SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Californians decked out in red, white and blue waved flags, cheered on marching bands and antique cars and sang patriotic songs at Independence Day parades across the state.
Hundreds of people lined the streets under bright sunshine Tuesday for seaside Santa Monica’s annual celebration, which featured bands and classic cars.
California’s love affair with the automobile was also front and center at South Pasadena’s parade, which had the theme “Freedom on the Road. Celebrating Route 66.”
The parades were among dozens up and down the state this July 4.
Farther north, young and old lined up for an annual parade in downtown Danville, a picturesque town in the San Francisco Bay Area. The event draws about 40,000 people a year.
“I love it. I love the flag,” longtime parade watcher Alma Lantzy told KPIX-TV (http://cbsloc.al/2tOw9SH ) from her front-row seat.
“It’s beautiful for me. I am from a different country, so Fourth of July is outstanding,” said Lantzy, who is from Mexico.
Korean War veteran Herb Constant also was at the parade, to remind people about those who fought for their freedom.
“The veterans in previous wars kept things free, so that we have free speech and free religion and everything else in the United States,” he told the news station.
A 15-foot-tall (5-meter-tall) Uncle Sam marched in the annual east Sacramento parade. Some attendees of the popular “Freedom Fest” in Morgan Hill started saving seats in mid-May, blocking off chairs with tape or chaining them together, KGO reports (http://abc7ne.ws/2tJgovd ).
The small town is 70 miles (113 kilometers) south of San Francisco and holds one of the state’s oldest celebrations.
After the sun goes down, the parties will continue with fireworks displays. Among the Los Angeles area’s largest will be the annual fanfare at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
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