Along Ruston Way at Tacoma’s Freedom Fair on Tuesday, planes signed the spacious skies to deliver awestruck faces of those who watched from the dock.

"We don't have much of this out in Hawaii,” said Dezlie Givo. “It's really nice. I've never seen anything like this before."

And those at the fair say the beauty of the Independence Day celebration is the people.

"It’s the diversity of our culture,” said Joyce Mercuri, who came to Freedom Fair with her xylophone band, which plays music from Zimbabwe.

It was music to the ears of Claire Mmbome, who moved to Tacoma a year ago.

"I love it,” she said. “It reminds me of home. We have similar music. I'm from Kenya."

For Lisa Carlson, another member of the xylophone band, Independence Day means celebrating progress in the United States

"There's a lot that is great. There's a lot that we can be proud of, and there's a lot that we need to work really hard on," she said.

Alicia Mathurin agrees.

"Racial, gender, religious – I mean there are some people who are still back in 1775," she said.

"Things are getting better, and it's getting more progressive and we should celebrate that,” Mathurin said. "It doesn't matter where you come from, what you stand for. We're safe here. This is a country where you can be who you are and not live in fear.”