ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Fourth of July festivities kicked off in Odessa Saturday. It was a time for families to come together and remember why residents are proud to be Americans.
"We wanted to be festive, it's not America's birthday every day, might as well take advantage of the festivities," said Cristina Penon. "Being in this country, we're very privileged, it's important to celebrate the birth of this country and to the men and women who made this possible for us."
Downtown Odessa celebrated their 22nd Firecracker Fandango for 4th of July weekend. They said it's a way to bring the community together and bring life to the downtown area.
"We do support the revitilization of downtown, and secondmost, we support bringing people downtown, and showing people this is a place to work, play and live," said Event Coordinator Haley Howey.
Families, friends, even popular characters in costume joined in on the celebration.
"This gives us an opportunity to give back to the community and show up where we can and have fun," said Jesse Lopez. "We may have our differences, but at least it gives us an opportunity to join together and celebrate."
With performances, activities and music, visitors say the 4th of July celebrations brings the people together, but it's the meaning behind it they say speaks more.
"It means a lot to me, it celebrates our freedom and brings us together as a nation," said Lindsey Norred, 13.