Lots of celebrations took place across the metro on this 4th of July holiday.
Thursday morning, families lined up to watch the Bethany Freedom Festival parade. It was a big event for a particular group of kids.
Every 4th of July, the patients at The Children's Center in Bethany have watched the parade that goes right in front of their facility. But this year was a little different. They had a parade float made just for them, allowing the kids to be right in the middle of it all.
Hundreds of families showed up early Thursday morning to find the perfect spot along the parade route. All down 39th Expressway, kids waved their American flags, even little 2-year-old Taliya McDaniel, a patient at The Children's Center.
"Once we started moving, I could tell she was really excited. She was watching everybody. She's kind of scared of crowds, but she did pretty good today," Troy McDaniel said.
These young patients got to be in the parade this year for the very first time.
"Some of them just started smiling and laughing being outdoors going over the bumpy sidewalks to get to the float," said Delisa Manley, with The Children's Center.
Taliya has been in The Children's Center for quite some time. She was born prematurely, weighing just a pound-and-a-half. Although she's had a lot of medical complications, her dad Troy says she's doing well.
"Taliya, she's very well known around The Children's Center. She's got a bright smile. She's got a beautiful personality," McDaniel said.
And with several other families today, he was proud to walk in the parade with Taliya.
"It's great to see the reaction from the crowd, people being so accepting of these kids with special needs and welcoming us," Manley said.
Teachers and staff at the Children's Center built that float, and more than 20 patients got to participate. As long as it isn't too hot, we're told they plan to do it again next year.