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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Americans from coast-to-coast are celebrating the nation’s 242nd birthday at barbecues, get-togethers and parades.

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Americans are proudly putting their patriotism on display this Independence Day.

Children in Alabaster, Alabama paraded around town on flag-draped bicycles while a just returned-military dad stepped out of the parade in Brandon, Florida to give his kids the surprise of their lives.

Thousands of people are in the Nation’s Capital to celebrate America’s birthday.

One of the highlights is the National Independence Day Parade down Constitution Avenue.

It featured drill teams, floats, and bands from across the country.

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“It’s my first time in Washington DC and it’s really exciting to be here on the Fourth of July!” said Shreeya Pulaya from Austin, Texas.

Patriots laced up early for a holiday run in Tallahassee, Florida while others chilled at the beach in New Jersey.

Arthur McCann spray-painted his tribute to the stars and stripes on his front lawn in Norwood, Massachusetts.

“I just love America and the freedom and opportunities it gives and I love to be creative,” McCann said.

And for some, this fourth of July is extra special as they celebrated Independence Day by becoming US citizens.

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