LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thousands gathered at Waterfront Park for fireworks, but they were not alone. Louisville Metro Police were also nearby.
"I feel safe, but I am sure that the people earlier today probably would say they felt safe until they didn't," Heather Leoncini, with the National Jug Band Jubilee, said.
Through the fun and festivities that come along with the Fourth of July, also comes a level of caution after six people were killed and dozens injured in Illinois.
Ashley Loop and her family of six were visiting Louisville from Michigan. They were excited for the celebrations. She said to see what happened in the Chicago suburbs worries her.
"We actually thought about going to Chicago, that was one of our destinations. we were kind of in the middle between and seeing that, we're glad we came here but it also makes you a little more anxious," Loop said.
For those like Louisville native Zekiah Woodson, she is elated to see her community coming back together after two years of restrictions.
"It feels good to see everybody enjoying each other now that COVID has gone down and everybody can get together and enjoy and have a good time," she said.
With it being her daughter's first Fourth, Woodson said keeping cool and feeling safe, are top of mind.
"It makes me feel really sad. I was actually kind of nervous about coming here because of what happened, but we said we'll give it a try. It feels good to see all of our policemen out here protecting us.”
With many free activities, music and more, many say it made the day special as they prepared for the evening's fireworks.
Todd Dunn, the President UAW Local 862, a local workforce union, says it's important to honor those who fought for our freedom.
"Remembering those who served our country, those who paid the ultimate price," he said.