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About - Company & History
Holders of the Guinness World Record for the "Largest Fireworks Display" ever recorded and "Largest Pyrotechnic Image", Fireworks by Grucci is a sixth-generation, family-owned and operated company. Known as "America's First Family of Fireworks," the Gruccis have transformed the night skies to the delight of millions across the globe since 1850. They are world-renowned for pyrotechnic artistry, scientific innovation and old-fashioned values. Their signature performances include the official celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the National Anthem “Star Spangled Spectacular,” in Baltimore, countless performances in and around Las Vegas, NV., seven consecutive U.S. Presidential Inaugurations; the Olympic Games in Beijing, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Lake Placid; commemorations such as the Centennial of the Statue of Liberty and star-studded extravaganzas including the grand opening of the Atlantis Dubai and the Palm Jumeirah Island in the United Arab Emirates. On New Year’s Eve 2013, a stunning performance displaying 479,651 fireworks made its debut above Dubai’s iconic skyline. The Gruccis achieved their “Largest Fireworks Display” title with this performance and smashed the Guinness Book of World Record’s preceding mark. Phil Grucci currently serves as President/CEO of Fireworks by Grucci, Inc. and Pyrotechnique by Grucci, Inc., the manufacturing entity of the Grucci group of companies.
Eight U.S. Presidential Inaugurations
Guinness World Record Holder
Southern Italy is the Grucci ancestral home. Angelo Lanzetta, founder and great-grandfather to Felix Grucci, Sr., start it all in 1850. In 1870, he brought the family's pyrotechnic artistry to Elmont, Long Island, New York, entering America as an immigrant through Ellis Island.
Felix Grucci, Sr. and Concetta Grucci
at the first factory
After Angelo's death in 1899, his son, Anthony carried on the family business and in 1923 brought his nephew, Felix Grucci, Sr., to serve as an apprentice. Competition was strong, but the firework market weak. Early in the Depression, they moved their business to Miami, Florida in hope of greener pastures. But, homesick, and at the urging of the family, they returned to Bellport, New York in 1929 to continue their business.
The Grucci family at the first factory
The Depression Years were tough on the fledgling entrepreneurs. Felix, to make ends meet, worked many nights as a drummer with a local band. There he met Concetta DiDio and they were married February 4, 1940. They raised three children: James, Donna and Felix Jr. All three children entered the family business.
Over the next three decades, Felix Grucci, Sr. gained a reputation as a master of his art. He developed the stringless shell, a major landmark innovation that improved fireworks safety by eliminating burning fallout, the firework industry's greatest safety problem. Developed for the Defense Department, an atomic device simulator for troop training. Demand for firework displays, other than traditional 4th of July displays declined during the 1960's further culling the firework industry. Only the best prevailed. Their genuine friendly mannerisms and professional approach won them many loyal clients, so they prospered.
Felix Grucci, Sr.
Felix Sr. continued to build his business with the help of his wife, Concetta, and three children, into a regional clientele including New Jersey and Connecticut during the late 1960's. The nation's bicentennial celebration in 1976 was a banner year for the fireworks industry. The Grucci's received rave reviews for their first major performance out of the New York tri-state area, for the nation's 1976 bicentennial celebration with fireworks on the Charles River for Arthur Fielder and the Boston Pops Orchestra.
However, every entertainer has a debut to national stardom, and in 1979, the Gruccis were indelibly etched in fireworks history. The Grucci's became the first American family to win the Gold Medal for the United States at the annual Monte Carlo International Fireworks Competition beating other competitors from Denmark, France, Italy and Spain.
This is revered by those in the fireworks entertainment community as the most prestigious competition in the world. The Grucci's consider this one of their greatest accomplishments, and the New York press dubbed them as "America's First Family of Fireworks".
From the Monte Carlo launching pad, the Grucci's continued their climb over time to be recognized throughout the world as the "Top Name in Fireworks Entertainment" in the world. They earned this title with fireworks for every presidential inauguration since Ronald Regan in 1981, every major casino grand opening since the Mirage in 1989 to the Wynn Macau to Sol Kerzner's Atlantis, Olympic Games, World's Fairs, and Centennial celebrations of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.
For over 40 years, Donna, Felix Jr and Phil Grucci (son of the late James Grucci), along with Merlin Phillip Butler, husband to Donna Grucci Butler and other key members of the Grucci Family have revolutionized the technology and standards of the pyrotechnic industry by transforming the night skies to the delight of millions across the globe.
Merlin Phillip Butler, Donna Grucci-Butler, Felix Grucci Jr.
Their commitment to innovative design and operations produced glittering moments at seven consecutive U.S. Presidential Inaugurations; Olympic Games in Beijing, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and Lake Placid; notable commemorations such as the Centennials of the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge, and the star-studded extravaganzas such as major grand openings including The Mirage, Wynn Macau, Atlantis Cove in the Bahamas, Atlantis Dubai and The Palm Jumeirah resorts in the United Arab Emirates. Their legacy is a rich history of a family business that expertly balanced the introduction of technical-advancements with the age-old values instilled upon them by the previous generations of honesty, integrity, and a passion to their family and business.
In 2013, the Grucci family formally transitioned the leadership of Fireworks by Grucci, Inc. to Felix (Phil) Grucci (5th generation), as Donna Grucci Butler and Felix J. Grucci, Jr. (4th generation) retired from their day-to-day management roles as President and Executive Vice President/CFO, respectively.
Former President of Fireworks by Grucci Donna Grucci-Butler reflected, “This is a bittersweet time for my husband Phillip and I after 40 years of dedication to the family business. I am ready to pass the baton to our nephew,”. She went on to say, “From my teenage years working in the factory with my mother and father making fireworks to becoming President of Fireworks by Grucci has been a grand and glorious life.” She concluded by saying “When I married my husband, he became the VP of Sales and Marketing after learning the art and science of building fireworks under my Dad’s leadership. Together, with my brothers and nephew Phil, we helped make the Grucci name World Renowned. I am now looking to the future to reflect on my accomplishments and spending time with my family and friends.”
Former President of Fireworks by Grucci and former United States Congressman, Felix J. Grucci, Jr. also reflected, “Throughout my 40 plus years of service in the family business, I have helped build a successful business upon the foundation my father and mother created…” continuing Mr. Grucci said “I am proud of the many spectacular events we produced and the safety advancements I have been involved with throughout those 40 plus years. I'm now looking forward to spending time with my little granddaughter Isabelle, my wife Madeline, and our children.” The Honorable Mr. Grucci concludes by saying, “I am confident that Phil will continue to build on that same foundation and continue to move the Grucci name forward”.
Felix (Phil) Grucci continues to further guide the family business into the future as President/CEO of Fireworks by Grucci, Inc. and Pyrotechnique by Grucci, Inc., the manufacturing entity of the Grucci group of companies.
As the family business moves into the future and continues into the 6th generation, Phil Grucci looks forward to the ongoing consultation and support of his entire family stating, "The Grucci family has worked tirelessly to maintain our family heritage and core values and a commitment to creating lifelong memories for all they touch."
Felix J Grucci (Phil)
In fact, Fireworks by Grucci already actively involves the 6th generation family members that are determined to keep the Grucci legacy going. They include Corey Grucci, Lauren Grucci and Christopher Grucci, (Phil’s nephew, daughter and son) all of whom are certified Pyrotechnicians and are eager to maintain and heighten the family tradition of excellence and integrity in the artistic world of fireworks entertainment.