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CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – For nearly half an hour, fireworks lit up the night sky above the famed Biltmore Hotel for Coral Gables’ annual Fourth of July celebration.

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“This is the most beautiful celebration in Miami.  Outstanding,” said event-goer Walter Trujillo.

“It’s been great.  Very enjoyable,” said attendee Juan Carlos Morejon.

“It’s a great event and always wonderful,” said another event-goer, Claire Raley.

A sea of people dressed in red, white and blue packed the golf course long before the fireworks show to stake out their spot, as city officials expected up to 25,000 people in attendance.

“I want a good place and enjoy with my grandkids,” said attendee Jorge Viera. “It’s definitely a great place, a good time to enjoy with the family.”

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The City of Coral Gables and the Biltmore Hotel sponsor the event, along with several other organizations, including CBS4 News.  Our very own Rick Folbaum served as master of ceremonies.

Patriotic songs filled the air as the Greater Miami Symphonic Band took the stage, entertaining the audience before the fireworks display.

And in between the food, the fireworks and the fun, event-goers reflected on what the Fourth of July means to them.

“Freedom is being able to do this and being able to have liberties and rights,” said Morejon.

“Just to be able to live, work and be happy,” said event-goer Randall Frazier.

“Freedom and just appreciation of what a great country we have and unity and really coming together,” said Trujillo.

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For all things Independence Day, check out our special July fourth section here.