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Thousands celebrate Independence Day as police officers keep watch in Norfolk

The 39th annual Great American Picnic brings thousands to Norfolk for live music and fireworks.

NORFOLK, Va. — The 39th annual Great American Picnic at Town Point Park in Norfolk brought thousands of people to see live music and fireworks. 

“I’m enjoying the weather, the friendly faces," said Norfolk resident Paulette Davis. 

Norfolk police officers showed a presence, securing the streets blocks away and at the celebration.

“I’ve been seeing law enforcement around when I park. They are on bicycles and motorcycles. Their overall presence is great and is welcomed. I feel very safe," said Davis. 

Organizers with Norfolk Festevents said they work with local, regional, and national security to keep people safe during large events. 

“There’s a good 17 of us," said Robin Clark, an eventgoer. 

For many families, the Great American Picnic is a family tradition. Clark’s family traveled from Smithfield.

“It means coming out here, having fun, playing games, cutting up, doing what we do," said Clark.

Local vendors said the large crowds help their business, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Obviously, we’ve come through some time work COVID and what not. Anytime we get a chance like this, in a big place like this, it’s always a great opportunity for everybody," said Jim DeAngio with Over the Moon Pizza

As the sun set in Town Point Park, the fireworks show started around 9:30 p.m. and ended just before 10:00 p.m. 

Organizers with Norfolk Festevents said about 30,000 people came to the event last year, and they expected to have around the same amount for this year. 

You can watch the full fireworks show below:

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