SoCal revels in Fourth of July festivities

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Huntington Beach's annual Fourth of July parade brought out more than 200,000 people excited to celebrate the big day. (KABC)

Thousands across the Southland flocked to the beaches and their neighborhood parks to celebrate Independence Day.

Huntington Beach kicked off the day with a Fourth of July parade that brought out more than 200,000 people. During the parade, an airman who had just arrived home from Qatar surprised his wife and two young daughters.

At Newport Beach, more than 30 boats, covered in American flags and patriotic regalia, floated in the city's boat parade. A man wearing a jet pack waved to crowds as they cheered.

Meanwhile, crowds in Simi Valley weren't deterred by last year's fireworks disaster that injured dozens of spectators. Families and friends gathered in the park in anticipation of Friday's show.

People also showed up in full force at Buff Heights Neighborhood Association's block party in Long Beach. Many cited a community feeling that brings them back year after year.

Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles held one of the largest rooftop fireworks shows. More than 20,000 people filled the park for the free event, which began with music and ended with the display.

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