Thousands of Long Islanders dressed in red, white and blue packed Port Jefferson’s Main Street Wednesday morning to celebrate at the annual July Fourth parade.
The crowd staked out prime viewing spots along Port Jefferson’s main drag, camping out in beach chairs to watch the cavalcade of floats, vintage Ford Mustangs, marchers from local fire and police departments and even a sleek Batmobile.
Tiny dancers from local troupes entertained the crowd, veterans from various wars marched proudly and children clamored for candy and waved American flags. The procession also featured a Donald Trump impersonator, faux Secret Service agent in tow, who blew kisses to the crowd.
Residents said the parade was an annual tradition about celebrating the nation and the community they live in.
Marty Mockler, who said he was in his 80s, called the parade an essential part of celebrating the Fourth.
“It’s something I look forward to every year and being with my friends,” Mockler said. “It’s everything about what America stands for — unity.”
Others were seeing the parade for the first time.
Monica Castro, 27, of Hampton Bays, said her 1-year-old daughter Avril loved the drum corps and the festive patriotic songs.
“It’s her first parade. I want to teach her the culture and that way she can start loving her country,” Castro said.
Seven-year-old Matthew Monserrat, who walked in the nearly two-hour parade with his Boy Scout troop, said he enjoyed smiling at the crowd and waving the flag.
“I liked supporting the day,” he said. “But I was sweating a lot.”
His mother, Esther Monserrat, 46, said for her, July Fourth was about celebrating the positive things the Founding Fathers had hoped for the country upon signing the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
“It’s about the ideals of equality for all men. . . Freedom and an opportunity for everyone,” Monserrat said.