Lighting up the season in Bellport

Posted 12/7/23

You can drive into Bellport Village at night and witness the glow from 4,500 LED lights framing Main Street shops.

It’s the third year the stores have been framed in white lights at …

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Lighting up the season in Bellport

Posted

You can drive into Bellport Village at night and witness the glow from 4,500 LED lights framing Main Street shops.

It’s the third year the stores have been framed in white lights at Christmas time in a gorgeous illumination effort, thanks to Fireworks by Grucci CEO Phil Grucci. “We waited until Small Business Saturday and started installing them that Sunday,” he said.

“The lighting design is still the same, but we’re about to also add building peaks,” he said. “There’s 52 merchants with storefronts and they all have lights. The purpose is to illuminate the buildings, but every storeowner’s window is their own individual creation that highlights what they’re selling. The effort is to show off the village at holiday time and show it off at its best.”

The installation is a family affair. “My cousin, James Grucci of Grucci Service Group, reserves the time, gets it installed in a week, and maintains the lights,” he added. Brother James Grucci pitches in with installation along with his dad. Merchants pay for the lights according to their store’s footage.

The cost only pays for the materials.

Grucci is a die-hard Bellport Village guy.

He’d recently returned from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he was setting up a music festival fireworks display just to see the village Christmas parade and tree lighting. He’ll be going back shortly.

“I get excited about Christmas, and I want to be part of the local festivities,” he said. “Plus, my grandson is 2 years old and loves seeing the lights.”

He initially got the idea during a convention in Tucson, Ariz. “We went to a horticulture center. The buildings were lit up. I thought, ‘How could we do this in the village?’” he said.

He owns several buildings and first began with the corner Bellport Liquors Fine Wine & Spirits and the adjacent coffee shop, as well as the barber shop across from Carla Marla’s, illuminating their peaks and sides.

(Grucci isn’t kidding about his love of lights. They decorate his home outside with different colors to highlight holidays year-round.)

As for the gorgeous village glow, you can especially see it on Dec. 16 during the Saturday Stroll, from 5. to 8 p.m., when stores will be open, said Bellport Chamber co-president LuAnn Thompson. “We do a card punch, where if you go into half of the stores listed and buy something with it, the purchase doesn’t have to be expensive, the owner stamps it,” she said. “When you’re done, drop the card in a bin by my store [Bellport Arts & Framing] and it gets put into a raffle. There’s a drawing the next day with a prize.”

Thompson added this about the illumination.

“It’s a help to have holiday festivities like this in our village and important to have it lit up,” she said. “And we appreciate Phil’s initiative.”