Southern California marks July 4 with big bangs, parades and celebrations

14:50, July 05, 2010      

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Residents living in Southern California celebrated the 234th anniversary of the United States declaring its independence from England with colorful displays of fireworks, parades through major streets and an array of public events throughout the area.

In Santa Monica, the fourth annual Fourth of July parade was launched at 9:30 a.m. at Main Street and Pico Boulevard. Leaders of the environmental group Heal the Bay acted as the grand marshals. Parades were held in Pacific Palisades, Westchester, Santa Monica, Long Beach and Sunland in commemoration of the occasion.

As the the biggest pyrotechnic display ever held in Southern California, the 84th annual Americafest at the Rose Bowl took place with more than 5,000 aerial effects.

The Independence Day "renews in us the solemn duty we share to ensure our nation lives up to its promise," U.S.President Barack Obama said in his Independence Day message released earlier in the day.

"We must not simply commemorate the work begun over two and a quarter centuries ago, we are called to join together, hoist their mantle upon our shoulder and carry that service into tomorrow."

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