77 Ways to Celebrate Independence Day in Georgia

fireworks

Have a blast this July 4th with parades, games, cookouts and fireworks in communities all across the Peach State!

Historic High Country

July 3: 9th Annual Fireworks Display Extravaganza, Villa Rica 

July 3-6: 4th of July at Fort Mountain State Park, Chatsworth 

July 4: 1st Friday Broad Street Block Party, Rome 

July 4: Americana Fourth of July, Tallapoosa 

July 4: July 4th Freedom Fest, Woodstock

July 4: Flag Planting with Fairy, Adairsville

July 4: Independence Day Parade and Star Spangled Beach Party, Ellijay

July 5: Georgia Winery: Red, White & Blue Happy Hour, Ringgold 

Northeast Georgia Mountains

June 28: Pre-Fourth Craft Show and Festival, Hartwell 

June 27: Pre-Fourth Dancin’ on Depot, Harwell 

June 27: Fireworks Show at Lake Russell, Elberton 

June 28: Pre-Fourth Fireworks Extravaganza, Hartwell 

June 28: Jefferson Freedom Festival, Jefferson

July 3-4: July 4th Celebration in Cumming

July 4: Annual Fireworks at Dusk, Helen

July 4: 4th of July Family Fun Day Celebration, Dahlonega

July 4: Fireworks at Lake Rabun, Lakemont 

July 4: Fourth of July Celebration, Dillard

July 4: Independence Day Celebration, Blairsville

July 4: Blairsville Union County Fireworks Display, Blairsville

July 4: Independence Day at Vogel State Park, Blairsville 

July 4: 4th of July Celebration, Cleveland

July 4: Old Fashioned Fourth of July at Tugaloo State Park, Lavonia 

July 4: July 4th at Sky Valley, Clayton 

July 4: July 4th Celebration and Lake Lanier Islands, Buford

July 4: Celebrate Braselton 4th of July Festival, Parade & Fireworks, Braselton 

July 5: Lake Burton 4th of July Fireworks Celebration, Clayton 

Atlanta Metro 

July 3-5: Fantastic Fourth Celebration, Stone Mountain Park 

July 4: 4th of July Parade, Douglasville 

July 4: Independence Day Festival, Douglasville 

July 4: 4th of July Fireworks, Douglasville 

July 4: July 4th Celebration in Alpharetta 

July 4: 4th of July Ice Cream Social, McDonough 

July 4: Dunwoody Fourth of July Parade 

July 4: 4th of July at The Beach, Jonesboro

July 4: Mall of Georgia’s 12th Annual Fabulous Fourth, Buford

July 5: Salute to the Red, White and Blue Hometown Celebration, East Point 

Historic Heartland

July 3: Annual Independence Day Concert & Picnic, Madison 

July 4: Oconee County Independence Day Spectacular, Watkinsville 

July 4: Fun for the Fourth at Indian Springs State Park, Flovilla 

July 4: Ol’ Time Independence Day at Jarrell Plantation Historic Site, Juliette 

July 5: Classic City American Music Festival, Athens 

Classic South

July 4: Patriotic Bicycle, Golf Cart and Pet Parade at Mistletoe State Park, Appling 

July 4: July Fourth Bike Parade at Elijah Clark State Park, Lincolnton 

July 5: Old Fashioned Independence Day Celebration at A.H. Stephens State Park, Crawfordville

July 5-13: Patriot Day & More, Warrenton 

Presidential Pathways

June 27-July 7: Avenue of Flags for Independence Day, Andersonville

June 28: Celebrate America, The Rock

July 3: July 3rd Celebration at Manchester Mill, Manchester 

July 4: Independence Day Celebration, Lumpkin 

July 4: July 4th Weekend Star Spangled Beach Party at Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain 

