As the country celebrates its independence and freedom on Friday, a large group in Yakima will become new Americans.

Yakima Mayor Micah Cawley, who chairs the Fourth of July celebration at State Fair Park, says that this year, for the first time, the city is working with the Department of Homeland Security to conduct a citizenship ceremony.

It will be a big deal for us on the Fourth of July. More than 200 new citizens are going to be sworn in.

The ceremony, which starts at 2 p.m. Friday, is part of Yakima's Fourth of July celebration, which begins at 11 a.m. Friday and continues through the day and evening. Fireworks start at 10 p.m.

The music includes a tribute band to Johnny Cash, and events include a carnival and food. Admission is free.

The local celebration began in the 1990s as a way to welcome troops home from the Gulf War.