Thousands celebrated America’s birthday by watching its favorite pastime and fireworks.

Progressive Field was sold out for Monday night’s game against the New York Yankees. Doug Schwalbach and his son had been looking forward to the Fourth of July game since opening day.

“He’s been counting down about a month now the days to come up. So he’s real excited,” Schwalbach said.

Yankees fans from New York were also eager to see the game in Cleveland. Most arrived early to see their team warm up from behind the dugout. They usually don’t get to see the team from so close a vantage point before games in Yankee Stadium. Many brought cameras to capture the moment.

“It’s great. It’s great. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to do this so it’s awesome,” said a Yankees fan from upstate New York.

Near the Plain Dealer Pavillion, people got in place early for a different reason. They picked out best spots on the lawn for the fireworks show.

“Its taken a couple of years to perfect it,” said Robin Hughes. “We started bringing more and more food every time and bringing more and more people

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