July 4-6: July 4th Celebration on the Lake at Florence Marina State Park, Omaha 

July 5: Watermelon Express Train Ride, Cordele 

Magnolia Midlands

July 4: God & Country Fireworks Show, McRae 

July 4: Freedom Fest, Douglas 

July 4: Beach Blast, Dublin

July 4: 4th of July Celebration, Fitzgerald

July 5: Fourth of July Fun at Little Ocmulgee State Park and Lodge, Helena 

Plantation Trace

July 3: Independence Day Celebration & Fireworks, Tifton 

July 4: Independence Day Celebration & Fireworks, Thomasville 

July 4: July 4th Celebration, Bainbridge 

July 4-5: 4th of July Celebration at Reed Bingham State Park 

Coast

June 27-28: Freedom Rings in Rincon Festival and Parade, Rincon

June 28: Train Rides – America’s Birthday Express, St. Marys 

July 3: Fourth of July Fireworks on the Pier, Tybee Island 

July 4: Jekyll Island July 4 Celebration

July 4: Brunswick’s Old Fashioned 4th of July 

July 4: Independence Day Colonial Faire at Fort Morris Historic Site, Midway 

July 4: Cannons Across the Marsh at Fort King George Historic Site, Darien 

July 4: Train Rides America’s Birthday Express, St. Marys 

July 4: Independence Day Fun & Games at Laura S. Walker State Park, Waycross 

July 4: Waycross Jaycees, Fourth of July Celebration, Waycross 

July 4: Independence Day Celebration at Fort McAllister State Park, Richmond Hill 

July 4-6: River Street Fourth of July Celebration, Savannah 

July 4: 4th of July Celebration, St. Marys 

July 4-6: 4th of July Sunshine Festival, St. Simons Island 

July 5: Holiday Weekend Gaslight Tour at Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, Savannah 

Six Family-Friendly Activities for Father’s Day

Dads like to have fun too!  Check out these family-friendly events for Father’s Day weekend.

DSC_0094 (3)Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta. Isn’t dad your Superhero?  Come dressed as your favorite character on Superhero Day and enjoy activities, games and cartoon screenings. June 14, 12N- 4pm.

 

 

Sweetwater Creek State Park, Lithia Springs. Try stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, geocaching and more during “Get Outside Georgia Day.” June 14, 10 am to 3 pm.

Old Fort Jackson, Savannah. Experience the lives of soldiers stationed here during the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War at this Father’s Day program. June 14-15, includes the daily cannon firings at 11 am and 2 pm.

gorilla_ozzie_ZA_smallZoo Atlanta, Atlanta. Free admission to Dad on Father’s Day with purchase of any full-price child’s (ages 3 to 11) or adult’s general admission ticket. Celebrate Ozzie the gorilla’s birthday at 10:30 am. June 15.

cloudland canyon by jbynum2 (800x533) (3)

Braves Country 5K, Atlanta. Includes a One Mile Fun Run (7 & older, open to adults) and Kilometer Kids Dash (6 & younger). 5K ends inside Turner Field. Each 5K registration includes a ticket to that evenings match-up against the Los Angeles Angels and a limited edition baseball tee. Advanced registration required.  June 14, 7:30 am.

Cloudland Canyon State Park, Rising Fawn. Full Moon Hike on the darkened West Rim Trail. Watch the sun set on the west side the canyon, hike to the east side, then watch the moon rise. Ages 10 and up, advanced reservations required. June 13, 8 pm to 11 pm. 

 

Katherine writer_18Katherine Mikkelson is a freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys travel and food and writes about both on her blog StateEats.com, highlighting iconic food from our 50 states.    

 

 

The Helen to the Atlantic Hot Air Balloon Race

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Going up and down in a hot air balloon is pretty simple.  You either add more hot air to go up or you let some out to descend.

Steering a hot air balloon is a bit more tricky because it’s pretty hard to float upwind.  You either go with the flow or you land.

Those minor details won’t deter the folks who take part in the 41st Annual Helen to the Atlantic Hot Air Balloon Race that’s drifting along until Saturday, June 7th in Helen, Georgia.

2The actual race started at 7 AM today (June 5th), but Helen will be hot air balloon heaven each morning and evening all week long.

