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Crowds Line Streets Of Ridgewood, NJ For Return Of Annual Fourth Of July Parade

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A longtime tradition returned to New Jersey this Fourth of July weekend. People once again lined the streets of Ridgewood for a parade.

It wrapped up just before noon Monday, but excitement was still in the air, CBS2's Kiran Dhillon reported.

The parade was canceled last year due to COVID.

Many of the people Dhillon spoke with said there was no way they were going to miss it this time.

Ridgewood's 111th Fourth of July parade kicked off with a star-spangled bang. Dozens of floats wound through the streets of this quaint village, beaming with pride and patriotism.

"We love it, it's really fun. We were sad to miss it last year because of coronavirus," one person said.

"I'm glad that we're still celebrating our independence and I'm glad to be an American," said another.

"It's great. He like the firetrucks but we like the sense of community right now," said Ashley Goodelman.

The procession of marching bands and flagbearers is an annual tradition dating back to 1910.

Also a tradition, people lined the street in advance -- sometimes days before with chairs -- determined to get the best view of the route.

Twenty members of the Gooddell family set their chairs up on Saturday.

"We've been here every year for the last 40 years probably," said Alan Gooddell. "Same spot, right here, because we always like this spot by the tree and then everybody knows to come, get here early, sit at the curb."

While this year's event was scaled down with fewer floats and attendees, organizers said the parade is the heart of the community.

"It's a really exciting tradition. I mean, last year we really couldn't have it. The world was in such flux," said organizer Leigh Gilsenan. "We really felt strongly about having it this year. A return to normalcy. It's a fantastic tradition. The kids love it, the town loves it."

There are usually fireworks the evening of the festivities, but those were canceled this year. Organizers hope to have them back next year.

Even without fireworks, the crowds were thrilled with the star-spangled procession.

"This is one of Bergen County's most exciting things every year," said volunteer Bill Carbone.

"I feel community and support and everyone coming together," said Jonathan Goodelman.

Community members said having the parade back was a great way to mark the country's birthday and independence.

CBS2's Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report.

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