History of Events
The Great Bonac Fireworks Show
The annual fireworks display started in 1970 when George Plimpton, the late writer, actor and founder of The Paris Review, began hosting fireworks parties at his summer homes in Sagaponack and Amagansett. Because of Mr. Plimpton’s love for Paris, the fireworks were always scheduled for the first Saturday after Bastille Day, France’s Independence Day.
They soon became a public event and in 1980, Mr. Plimpton partnered with Tony Duke and Felix Grucci Sr. to have the fireworks benefit the camp, Boys and Girls Harbor in East Hampton, NY which was founded in 1937 by Tony Duke with the mission to empower children and their families to become full, productive participants in society through education, cultural awareness and social services.
When it no longer was possible to continue the Boy’s and Girl’s Harbor fireworks, the future of the show became in jeopardy. In 2009, in an effort to keep the tradition alive, The Clamshell Foundation assumed hosting and it became the Great Bonac fireworks Show.
The Clamshell Foundation thanks you for being a part of a great tradition and we hope you enjoy the show!
With a concept formulated in 1991, the 1st Annual East Hampton SandCastle Contest took place on August 26, 1992 at the Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett, NY. The idea for the Cotnest, and subsequently The Clamshell Foundation came from when Rossetti Perchik, A.I.A. was living in Tulsa, Oklahoma. They had a SandCastle Contest there on the banks of the Arkansas River which was controlled by a damn further upstream. A week before the contest the Army Corps of Engineers would slow the outflor and drop the water level so there would be more sand to build with. After moving back to East Hampton in 1987, Perchik couldn’t imagine that with some of the best beaches in the world why there wasn’t a SandCastle Contest here.
The Atlantic Avenue Beach in Amagansett was chosen as the site for anumber of reasons. There was adequate parking, bathrooms very close to the beach a concession stand and it’s almost half way between Montauk and Southampton.
Groups were established so children weren’t competing against adults. The size of each group was limited to 6 so there wasn’t one person competing against a group of 20. From the very beginning $10 was charged for each group and it remains that way today with no charge for the spectators.
Initially there weren’t any rules, but over the years it became clear that a few were needed. Such as only indigenous materials may be used in the final sand sculptor, no power tools are allowed and you can’t build in front of the Lifeguard stands or go into the dunes. While there are a few more, it remains as simple as it can be providing for a real fun day on the beach!