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Downtown Jersey City hosts New Jersey's biggest 4th of July celebration

Jersey City comes alive with dancing and fireworks this 4th of July
Jersey City comes alive with dancing and fireworks this 4th of July 02:23

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- New Jersey's biggest Fourth of July celebration was held Monday in downtown Jersey City

"The fireworks were amazing. It's breathtaking that you have the culture, you have the community, you have everybody here," one spectator told CBS2's Kevin Rincon. 

"It was good, it was an amazing environment. Jersey City turned up, man. Go Jersey, woo!" another added. 

Tens of thousands lined the waterfront to take in the fireworks. They flocked to the river after watching several big-name acts, like DJ Diesel, who might be better known as former NBA great and New Jersey native Shaquille O'Neil, along with headliner Flo Rida. 

"It's been a long time, but it feels good to be able to get out and, you know, just have fun and forget about all the problems for a little bit," Yudy Mercedes said. 

For Mercedes, celebrating July 4th was a chance to be out with family, including her 7-year-old son Charles, who enjoys any chance to dance. 

Ndeen Al-Barqawi came from Philadelphia with her best friend to soak in great music and the crowd. 

"We get our energy from each other. We want to be around people. That's the beauty of humanity, being around each other," Al-Barqawi said. 

For others, it was a chance to truly get away. 

"Feels alive. You feel all the energy man. It's not all pure cornfields and cows. It's all love. I love it," said Nico Janda, from Nebraska. 

The event is one of the largest in the state but had been on hold because of COVID.

"I think we all missed this. We like making connections and I just like to see all the diversity," said Raquel Orozzo, from Hackensack.

"Much better than being inside watching it on your laptop," said Foster Hoxha. 

Security was very much on alert, especially given the mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois.

"We have a large number of uniformed officers. We have a larger number of plainclothes officers. We have snipers and watchers on the rooftops," Mayor Steven Fulop said. 

Barricades and dump trucks were set up, and Fulop said they did everything they could to make sure safety was a top priority. 

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