MIAMI (WSVN) - Fireworks and drones lit up the dusk and night skies across South Florida, bringing a day of sun-drenched Fourth of July celebrations to a festive and colorful end.
7News captured large crowds looking up at bursts of color that were reflected on the water at Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, Monday night.
From the waterfront views to the all-day party only South Florida can throw, local residents and visitors enjoyed Independence Day, South Florida style.
Dexter Roundtree brought his family to take in the sights and sounds at the Fourth of July Bash on the Bay at Bayfront Park.
“It is awesome. The kids are having fun, everybody’s having fun,” he said.
The celebration was packed with people from all over the world, as close as Haiti and Venezuela, and as far as the United Kingdom.
“It’s just incredible to be here and feel the atmosphere and everyone together,” said U.K. visitor Sarah Brown.
At Crandon Park, the fun started at the crack of dawn for Johnny Dixson and his family.
“We got here at 6:30 this morning, our grill got started at 7, meat was on at 7:30,” he said. “We got it rolling; we’ve still got more meat — meat in the cooler, meat back here. We’re doing our thing.”
Hours later, revelers lined the streets for the annual Key Biscayne parade.
The parade started at 11 a.m., and this was the 63rd year that the city hosted this event.
“I’m just drinking beer and watching the locals come by and reunite and, you know, just have fun,” said a man wearing a large hat displaying the colors of the U.S. flag.
Organizers shut down Crandon Boulevard heading south ahead of the parade.
Adrian Viana, who is visiting from Bolivia with his family, said they wanted to enjoy new experiences.
“A new thing that we want to see, because we live in Bolivia, so we don’t know this thing,” he said.
Once the parade wrapped up, the Rotary Cub of Key Biscayne hosted an Independence Day picnic at the Village Green. A fireworks show kicked off at sunset.
At Margate, people celebrated the Fourth with a parade that started at 9 a.m. Revelers also enjoyed a live concert, a pool party and an obstacle course for children.
A 20-minute fireworks show began at 9 p.m.
At Miami Beach, the Fire on the Fourth event was back after the coronavirus pandemic caused it to shut down.
“We’re really excited after this two-year hiatus to bring this event to our residents and our visitors,” said Lissette Garcia Arrogante, director of tourism and culture for Miami Beach.
73rd Street closed down at Collins Avenue for some festive fun.
Cameras showed families having a picnic at North Beach Oceanside Park near Collins Avenue and 83rd Street.
“This is one of the safest places, nicest places, and everybody comes out here,” said reveler Andrew Gillis.
Starting at 4 p.m., the city even turned the Bandshell into a roller-skating ring.
“We’re also going to, for the first time, have a drone show kicking off at 9 p.m. followed by fireworks,” said Garcia Arrogante.
In Coconut Grove, organizers also opted for a drone show instead of fireworks. 7News cameras captured drones forming stars and the numbers 305.
Meanwhile over at Coral Gables, tens of thousands of people attended the Biltmore Hotel’s fireworks extravaganza.
Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak said the occasion was the perfect time to launch their new pilot drone program.
“We can basically put eyes and ears on anything in the City of Coral Gables within two to three minutes,” he said.
Hudak said the drones give police a better vantage point to keep an eye on any dangerous situations.
“We’ll be able to have eyes over before the officers can even walk over to where it’s at, looking for missing children. There’s a lot of different uses that we think we can have,” he said.
In Broward County, the city of Hollywood held its annual Beach Bash.
The police department warned those coming to the party to be aware and practice patience as roads and some bridges were closed for traffic.
In Fort Lauderdale, family fun events took place place all day.
The occasion made some revelers reflect on what makes the U.S. unique.
“We are diverse. We believe in community. We are strong,” said a man.
While the recent fights within might lead some to think the American experiment is weakening after 246 years, on this hot and sunny day, it seemed like people of all ages could come up with plenty of reasons while it isn’t.
“I guess it’s being in community and harmony together,” said a woman in Fort Lauderdale.
“I don’t think there’s too much that America agrees on right now,” said a man. “I wish it was different, but it isn’t.”
“We need to agree that we’re going to disagree, but we need to have peace in the midst of all of that,” said another woman.
America has fought plenty of battles, even one that tore the country apart in the 1860s, yet every Fourth of July, people still come together to celebrate, with beach trips, food trucks, live music, and lots of red, white and blue.
It’s impossible to know what those who signed the Declaration of Independence back in that first week of July in 1776 would think about their experiment today, but one thing is clear for those who spoke with 7News in Fort Lauderdale: if it is to be a success, it’s up to the American people.
“I’m very hopeful, as we’re becoming more diverse, learning more from each other,” said a woman.
“I think that millennials, right? I think that we’re the future. I think that we’re going to change it,” said another woman.
“The best we could do is to accept that we’re all human and have different opinions, and just get along for at least one day,” said a man.
Fort Lauderdale Beach’s fireworks show started at around 8:45 p.m., following a concert by the B-52s.
Cameras showed traffic congestion on A1A at around 10:20 p.m., forcing revelers who drove to Fort Lauderdale for the festivities to exercise the same patience as when they were looking for parking spots earlier in the day
For more information about Fourth of July events in Miami-Dade and Broward, click here.
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