GLENSIDE, PA (CBS) – People all over the Delaware Valley are showing their patriotic spirit on the Fourth of July at parades, community events and celebrations, both big and small, all throughout the region. In Glenside, the town held its 116th annual parade while history came alive Thursday morning in Old City.

Organizers say the parade in Glenside is one of the oldest Independence Day parades in the nation.

Spectators in red, white and blue waved American flags and lined the path of the Salute to America parade in Old City.

Best 4th Of July Fireworks In Philadelphia Region

The Fourth of July event Thursday drew thousands of people from all over the region.

“Nobody from New York can really imagine how great Philadelphia is until they come and visit,” parade attendee Ellen Stork said.

Every beat, every dance from Independence Hall to Penn’s Landing, a tribute to our nation’s history.

Thousands Flock To Philadelphia To Brave Sweltering Heat For Party On The Parkway Fourth Of July Celebration

The parade included all proud branches of the U.S. military, colorful floats and dance groups showcasing the diversity of the community.

The “Godmother of Soul” Patti LaBelle kicked off the festivities at the Celebration of Freedom ceremony at Independence Hall with a reading from the Declaration of Independence.

For many, the holiday is more than just a cookout or trip down to the shore.

‘It Couldn’t Be Better’: Families And Business Owners Enjoy Near-Perfect Fourth Of July At Jersey Shore

“I was a fifth grade teacher for many years so I taught the American Revolution. To be here, where it all happened, I can’t even put it into words, it’s just incredible,” Jen Horvath said.

Many understand that the holiday means so much more.

CBS3’s Crystal Cranmore reports.