Fourth of July celebrations along Independence Hall in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Hundreds of people gathered in Philadelphia's historic district on Thursday for the Celebration of Freedom ceremony and the Salute to America Independence Day Parade.

"So cool, I come every year," said Sheri Calhoun, from West Philadelphia.

Many people in Philadelphia said they make it a yearly tradition to see the ceremony, but there were others who traveled from around the country to see the parade.

"We came from Austin, Texas because we love to travel to places that you celebrate on the day," said Robin Klepper.

While it was hot outside, that didn't stop the crowds from lining up, dressed in red, white and blue to celebrate America's birthday at the birthplace of independence.

"I believe we should not take our freedom for granted, you know, so as long as we have the opportunity to celebrate it I'm always here to celebrate it," said Calhoun.

Before the parade was the Celebration of Freedom ceremony, which started with the raising of the American flag and the Philly Pops performing. Mayor Jim Kenney presented former Philadelphia Eagles player Connor Barwin with the 2019 Magis Award. He was accompanied by Eagles center Jason Kelce.

Patti LaBelle also taking the stage to celebrate, as she read excerpts from the Declaration of Independence.

The crowd cheered for thirty new military recruits sworn in during the ceremony.

"This is where it all began. This is where they signed the Declaration of Independence, where they met. This is where they hashed out the constitution. This is the birthplace of America and our freedoms as we know it today," said Candi Goldman, from Washington D.C.

After the parade many people got in line to see the Liberty Bell, before the night's festivities along the parkway.
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