CHICO, Calif. -

An estimated crowd of 1,200 came out to Chico's One Mile Park Friday morning to celebrate the Fourth of July. 

The Chico Community Band set the tone with patriotic tunes throughout the celebration.  Among those in attendance was World War II veteran Bob Smith (see photo) who is 97 years old.

District 4 State Senator Jim Nielsen addressed the crowd.  He thinks the United States is facing challenging times, but was encouraged by what he saw at Friday morning's event.    

"Sometimes I despair, but then I look at our youth at something like this today," said Nielsen. "But then you see the flags, patriotism and fellowship."

The celebration was put on the the Chico Area Recreation and Parks District. Everything was free except the pancake breakfast.