JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Jefferson City's annual Salute to America continues Thursday.
This year's festivities come after two natural disasters, the EF-3 tornado and historic flooding, ripped through parts of the city.
Deborah Tragasz and Hallie Glaser were downtown Thursday afternoon. They lived in the Hawthorne Apartment complex, which was extremely damaged by the tornado. It left them without an apartment back in May.
Tragasz said she is grateful for the community that helped in their time of need. "As awful as the tornado was, it was so great seeing how well everybody came together to help everybody out after the storm, and now just getting to enjoy that community in a happier, not as devastating time is definitely a plus," she said.
Glaser echoes that statement, "It's just so good to see everyone coming together... I'm just really proud to say that I live in Jefferson City."
People from across the country have made their way here to celebrate. A former Jefferson City resident, Alicia Schneider, brought her family from Florida to the festival, "I definitely wanted to visit family that was affected by the tornado," Schneider said. "I really wanted Nathan (her stepson) to see what it's like in a small town environment. Everybody knows everybody, we celebrate together with the people that were affected."
She thinks the city deserves to have a little fun after all of the chaos, "I really expect to see a lot more smiles and a lot more friendly faces today than years prior."
The festivities begin at 11 a.m. with food, carnival rides, and several businesses lined up on High Street.
The main stage concert begins at 7 p.m., with the band SuperJam playing at 7:30 p.m.
The Red, White, and Boom firework show will begin at approximately at 9:40 p.m.