STEWART MANOR, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Stewart Manor’s annual Fourth of July parade made quite a splash again this year.

The parade kicked off at 10:30 a.m. with a marching band and stream of firetrucks, but quickly morphed into a massive water balloon fight.

Every year, kids come prepared with coolers filled with water balloons. As the parade goes by, the balloons fly, and even the adults get in on the action.

The community says the tradition started as a way to bring everyone together, giving them a chance to interact and have fun.

“Stewart Manor’s fire department started in 14 years ago to bring everybody together – all the surrounding fire departments and communities. It’s just an awesome thing. So no matter where you are from Long Island, chances are, your fire department is here,” Marc Segarra said. “This is the only way to start the Fourth of July in New York.”

“It’s really fun, and we all get together, and it’s just a great family time,” said Olivia Tomalska.

There are some rules so that everyone has a safe and fun holiday: Do not throw water balloons at police, military or the elderly.

But there are no rules against soaking the media, as CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge found out firsthand.

The water fight turns into a barbecue at the firehouse, where there are games, cotton candy, music and a chance for kids to learn about what firefighters do. And for this one day a year, get them really soaked.