MIAMI (CBS4)- South Floridians marked the 235th anniversary of independence in ways as varied as there are Americans.
From barbeques and beach time to parades and fireworks, many were in the red, white and blue spirit. One of the many events held this July 4th took place at Miami’s Bayfront Park for “America’s Birthday Bash.”
The bash is considered one of the largest fireworks display in South Florida and hundreds of people attended the fireworks celebrations Monday night.
Barbara Casas and her family came out to watch the fireworks.
“We always come,” Casas said. “We like to celebrate.”
Jose Casas came to the U.S. nearly 50 years ago from Cuba. He said this holiday means a lot to him.
“Yes it does,” he said. “It’s all about freedom… and independence.”
Food vendor Pete Peterson was looking forward to all the spectators and couldn’t wait to feed them.
“Where else can you come out and do this?” Peterson said. “(You can) be free, no hassle, no nothing, meet people all day long. If I don’t make money I’m happy.”
A couple visiting from Germany said they only see fireworks once a year on New Year’s Eve so they made sure they were at Bayfront Park when they came to Miami.
“I said, ‘Let’s go, let’s go. Let’s see… in the middle of the year fireworks,’” Anita Bilalovec said. “It was really fun.”
Live music, food and fireworks marked the Fourth of July celebration at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise. CBS 4 was a sponsor of the event.
Kids enjoyed rides and games while adults spent the night listening to a concert by the Gin Blossoms. Many danced to the music, others simiply sat back and relaxed.
Some showed off their patriotic spirit by dressing in red, white, and blue.
Elvira Diez even dressed her puppy in a shirt with the American flag. She said it was her first time at the event and added, ”we’re just having fun we brought the kids out just to climb on the rides and see the fireworks.”
Others have made the party here a tradition. A.C. and Kimbery Small have brought their family to Sunrise for the past 3 years. Small said she likes it because “you see the people from your community.”
Her husband said his favorite part is “the food!”
Most people CBS4′s Maggie Newland their favorite part of the night was the fireworks show.
Earlier Monday, CB4’s Joan Murray was at the celebrations on Hollywood Beach where the party began hours before the fireworks.
The beach was packed in the early afternoon hours. Many cooled down at the beach and at the sparkling fountains. Children competed for the title of fastest sponger.
It was the perfect time for family.
“We’re here with my family, my uncle and my aunt that came from Argentina,” attendee Daniel Milisenda said. “My cousin and his dad are waiting for my mom to bring the burgers and eat a nice American meal for the fourth of July. We’re waiting for the fireworks, you know, it’s going to be perfect.”
Former Marine Alvaro Detrinidad said July 4th is what America is all about.
“This is what America stands for,” he said. “This is what unites us from other continents and countries. This is what we’re all about. This is what we do. We celebrate.”