In just 15 years the Galloway Township 4th of July Parade has gone from under 20 participants to almost 200, making it one of the biggest parades in New Jersey, said Parade Chairman Rich Maxwell, of Galloway Township.

Marchers included everyone from veterans groups, youth sports leagues and Scouting troops; to guys riding specially made, decorated high-seat bikes and people who love their cars.

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The 2-mile route from the Smithville Town Center shopping area, to the Historic Village of Smithville, was lined with spectators waving flags and shouting out thanks to World War II veterans and others.

“It’s my birthday. I come every year,” said Eileen McCarter of Galloway, as she watched from the sidelines. “It’s just grown and grown.”

Erica Coombs, of Galloway Township, is the daughter of Colombian immigrants. She married an immigrant from Chile.

She and sons Sebastian, 5; and Tyler, 13, were on the sidelines, cheering on daughter Nicolette, 18; and Erica’s husband Jorge, as they walked with the Galloway Township Republican Party.

She said immigrants have a special love for the flag and patriotic parades.

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