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      Flags, candy, and dancing at annual Manlius July 4th parade

      F or thousands in Manlius, attending the 4th of July parade is part of their holiday tradition.

      This was the first year Michael Christner, 7, participated in the parade, walking with YMCA's Camp Iroquois.

      "It was fun because I got to hold the banner," says Christner.

      Jody Henson also walked in the parade with the Manlius American Legion Post 141, where she serves as President.

      "Just representing our veterans. Marching for them and the community," says Henson.

      People who were watching from the sidelines had just as much fun, including Michael Christner's big sister, Allie, 9.

      "It was fun seeing everything at the parade like the cars and listening to music and stuff," says Allie Christner.

      The parade also featured a flash mob dance to raise awareness for David's Refuge, which is a Manlius getaway for parents who have kids with special needs and life threatening illnesses.

      Lining the streets were kids with plastic bags, collecting candy being thrown out by parade participants. While the kids had their eyes on the sweet prize, parents like Nancy Reed Fox enjoyed a gift from mother nature.

      "The weather was awesome. It was really great. It's been really hot recently and in recent years and today ended up being the perfect parade weather," says Fox.

      The tradition of celebrating freedom with the community is what brings Patty Hart back with her dog, Russel, every year.

      "I think Manlius is such a nice, friendly community that really understands the necessary socializations. Celebrate the 4th of July, remember we're free," says Hart.

      The 4th of July fun doesn't end with the parade. The village of Manlius has their own display of fireworks that get underway at dusk.