View photo gallery Forty to fifty thousand people were expected to attend Southport's annual Fourth of July Festival July 1-4. Wednesday was all about the parade. The four-day celebration also includes arts and crafts vendors and a 5K race. Nine year-old Mathew Willman of Boiling Springs Lake said, "I'm excited to see the army men because they're supporting our country." Five year-old Marissa Best had a front row seat to see her father and brother march in the celebration. She was looking forward to tonight's fireworks display. "I'm really excited. They're so colorful," she said. Everyone enjoyed the day with family and friends but didn't forget what Independence Day is all about. "Freedom... support the troops," said Michael Chalmers of Wilmington. Bradley Huggins of Leland added, "Just to be thankful for the armed forces that has given us that liberty." The theme of Southport's fireworks is called "An American Tribute."
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