The rockets’ red glare and fireworks bursting in air will proclaim America’s 235th birthday all across the country. And the Atlanta area, including DeKalb County, will have its share of celebrations, including parades, picnics and fireworks. Here’s a sampling:
Just a bit outside DeKalb County, Atlanta will host such time-honored activities as the AJC Peachtree Road Race. Now in its 41st year, the race starts early on July 4—wheelchairs at 6:45 a.m., foot race at 7 a.m. Some 60,000 participants will dash from Lenox Square to just outside Piedmont Park. Lenox Square will also be the site of a fireworks show that evening, as will Centennial Olympic Park, which will offer free entertainment, starting at 4 p.m.
Dunwoody will get things started early the morning of July 4. Hosted by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association and the Dunwoody Crier Newspaper, the Dunwoody parade will feature marching bands, floats, clowns, animals and local celebrities. Last year’s parade attracted more than 2,500 participants and 32,000 spectators.
The parade route is 2.7 miles. Step off from the intersection of Mount Vernon and Jett Ferry is at 9:30 a.m. The parade will then proceed west on Mount Vernon to the Dunwoody Village Parkway, turn right and follow the right side of the median to Calico Corners and turn left into Dunwoody Village parking lot. Volunteers will guide spectators to parade parking. It takes approximately one hour to walk the entire parade route.
Avondale Estates will continue its time-honored tradition of celebrating the Fourth of July with a parade and fireworks at the lake. Residents and friends are invited to be part of this year’s celebration. Here’s the schedule:
9:15 a.m. - Parade line-up at Avondale High School
10 a.m. - Parade begins up Clarendon Avenue
7:30 p.m. - Atlanta Blue Notes perform at the lake
Dusk - Fireworks begin at the Lake
Visit www.avondaleestates.org to view traffic plan for Fireworks at Lake Avondale.
The Clarkston Fourth of July Parade starts at Clarkston City Hall, Monday, July 4, at 2 p.m. Activities continue until 4 p.m. Residents and visitors are invited to decorate bikes, cars, trucks, motorcycles, scooters, wagons—“or whatever.” The city promises prizes, hot dogs and fun.
Once again the skies over Stone Mountain Park will light up in celebration of Independence Day as the park hosts its 44th annual Fantastic Fourth Celebration. The popular patriotically themed laser show has been revamped this year and includes some eye-popping new special effects as the mountain appears at points to open up and at other points to crumble. The show ends with a several minutes of fireworks lighting up the sky above Stone Mountain’s Confederate heroes carving.
But before nightfall, when the laser show starts, there’s plenty to do in the park, including the live entertainment throughout the park all Independence Day weekend, July 2-4. Picnicking, hiking and splashing in the park’s manmade lake are all popular family activities as are such attractions as Sky Hike, one of the nation’s largest adventure ropes courses. Premiering this year is the animated Yogi Bear 4-D Adventure, starring Dan Aykroyd as Yogi and Justin Timberlake as Boo Boo.
To learn about other park features, activities and special family deals, visit www.Stonemountainpark.com. Stone Mountain Park typically experiences large crowds on the Fourth of July, so visitors are urged to come early. Gates may close early if parking reaches capacity.
Decatur will hold its traditional Fourth of July Pied Piper Parade in which decorated vehicles, bicycles, skateboards, wagons and walkers are all welcomed—starting at 6 p.m.—follow a route from First Baptist Church of Decatur through downtown Decatur to the Decatur Square. This year, watch for The Champion Newspaper’s vehicle as the DeKalb County legal organ celebrates its 20th anniversary—also on the Fourth of July. The concert on the square, featuring the Callanwolde Concert Band, begins at 7 p.m., followed by fireworks at dark. The events, sponsored by the Decatur Business Association, are free.