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Jax Beach parade marks 72nd Opening of the Beaches

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JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – You can visit any time, but this weekend the city of Jacksonville Beach officially opened for the season, holding its annual Opening of the Beaches.

On Sunday, hundreds lined up in Downtown Jax Beach under sunny skies for the 72nd parade. Dewey McGriff has only lived in the area for a year, and this was his first year joining the celebration. He said its a great way to meet new people.

"I know none of these people, so it's a great way to bring them close together," McGriff said. "The best thing to see is the young people come out and enjoy themselves."

The parade was full of rare sites including military vehicles, old police cars and even a pirate ship float.

SLIDESHOW: OPENING OF THE BEACHES

For Chrissy and Jim Ruddy, the annual parade is an event they can't miss.

"I've lived here since I was five. Have to come every year." Chrissy Ruddy said. "It's a Jax Beach tradition.

In addition to the parade, the annual sandcastle building contest was held Saturday.