CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- As people walked down the boulevard in Charleston, one thing was apparent.
"We're coming back," said Phillip Bricker. "We're going to beat all this and be stronger."
The last few months have been hard for Bricker and thousands of others in the Kanawha Valley.
July 4th provided the celebration they needed.
"Everything that we have been through, it's just nice to be outside. It was a cold winter, all the water issues," said Eva Ballard.
"We deserve it," remarked her husband Mike.
The Ballards came downtown to enjoy the variety of activities: live on the levee's music, local entertainment, and for those on the water, a splash of summer.
"You can't ask for a better evening," said Mike Ballard. "It's just wonderful."
With each customer that stepped up, local vendors rejoiced.
"It's beautiful weather, low humidity, people are out," said Nick Gohlmann with Ridge View BBQ. "How much better could it get in beautiful downtown Charleston?"
While the fun in the sun was welcomed, the real show began at dusk -- an extended fireworks display that lit up the sky, part of a nationwide contest won by the city for its resilience.
It proves while they got knocked down, they've risen, and are now poised to grow again.