July 4 celebrations march through Miami-Dade, Broward counties

KEY BISCAYNE, FLA. (WSVN) - Some Fourth of July celebrations have started early, Tuesday, with celebrations and parades marching through Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

Early afternoon festivities kicked off in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. The parade is Broward County’s oldest celebration, where the community came together to see fire trucks, participate in events and collect candy being tossed from floats.

When asked what July 4 meant to Diane DeForge, who attended the parade, she said, “Our independence of our country and our men and women who we’re very grateful for serving our country and freedom.”

“It means to live in a country where you can express yourself,” said another attendee, Ediany Carbon. “Where you can savor freedom, where you can vote for people you want to represent you in Congress.”

Brian Kowal said the Lauderdale-By-The-Sea celebration is a family-favorite. “Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is the best,” he said. “We come every year, and this year it’s a little more special because I got my daughter here all the way from Madison [Wisconsin].”

In Miami-Dade County, a parade also marched through Key Biscayne along with other displays of patriotism. Red, white and blue outfits were plentiful, and flags were being waved up and down the street.

The parade is an age-old tradition on July 4, with some families having attended for almost two decades. Even kids were able to enjoy the day-long festivities.

“I like that it celebrates America’s birthday,” said Autumn Wallace.

“Well, my father’s a veteran, so I always appreciate the independence fact of it,” said Anthony Wallace, “but you know, coming from a family standpoint, I just love bringing us all together, having a good time and celebrating why we’re here.”

Chris Cuellar, who also attended the parade, said his wife was pregnant for last year’s July 4 celebration. “My wife was eight-months pregnant, and this year, we got this little guy. First Fourth of July, I was in the Navy, so it’s awesome.”

Before the parade began, an emcee read some of the Declaration of Independence and words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the crowd.

The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down, as fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. in Key Biscayne.

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