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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.

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.

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.”

“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.”