By Marissa Perlman

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Fourth of July is here, and that means families are together getting outside. From floating on the water to fireworks, it’s all about Independence this Thursday.

The park is packed red, white and blue everywhere. It smells like the Fourth of July here, hot dogs, grills and sunscreen.

But for everyone we’ve talked to along the beach this Fourth of July, it’s about a day with family.

It was a battle of the rafts along the American River.

From a swan raft to tying up dozens of floats together.

The bigger, the better.

“We’ve got like seven of us today,” said one person along the river.

Families filed in to get on the water, some saying the river is the highest they’ve ever seen it.

“It’ll be interesting to see if we survive, the pre-flight planning experience is everything,” said one expert rafter.

Although the biggest concern is who can float the finest on the water this Fourth of July, the bridge between the two parks near Sunrise can pose a treacherous challenge.

“We are the first ones to call and tell someone if something goes wrong,” said Steve Sims.

He stands guard along the bridge on the Fourth of July. In case someone can’t navigate their raft, he is there. “We have to drop our knife or scissors down to them sometimes to cut the rope,” he said. “We don’t want to see anyone get hurt at all.”

Thursday afternoon four people floating along the river with rafts tied together got stuck. Two rafts popped, at one point, park rangers came by boat to help out.

“They don’t see it, they just don’t get it,” said Sims. “I come extra when the rafts come up because I’m like the neighborhood watch,” he said.

Thankfully no one was hurt, and each group was sent off along the river to celebrate Independence Day.

Marissa Perlman

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