans scrambled to avoid falling debris in Fort Myers, Florida; three students suffered minor injuries.[7]
  • 2007: A fireworks display in Cape Coral, Florida was cut short when a technician pushed control buttons too early; the company offered a discount for the next year's show.[4]
  • 2012: A Fourth of July display in San Diego, California called the Big Bay Boom, billed as one of the largest in the United States, was ruined when all 7,000 fireworks from four barges and a pier went off early in a single simultaneous explosion. No one was hurt. The company apologized, blaming a corrupt file in the operating software for the glitch, and offered to put on a future show for free.[8]


  1. ^ "Owner of Internationally-Renowned Fireworks Company to Share Spotlight with Daughters at 2008 USA Hockey Nationals". Business Wire. March 31, 2008. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Garden State Fireworks, The Santore Bros". Garden State Fireworks website. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  3. ^ a b DeMasters, Karen (August 17, 1997). "A pyrotechnical U.N". New York Times. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Lee, Mike; Horn, Jonathan; McDonald, Jeff (July 5, 2012). "Pyrotechnic misfire blamed on computer problems". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "San Diego fireworks malfunction in big, fast flash". Fox News. July 5, 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Largest fireworks displays in history!". U.S. Fireworks blog. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Somaroo, Tanya (October 9, 2002). "Fireworks a dud with audience". News-Press. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  8. ^ Perry, Tony (July 6, 2012). "Big Bay Bust". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 

11. "Fireworks Safety",

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