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Add some spark to your weekend
Lots of fireworks will light up local skies
Fireworks explode over Laurel Park as part of the American Legion's fireworks display last year. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

Fireworks lovers have their pick of events this weekend, with multiple large fireworks shows planned not only in Hall County but across North Georgia, too.

The annual celebration at Laurel Park in Gainesville, for example, is even bigger than last year, according to Dave Dellinger, a member of the American Legion Paul E. Bolding Post 7, which organizes the event.

The American Legion post asked Hall County to help sponsor the event last year when funding fell short. This year the county is donating services, such as the use of the park and sheriff’s office deputies, to help the event.

“Fundraising has been great and we have actually had more than we had last year,” Dellinger said. “So, we’re going to have bigger fireworks this year.”

Roger Keebaugh, commander of the Paul E. Bolding post, said the show should be a crowd pleaser.

“We want to make people happy, and that’s exactly what we’re going to be doing that day,” he said. “With the help of all the veterans at our disposal we should be able to take care of everybody. And thanks for the coordinating efforts of the park rangers, there should be no traffic tie ups.”

The new boat dock at Laurel Park came with expanded parking, he added. Festivities will start at noon and continue until the fireworks go off at dusk.

Parking is $5, and no boats will be allowed to launch from the Laurel Park boat ramp on Saturday.

Other activities include karaoke, golfing and horseshoes.

Another big show is planned for Friday night at Lanier National Speedway  in Braselton.

Billed as “North Georgia’s largest fireworks show,” the event coincides with the Georgia Asphalt Series Super 6 event that features super trucks and mini stock cars. Tickets are $20 for general admission, kids younger than 12 are $5 and younger than 5 are free.

Track-side parking is $10.

“It’s about a 25-, 30-minute show. It’s a long show,” said Terry Roberts, general manager and vice president of marketing for Lanier National Speedway.

Grandstand seating starts at 5 p.m. and qualifying races start at 6 p.m., with fireworks after the race.

The show also coincides with music.

“We always finish it off with Lee Greenwood’s ‘God Bless America.’ Last year we did Elvis singing,” he added. “If things go the way they should, the fireworks should go off at 10:30.”