PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Thousands of people squeezed in along Pensacola Bay Thursday night to watch fireworks at 9 p.m. but the Independence Day celebration started earlier in the day at Seville Square.
“I think it’s a great thing for the kids,” Linda McKay said. “She’s seven so all these bouncy houses and things are right up her alley. Pony rides is a big hit.”
McKay brought her family and enjoyed pony rides, water slides and live music. McKay talked about what Independence Day means to her.
“Oh gosh, to me, it means everything,” McKay said. “This is one of my favorite holidays of the year. My great uncle fought in World War II. He was the guy who sat in the back of the plane that was bombing people. He’s told me stories from the time I can remember. My dad is also retired Navy. I also have a nephew who’s serving in the Navy.”
Seville Square was filled with militray veterans like Johnnie Creel.
“We live in one of the greatest countries in the world,” Creel said. “I’ve seen some pretty bad things. Being in the Navy, you get to go overseas a lot.”
Creel loves the support he has received on this holiday but he thinks patriotism isn’t at the level it was 20 years ago.
“When the Gulf War started in 1991, it seemed like the patriotism increased quite a bit,” he said. “People were actually proud to be an American but I feel like we’ve fallen back into the old days.”
The Sparks and Stars performance by the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra started at 7:30 at the amphitheater at Community Maritime Park with a Blue Angels flyover.
The day ended with several firework shows over Pensacola Bay.