Few things are as elegant as gently ascending in a colorful hot air balloon on a summer morning or evening, gone with the wind … headed for the beach.

Helen, Georgia, is an amazingly cool town any day of the year, but it’s especially scenic when flocks of hot air balloons fill the sky — with the weirdly Bavarian-themed town’s magnificent hills in the background — as they “race” toward the Atlantic Ocean powered by the breeze.

According to the rules, the winner of the race is the first balloon that crosses the finish line: I-95, anywhere between Maine and Miami.  The race’s website says,

“The shortest distance is 225 miles and the race usually takes two days.  It has been done in one day, while some races have taken as many as four days.  Six to ten balloons will be competing in the cross country race.

It is a race where both the pilot’s and crew’s skills are challenged.  A balloon can only go the same speed and direction as the wind.  The pilot must find the altitude which gives him/her the best speed as well as direction towards the finish line.”

1The Helen to the Atlantic Hot Air Balloon Race is the oldest balloon event in the South and the only long distance hot air balloon race in America.

You can take a ride in a “tethered” balloon that’s (probably) much more safe than the one seen in The Wizard of Oz.

Or glide over the area’s many waterfalls and wonderful hills for an hour or so … with a spot of champagne to quell any concerns you might have if you believe you can see dancing scarecrows and/or cowardly lions down below.

Flatlanders might prefer to park themselves on a bench by the rushing Chattahoochee River to let their spirits vicariously soar with the balloons … so their worries will float away with them.

Want more good news?  I could not find (after a very brief search) any prohibition in the rules to tying a few dozen balloons onto a lawn chair to enter the race.

Please Note:  Check with your doctor and insurance company before trying to fly your lawn chair.  Thank you.

Helen’s hot air balloon race is almost as exciting as NASCAR, but without all the noise, wrecks, motor homes, smells of gas and burning rubber and long waits at the rest rooms.

Fly away to Helen before the last balloon takes off.

Click Here for News About Lawn Chair Balloon Champion Larry Walters

Click Here for Schedules, Prices for “Tethered” Rides & More

Click Here for the Helen to the Atlantic Hot Air Balloon Race Facebook Page

Robert SutherlandRobert Sutherland is a freelance writer enjoying life in Gainesville, GA. Robert has two adult daughters, six grandchildren, one Kawasaki and a loving girlfriend. Robert’s e-mail address is: RJS@RobertSutherland.com.

Tunes from the Tombs at Historic Oakland Cemetery

Tunes from the Tombs - lr

Get down with beer, good beats and fabulous eats at an all-day music festival

Save the date for Tunes from the Tombs, Historic Oakland Cemetery’s annual all-day music festival, 1-8 p.m., June 14, featuring musicians performing in and amongst Oakland’s extraordinary monuments, mausoleums and renowned gardens. Two main stages will host amplified artists, while buskers will perform on distinct vignette stages throughout the cemetery. From rock to folk, Americana to jazz and classical to everything in between, a variety of tunes will entice everyone to boogie down. Soothe your stomach as well as your soul with good eats from Atlanta food trucks, which will be on-site serving a variety of tasty festival fare.  Keep spirits alive with beer, wine, and soft drinks, all of which will be offered for sale on-site. Festival attendees can also take a complimentary guided mini-tour of Oakland Cemetery, or have their fortunes read by Atlanta’s own, Esmere.

The official lineup includes:

Shawn Mullins

Mudcat

Wasted Potential Brass Band

Smooth Hound Smith

Blacktop Rockets

Ghost Riders Car Club

Villain Family

Julea and her Dear Johns

Secondhand Swagger

Tribute: A Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band

Sweet Auburn String Band

DJ Phiasco 2.0

SG4

Uncle Daddy and the Kissin’ Cousins Atlanta Sacred Harp Singers

Jake Reeves …and more!

