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Explosion of activities to fill Fourth of July
Local American Legion to expand events at Laurel Park
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The American Legion Paul E. Bolding Post 7 sponsors its annual Fourth of July fireworks display seen here from last year at Laurel Park.

FOURTH OF JULY EVENTS

Gainesville

  • Northwinds Symphonic Band Patriotic Pops concert, Gainesville. 8 p.m. July 3. Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center lawn, 331 Spring St. SW, Gainesville. Dinner available for purchase or bring picnic. Beverages welcomed. theartscouncil.net or 770-534-2787.
  • Fourth of July Celebration, Gainesville. 10 a.m. July 4. Laurel Park, 3100 Old Cleveland Highway, Gainesville. Per car $10. Fireworks scheduled for 9:15. 770-531-2664, www.exploregainesville.org.

Braselton

  • Star Spangled Fourth of July 5K Fun Run, Braselton. 8 a.m. July 4. Braselton Park, 50 Harrison St., Braselton. $30. Aimee@operationonevoice.org, operationonevoice.org.
  • Celebrate Braselton, Braselton. 4-9 p.m. July 4. Braselton Park, 126 Harrison St., Braselton. Free. Parade will begin at 6 p.m. Fireworks to start after dark. braselton.net.

Buford

  • Craig Gleason and Samantha Stroh at Lanier World, Buford. 3-11 p.m. July 3. Lanier Islands Resort, 7000 Holiday Road, Buford. Ticket prices vary. Fireworks scheduled at 10 p.m. 770-932-7200, lanierislands.com.
  • Light Up the Lake Fireworks Independence Day Celebration, Buford. 10 a.m. July 4. Lanier Islands Resort, 7000 Holiday Road, Buford. Ticket prices vary. Fireworks are scheduled at 9:40 p.m. 770-932-7200, lanierislands.com.
  • Star Spangled Fourth, Buford. 5 p.m. July 4. Mall of Georgia, 3333 Buford Drive, Buford. Free. Fireworks to begin at dark.

Cumming

  • July 4th Steam Engine Parade, Cumming. 10 a.m. July 4. Downtown Cumming. Free. 770-887-0516
  • Third of July Fireworks, Cumming. 6-11 p.m. July 3. Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Road, Cumming. Free. Fireworks are set for 9 p.m. 770-781-3491

Dahlonega

  • Dahlonega Firecracker 5K/10K, Dahlonega. 6:30 a.m. July 4. Dahlonega Square, 13 S. Park St., Dahlonega. 5K $30; 10K $35; fun run $20. fivestarntp.com/Firecracker_5K_10K.html.
  • Dahlonega’s Fourth of July Celebration, Dahlonega. All day July 4. Free. Downtown Dahlonega. Fireworks to begin at dark. 706-864-3711.

Dawsonville

  • Sparks in the Park, Dawsonville. 4:30 p.m. July 4. Atlanta Motorsports Park, 20 Duck Thurmond Road, Dawsonville.  Free; children’s activity bracelets $10. 678-381-8527, atlantamotorsportspark.com.

Demorest

  • Glorious Fourth of July, Demorest. All day, July 4. Downtown Demorest. Free. Fireworks to start at 9:30 p.m. 706-778-4202, 706-754-2233.

Flowery Branch

  • Lakewide Fireworks Celebration, Flowery Branch. 5-11 p.m. July 3. The University Yacht Club, 6649 Yacht Club Road, Flowery Branch. universityyachtclub.org.

Helen

  • Annual Fourth of July Fireworks, Helen. All day July 4. Alpine Village Shoppes, 8016 S. Main St., Helen. Free. Fireworks to start at 9:30 p.m. 706-878-2181.

Atlanta area

  • Fourth of July Celebration, Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta. 6 p.m. July 4.  Centennial Park, 265 Park Ave. WNW , Atlanta. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.
  • Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular,  Braves vs. the Phillies, Atlanta. 7:15 p.m. July 4. Turner Field, 755 Hank Aaron Drive, Atlanta. $10-$120. Fireworks after the game. atlanta.braves.mlb.com.
  • Lenox Square Mall, Atlanta. All day July 4. Lenox Square Mall, 3393 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. Free. Fireworks start at dark.
  • Coca-Cola July 4th Fest, Austell. All day July 4. Six Flags Over Georgia, 275 Riverside Parkway, Austell. Ticket prices vary. Fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. www.sixflags.com/overgeorgia.
  • Annual Fantastic Fourth Celebration, Stone Mountain. All day July 4. Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. $15. Laser show followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m. www.stonemountainpark.com/events/Fantastic-Fourth-Celebration.

Athens

  • Athens Celebrates America, Athens. 4-10 p.m. July 4. Georgia Square Mall, 3700 Atlanta Highway, Athens. Live entertainment starting at 5 p.m. Fireworks start after dark.

For more than 50 years, members of the American Legion Paul E. Bolding Post 7 have been providing Hall County with a Fourth of July celebration to honor those who have served in U.S. military.

And this year is no different. The American Legion is finalizing preparations for the popular event set for next weekend.

“This year we are going to expand and we are going to have concerts during the day,” event coordinator Ron Kellner said.

The annual Fourth of July Celebration with begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 4, at Laurel Park in Gainesville. Gates will open at 9 a.m. at 3100 Old Cleveland Highway.

Activities for the entire family are planned throughout the day, including arts and crafts booths, kids’ inflatables, food vendors and live entertainment. Organizations will sell food, drinks and other goods to raise money for the community. LifeSouth will accept blood donations to replenish the supply.

The popular fireworks show will begin between 9 and 9:30 p.m.

“And there will be a concert after the fireworks to kind of get traffic cleared out,” said Kellner, the past commander of the local American Legion post.

By providing entertainment after fireworks, he hopes it will decrease traffic congestion as people leave the park.

But the event’s main objective is to support Hall County veterans as some of the funds raised will go to support their needs. The cost is $10 per carload.

“The main thing is they’re supporting Hall County and they’re supporting veterans, and that’s what we’ll be focusing toward this year,” said Kellner, who hopes the event fills up all 1,200 parking spaces available at the park. “We do this as a fundraiser.”

With the help of sponsors and community donations, Kellner hopes to provide every veteran who attends a chance to win a raffle prize.

“We usually get some nice things,” Kellner said. “It’s mainly donations. The purpose (of the event) is to raise money for veterans. Anything we don’t have to buy, that’s another dollar toward the veterans.”

Any veteran attending is encouraged to stop by the American Legion booth and pick up a raffle ticket.

As far as specifics, Kellner hinted at a few surprises in the works as he and his team continue to work on making this year’s event one of the best.

“Where else can you go and bring a carload of people for $10 and have entertainment all day long?” he asked.

For more information on the American Legion, visit www.gal7.com/index.php.

Regional events