4th of July Guide: Fireworks, parades and more

Fireworks light the night at Lenox Square.
Fireworks light the night at Lenox Square.

The 47th annual Peachtree Road Race officially kicks off the holiday with 60,000 people taking part in the massive morning sprint from Buckhead to Midtown. As usual the race starts at Lenox Square and makes its ways down Peachtree Street to 10th Street and Piedmont Park. The wheelchair race begins around 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, so check with your favorite watering hole. For more information, visit peachtreeroadrace.org.

Colony Square presents its inaugural 4th on the Square, an official Peachtree Road Race celebration for spectators and participants on July 4. Between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., there will be food, games, music and ice cold beverages including a mimosa and Bloody Mary bar. Spectators should arrive at Colony Square by 7 a.m. to grab a spot near Peachtree Street. Colony Square’s Plaza will have DJs, games, stilt walkers, balloons, American flags and more, on the corner of 15th and Peachtree Street.

The second annual Virginia-Highland & Morningside Independence Day Parade begins at 11 a.m. on Lanier Boulevard.  After the parade, there will be a block party at the intersection of Lanier and McLynn with DJ Willy Wow, a bounce house, food trucks and fire trucks.The event proceeds will benefit local schools, including Morningside Elementary School, Springdale Park Elementary School, Inman Middle School and Grady High School. For more information, visit vhmpa.org.

The Legendary Fourth of July at Lenox Square features live music and one of the biggest fireworks displays in the country. Lenox Square shops and restaurants will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 4 (some restaurants will be open later). Entertainment begins at 6 p.m. with Jimmy Buffet tribute band Sons of Sailors and headliners Party on the Moon. Fireworks are scheduled to begin at approximately 9:40 p.m. Parking will be almost impossible, so visitors are encouraged to take MARTA. Pets are not allowed. For more information, visit simon.com.

The Centennial Olympic Park’s 4th of July Celebration will begin at 6 p.m. with fireworks scheduled around 9:40 p.m. There will be entertainment and live music by Montell Jordan and J-Fly and Friends. Visitors are encouraged to take MARTA to Philips Arena/GWCC or Peachtree Center stations, and don’t forget the Atlanta Streetcar stops at Centennial Park. For more information: centennialpark.com.

Decatur’s July 4th Pied Piper Parade will wind through downtown Decatur on July 4 and the community is invited to join in by decorating your wagon, riding a bike, skating or walking in the event. Line-up is at 5:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Decatur, the parade begins at 6 p.m. and ends at the Community Bandstand on the courthouse square. The Callanwolde Concert Band will play at 7 p.m. and fireworks will follow at dark. For more information: visitdecaturgeorgia.com.

 

Zoo Atlanta in Grant Park will be open on July 4th for Red, White & Blue at The Zoo. Military members and their families will get discounted admission. Highlights will include a special July 4 Keeper Talk in honor of Sequoyah, the Zoo’s resident bald eagle, the Splash Fountain presented by Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority, and the climate-controlled Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience. For more information: zooatlanta.org.

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