Music at Tunes from the Tombs - lrNEW this year, sip suds at the Woodchuck Cider Garden where a DJ Phiasco will be on tap to take requests. Also new to Tunes from the Tombs this year is the RIP ticket package. No, not rest in peace-Rock In Peace! This package gets you entry into the festival, event poster and koozie, free parking, two drink tickets (21 & up), and green room access where RIP pass holders can rub shoulders with our artists and enjoy snacks, air conditioning and a private bathroom.

All proceeds benefit Historic Oakland Foundation. The work of the Foundation is supported by grants from charitable foundations, individuals, and events like Tunes from the Tombs.

Tickets are available for $10 online, $5 for kids (online or at gate) and $15 at gate. Buy your tickets online here: http://www.ticketalternative.com/Events/26053.aspx.

Parking will be available at the Grady Health Systems lot behind the MLK MARTA Station on Grant Street for $5. The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition will provide bike parking. Historic Oakland Foundation encourages festival-goers to take MARTA to the King Memorial Station. Bring your blanket or lawn chair and spend the day! No coolers or outside food allowed.

Talent booking by: Pete Knapp & Company. Ticketing by TicketAlternative.com.

Stay up-to-date with event details on Twitter and Facebook.

Malts & Vaults of Oakland: Where Beer Meets History

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What do a jousting match, exotic singing birds and the sun god Ra have in common? Why, everyone’s favorite malt beverage, beer, of course! Find out how the sudsy beverage connects these fascinating topics, and delve into Atlanta’s long and vivid history of brewing during Historic Oakland Cemetery’s new guided walking tour, Malts & Vaults of Oakland: Where Beer Meets History, debuting June 6 at 7 p.m. and June 7 at 5 p.m. The tour adds to Oakland’s existing repertoire of 14 specialty tours and the additional Sights, Symbols and Stories tour.

Authors Ron Smith and Mary O. Boyle of “Atlanta Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in the Hub in the South” will be onsite during the tours. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors 65 and older, and free for Friends of Oakland. Buy tickets here. As with all of Oakland’s guided tours, a ticket grants $5 off any purchase at neighboring restaurant Six Feet Under. With this tour, guests will also be granted $1 off a purchase at the nearby My Friend’s Growler Shop.

2The Historic Oakland Foundation offers several types of tours to entertain, educate, and enlighten the community throughout the year.  The Sights, Symbols and Stories guided overview tour is offered every weekend and special topic tours are offered every weekend mid-March through mid-October. Additionally, guided tours are offered for private groups and schools. Several options are available for self-guided tours.

Reservations are required for Malts & Vaults of Oakland: Where Beer Meets History. Buy tickets here. Stay up-to-date with event details on Twitter and Facebook.

About Oakland│ Spanning 48 acres east of the city, Oakland Cemetery is an arboretum, an outdoor sculpture museum with monuments recognized by the Smithsonian, and an Audubon wildlife sanctuary. Oakland is the final resting place of 70,000 people from all walks of life, including author Margaret Mitchell, 27 Atlanta mayors including Maynard Jackson, 6 former governors, thousands of unmarked graves, and Civil War soldiers. Oakland Cemetery offers critical green space for recreation and serves as a cultural resource for lifelong learners who come to study history, art, architecture, archaeology, horticulture, photography, and more. Founded in 1850 when the City purchased 6 acres of farmland just outside of Atlanta, Oakland Cemetery was created as a Victorian garden cemetery. All lots were sold by the end of the 1800s, but gradually many of the descendants moved away or abandoned their family lots and the cemetery fell into disrepair. In 1976 a group of citizens concerned about the state of the cemetery launched the Historic Oakland Foundation to assist the City of Atlanta in its preservation of this special place. Also in 1976, the cemetery was named to the National Register of Historic Places and soon thereafter declared a Historic Landmark District by the Atlanta Urban Design Commission.  The Foundation partners with the City of Atlanta to preserve, restore, enhance, and share Oakland Cemetery with the public as an important cultural resource and an island of tranquility in the heart of the city.www.OaklandCemetery.com