4th of July Events Guide

By Debra Bryant

The Fourth of July falls on a Wednesday this year, which might be a bummer for those who like long holiday weekends. But if you have the day off and are looking to celebrate America’s 236 birthday, there will be plenty of parades, fireworks and other events.

The Peachtree Road Race officially kicks off the holiday early in the morning. The race starts at Lenox Square and makes its ways down Peachtree Street to 10th Street and Piedmont Park. The wheelchair race begins at 6:45 a.m. and the foot race at 7:30 a.m.  Spectators are strongly encouraged to take MARTA, which will begin running at 5 a.m. on race day. Many restaurants and bars will be open along the route to watch the race, so check with your favorite watering hole.

The Atlanta Symphony July 4th All-American Celebration will be held at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park at 8 p.m. The evening will include Tony Award-winning Broadway vocalist Debbie Gravitte, the US Army Chorus, and post-concert fireworks. Tickets are $35 for a table, $25 for a reserved seat or $15 for lawn seating. atlantasymphony.org

Lenox Square Mall’s 4th of July Celebration will kick off festivities at 6 p.m. with musical entertainment, and wrap up with the giant fireworks display around 9:40 p.m. Activities are planned for the entire family, including games for children, musical entertainment, and food concession.   Jimmy Buffet tribute band Sons of Sailors take the stage at 6 p.m. followed by Party on the Moon at 7:30 p.m. Because the parking lot at Lenox is utilized for the event, organizers are encouraging attendees to take MARTA.

Centennial Olympic Park’s 4th of July Celebration begins at 6 p.m. with a free concert, food vendors and a huge fireworks display synchronized to a special selection of patriotic and popular music at 9:30 p.m. MARTA transportation is strongly recommended. Festivities are planned rain or shine. centennialpark.com

Decatur’s July 4th Pied Piper Parade, Concert and Fireworks winds through downtown Decatur with neighborhoods and organizations participating by pulling decorated wagons, riding their bikes or skating in the procession. The parade line up is at the First Baptist Church of Decatur at 5:30 p.m. The parade will begin at 6 p.m., and end at the Community Bandstand on the square with a concert featuring the Callanwolde Concert Band at 7 p.m. Fireworks begin at approximately 9 p.m. visitdecaturgeorgia.com

If you’d prefer to spend your holiday watching baseball, the Atlanta Braves will play the Chicago Cubs, followed by the 4th of July All-American Fireworks Spectacular Turner Field. The game begins at 7:10 p.m. braves.com

The Georgia Aquarium – Red White and Brew, A July 4th Beer Fest begins at 7 p.m. with beer, food and live music on the Aquarium’s massive parking deck rooftop with the city’s best views of the Centennial Olympic Park firework show. This event is for ages 21 and up only. Tickets are $45 and benefit the Aquarium’s education initiative. georgiaaquarium.org

MARKET Buckhead and W Buckhead will host the second annual Fourth Fest with music, food and fireworks on Tuesday, July 3, and Wednesday, July 4. The two-day celebration will also support Operation Homefront Georgia, as $5 from every ticket sold will be donated to the nonprofit organization that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of military members and wounded warriors and their families. Tickets range from $20-40. marketbuckhead.com

Stone Mountain’s Fantastic Fourth Celebration marks 45 years with the Lasershow Spectacular and fireworks on the Memorial Lawn on July 3-4 starting at 9:30 p.m. There will also be live entertainment and visitors are encouraged to come early to experience the new Geyser Towers and Sky Hike attractions. Park attractions will open at 10:30 a.m. both days, but keep in mind that Fourth of July crowds are usually big and gates may be closed early once parking capacity is reached. Vehicle entry: $10. stonemountainpark.com