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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – As the sunshine faded, thousands of people on Fort Lauderdale beach danced to some American rock and roll.

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The band was quick to stop playing though, as the star of the party lit up the sky.

At 9 p.m. on the dot, fireworks started popping over the beach as they did across South Florida.

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Earlier in the day, more revelers celebrated the U.S.A.’s 239th birthday on Las Olas Boulevard. And in Weston, a parade was held in America’s honor.

But it was “the finale” that left an impression on revelers.

“I loved it. I was actually completely surprised to be honest with you,” said celebrant Shelly Lane . “It was a lot more fireworks than I was expecting.”

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“The grand finale was the best. Very colorful. I love the bands, too. It was a great time,” said attendee Mary Sheppard. “America’s a great country.”