FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WNCN) – Live music, dozens of food vendors and fireworks — some people said it’s the perfect combination for an old-fashioned patriotic celebration. It’s why people love the annual Independence Day Celebration in Fuquay-Varina.

Fuquay-Varina Mayor Blake Massengill, who attended the event with his wife and two kids Friday evening, said the tradition has been going on for nearly 200 years in this community.

“Fuquay-Varina has been known for years to put on one of the best shows in the entire triangle,” he said.

Massengill said they decided to move the event earlier than usual during the holiday weekend because of planning, competing events in the area and a lack of professional firework contractors available.

During the celebration, Massengill said the move actually became a win for the town.

“We’re the only place tonight where you can come see fireworks at,” he said.

Massengill said the last two years have come with record crowds of more than 10,000 people. It comes after the event was canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Others in attendance told CBS 17 that it has been a tradition for them to attend the celebration year after year, but this weekend seemed more special due to what’s been going on in the country.

“Just to have everyone come together and enjoy the same thing… I like it,” Fuquay-Varina resident Davey Butler said.

Butler said the event not only brought people and a community together, but it’s a way for everyone to enjoy what America is all about.