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      Jefferson City festival celebrates the best of America

      Children play in a makeshift sand pit at Jefferson City's 2014 "Salute to America" festival.

      Thousands of people from all parts of Missouri traveled to Jefferson City Friday for the city's annual Salute to America festival.

      This year's festival began on Thursday as police closed off streets to make way for rows of food vendors, live entertainment, and a parade that stretched from High Street to Jefferson Street.

      At Friday's portion of the festival, events began at 10:00 a.m. and ran until dusk, capped off by a fireworks celebration across from Missouri's State Capitol.

      There was something for everyone at Friday afternoon, from several stages of bands and other live entertainment to a street carnival for children and adults alike.

      "It's great," said Festivalgoer Kathryn Marke. "Coming down here and spending time with the family, it's been a lot of fun."

      Aside from the rides and street food, some residents said attending Jefferson City's Fourth of July festival is about being around the people they love.

      "Family, mostly," said Erik Kimbrel. "Seeing friends of mine, close friends. You get to spend the day with them and celebrate America."

      "It's important to remember the people who fight for us, so that I can watch my daughter have fun and play," Said festivalgoer Ashley Walters.

      The Salute to America festival continues until around 10 p.m. Saturday night.