FAITH, N.C.--The Faith 4th of July Parade is still one of the largest Independence Day traditions in North Carolina.
This year more than 30,000 people are estimated to have turned out for the small town celebration.
The heat wasn’t stopping them from carrying on the parade that Rowan County residents have looked forward to for generations.
"It grows every year, it gets bigger, seems like we have more entries every year and the crowd grows, so it gets better, bigger and better every year," said Pam Alexander, Co-Chair of the event. She’s organized the parade with her family for 15 years.
"Anything they threw out at you, you know, it was a rush to get the candy," said Erica Bailey, a Faith resident who remembers going to the parade as a child.
Now as a parent she still looks forward to the celebration.
"Because I have a daughter and she's involved with the band, Carson High School band she's in the color guard," said Bailey.
Also a lifelong resident of Faith is the parade's Grand Marshal, Marcell Williams.
"This is me. Fourth of July is me," said Willams. The 91-year-old World War II veteran says it's hard to pick just one fond memory of the parade.
"That's impossible. They're all fond," he said.
Many people look forward to this event each year just to spend time with their family.
"It's very family oriented, and a lot of people only see each other once a year and that's here," said Alexander.
And of course, celebrating our country.
"That's just what it's all about being here and supporting troops and we thank them very much for everything they do," said Bailey.
Faith will host fireworks Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. at Faith School Ballpark.