MANLIUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– Parades, live music, fireworks, and people gathered together, an Independence Day comeback like no other. 

“I think it’s important for us to have events like this to show not only that we’re a community but that we have adversity and we can overcome whatever obstacles there are,” Village Mayor Paul Whorrall said.

The Village of Manlius pulled out all the stops for the festivities, including a special appearance by Miss. New York.

“I am so excited to be here in Manlius I was just so ecstatic to get an invitation to be in the parade, July 4th and Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays, so to get to celebrate it in such a great village as Manlius is the best thing I could ask for,” Miss. New York, Sydney Park said. 

The streets were filled with community members cheering on their local heroes, first responders, and political leaders after such a difficult year and a half of COVID restrictions. 

“We’re celebrating our independence from two things I would say, our independence from the British back in the day and from COVID so we’re happy to see things back to normal a little bit so it’s a great feeling,” event attendee, Adam Bassi said. 

And Vietnam Veteran Philip Meloon couldn’t agree more.

“I’m thrilled it was a long two years since we were last here and I haven’t missed a parade in probably 30 years,” he said.

That feeling of freedom carrying a different weight this year.