FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Who doesn’t love a parade – especially on the Fourth of July.

In Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, their July 4th parade is more than tradition, it’s historic. Dating back to 1961, it one of the oldest in Broward County.

Thousands lined the El Mar Drive Thursday morning to watch the stream of bands, floats, fire trucks, Broward Sheriff’s vehicles, and of course,
Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam stilt walkers.

“Uncle Sam wants you,” he extolled to the crowd.

This year’s Grand Marshal was Everett Sorensen, a long-time resident and businessman who moved to Lauderdale-By-The-Sea in 1959.

A float rolls by in the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea July 4th parade. (Source: Lauderdale-by-The Sea)

The sights and sounds thrilled the crowds.

“It’s probably one of the most celebrated holidays that we should really remember every day of our freedom and what we have as a democracy and to be able to even have a parade to be part of a community to do what we want to do,” said Broward County Commissioner Lamar Fisher.

For some, the parade is a must do tradition.

“We’re here every year, never miss it,” said Joan Hearns.

“It’s a little touch of Mardi Gras, why not Americana,” said Gill Shanks.

“Seeing everybody and be able to enjoy the town and have everybody come out to celebrate,” said Julie Gebell.

After the parade, some headed off to the Family Fun Day in El Prado Park which runs until 3 p.m. It features a giant water slide, face painting, music, hot dogs, lemonade, and ice cream.

Tonight at 9 p.m. there will be a fireworks display at the park.

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea wasn’t the only city to celebrate with a parade.

In Margate, festive parade goers lined Margate Boulevard and cheered on parade participants as they went by. Awards were given for best overall entry for a private business, a non-profit organization and a Margate family.

The city then hosted a pool party at Calypso Cove.

Large crowds are expected for the city’s 4th of July Concert and Fireworks Extravaganza which includes live music, food trucks, bounce houses, and family-friendly activities at the northwest corner of Margate Boulevard and State Road 7.

A fireworks show is scheduled for 9 p.m.

On Key Biscayne, residents enjoyed the 60th annual Key Biscayne 4th of July Parade.

A fireworks show is set for 9 p.m.

Fireworks can be seen from anywhere along the beach but the Key Biscayne Beach Club is where they’ll make the event’s announcements and where you’ll be able to hear the music, which is synchronized with the fireworks show.

Rielle Creighton

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