PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) --People packed in early Monday on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, settling down into their prime seats as early as 11 a.m.
It was the best way to get the best seats for Welcome America, the hottest Fourth of July celebration in Philadelphia.
For some, like Kerisa Paige Smith, the celebration is a family tradition.
"I love coming out here for Independence Day every year. We enjoy it every year. It's a family tradition," said Smith of Cheltenham, Pennsylvania.
The love of country and our independence celebrated in the city where freedom was born.
"It's Fourth of July and this is where it all started here in Philadelphia," said Connor Bradley of Fairmount. "Just walking out here with your friends and family on the Parkway is pretty beautiful."
That Patriotism beat in the music of festival performers.
"It just feels beautiful being here, everybody is very happy being here, it is a beautiful day, it is the Fourth of July," said Andrew Gerzan of Fairmount.
The Philly Pops concert was canceled due to the rain, but that didn't wash out the overall mood.
And it doesn't matter if it's your first time.
"All this is new to me, and I'm 56 and I'm just getting out to see this," said Herman Brown of Chester, Pennsylvania.
For most of the visitors, it won't be the last.
"I'm looking forward to the fireworks and stuff. We come out every year," said Perry Harper of Germantown.
That's what organizers are counting on.
A little rain shower just shows what Philadelphians are made of.
"It's Independence Day, it feels great, I love it," said Peeky Robinson of Norristown, Pennsylvania.