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30,000 people celebrate Miami's 100th birthday

It could have been mistaken for the Olympics with the heavy security, big-screen televisions and representatives from dozens of countries.

But the 850-pound birthday cake gave it away.

"It's Miami's birthday, and everyone should be celebrating," Mary Anne Mori, 55, of North Miami Beach, said Sunday. "It's a grand city."

More than 30,000 people sauntered and roller-bladed to Miami's Bayshore Park to listen to birthday songs in salsa, reggae and rap. Musicians, artists and the 16- by 25-foot cake were also on hand for Miami's Centennial.

Unlike its dusty beginnings as a salt-scarred village, the city is now a huge business metropolis with one of the largest multicultural communities in the United States.

"I'm just chillin'," said Danielle Ellis, a 15-year-old from New Jersey who sought shade under a tree instead of braving the scorching sun. "It's a crazy city, and I like it because there are lots of different kinds and races of people. It's not like back home."

Event organizers hoped to break Aberdeen, Scotland's, Guinness record of having 100,000 people attend the main street's birthday.

Security guards frisked people and checked bags before allowing people through the park's gates. Security was increased after Saturday's bombing at the Olympic Games in Atlanta.

"We're not even letting people take in their water bottles because they could be used as weapons or to carry other things in them," said Metro Dade police officer Alex Mendez. "A lot of people are mad."

But Mori said she felt safer that the security for the giant party was increased.

"I thought about not coming at first, but then I thought that a bombing could happen just about anywhere. So that's why I came," she said.

Dance troupes from Italy, Haiti, Israel and 11 other countries performed traditional dances while people _ many in red, white and blue _ fanned themselves and sipped icy margaritas and pina coladas.

The festivities were scheduled to end with a laser show and slicing of the cake.

"It took a long time to get this city the way it is," said Colombian-born Edgar Doral. "I just got off work. Now I want some cake."

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