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Fireworks poised to erupt on Fourth of July
Celebrations set all across North Georgia
Fireworks explode over Lake Lanier near Laurel Park during a Fourth of July celebration last year.

Independence Day is right around the corner along with several activities to do in North Georgia. From events in Gainesville to Blairsville, there will be something for the entire family. So, join one of the many activities going on in North Georgia.

In Gainesville

The Northwinds Symphonic Band will carry on the tradition of the July 3 Patriotic Pops concert at The Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center in Gainesville.

Gates will open at 6 p.m. with the concert at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for students and seniors 65 and older, $200 for a table of eight. A barbecue plate is $8.

Northwinds will offer an inspiring musical tribute to the United States. Highlights will include “America, the Beautiful,” “The Chimes of Liberty,” “American Salute,” “The Star Spangled Banner” and other patriotic favorites, along with some John Philip Sousa marches.

Patrons may bring picnics and beverages of choice, lawn chairs and blankets or rent tables from The Arts Council. Vendors will sell food.

For tickets, call 770-534-2787 or visit

For its 50th year, the Paul E. Bolding Post 7 American Legion will hold its annual Independence Day celebration and firework display July 4 at Laurel Park, 2100 Old Cleveland Road. The event is free; parking is $5, with gates opening at 9 a.m. Fireworks begin at dusk.

Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and ice cream will be for sale, with snow cones from the Legion’s women’s auxiliary.

Visitors will receive a slip upon arrival they can exchange for a ticket to a free prize drawing: an American flag flown in Afghanistan.

“We are going to give something to every car that comes in,” Post Commander Dave Dellinger said. “Anyone who comes to the pavilion can take a chance on winning it.”

Membership booths will be set up around the park to sign up visitors for different veterans groups.

Dellinger advises attendees to show up early, noting last year a few cars were turned away because the park had reached capacity.

“Once the park gets full, police will cut it off,” he said. “It was blocking traffic last year.”

In Dahlonega

Dahlonega’s Fourth of July Celebration runs all day July 4, starting with road races in the morning and ending with fireworks at dusk.

The third annual Firecracker 5K/10K race and fun run starts at 7:30 a.m. Both the 5K and 10K start at 7:30 a.m. and cost $30-$35.

The fun run is a nontimed event for all ages near the University of North Georgia drill field. It starts at 9 a.m.; the fee is $15.

Participants can pick up race information packets from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 3 and at 6:30 a.m. July 4 at Dahlonega Chamber of Commerce. Registration ends at 11:59 p.m. July 2. An additional $5 will be charged July 3 and 4. To register, visit

All proceeds from the event fund the fireworks display later in the evening.

Following the Firecracker races is the Pups and Patriots Fashion Strut in Hancock Park Pavilion. The dog and owner patriot dress contest costs $10 to enter. Prizes will be awarded to all participants.

Registration is from 8:30 to 8:55 a.m., with the contest beginning at 9 a.m.

The fashion strut will benefit PAWS spay/neuter and Dahlonega Dog Park.

For more information, call 706-864-1318.

Three events are set for 10 a.m.: the Community Service Corner on the historic downtown square, the Gold City Classic Car Club Show at Courthouse Hill on East Main Street and the Dahlonega Literary Festival’s Fourth of July Used Book Sale, until 5 p.m. on the square.

“All proceeds go toward keeping all the Literary Festival events free and open to the public,” Steering Committee Chairperson Arienne Wallace said.

The Kids Fun Zone in Hancock Park and the Patriotic Ceremony begin at noon on the west lawn of the Gold Museum.

An old-fashioned watermelon eating contest and the Appalachian Jam on the Dahlonega Gold Museum Lawn is set for 2 p.m.

Entries are being accepted for the Independence Day Parade at 5 p.m. on the University of North Georgia campus. Openings are available for groups. The fee is $20.

Parade application deadline is July 1. Visit to download the registration.

The fireworks show can be viewed amid a patriotic dining experience at 6 p.m. in the dining hall of the University of North Georgia plaza while enjoying music by the Kurt Thomas Band on the drill field. Tickets are $50 for individuals and $400 for a table of eight.

Tickets may be purchased at the Visitor Center in Dahlonega or call 706-864-3711.

All proceeds fund future Fourth of July celebrations.

In Dawsonville

Dawson County’s annual Independence Day celebration is set for July 3 at Rock Creek Park.

Now in its fifth year, Dawson Day Sparks in the Park promises to be one of North Georgia’s most spectacular fireworks shows. Activities for the entire family start at 5 p.m., followed by fireworks at 9:45 p.m.

With a carnival-like atmosphere, activities include a dance contest, face painting, inflatable slides and a rock climbing wall.

Admission is free, though children’s activities, souvenirs and concessions are available for purchase. While picnics are welcome, no alcohol is allowed on park grounds or outside parking areas.

Kevin Woody of Dawsonville will provide live music.

The fireworks display starts about 9:45 p.m. and last nearly 20 minutes.

Free parking is available at Rock Creek Park and adjacent lots, if weather permits. Handicap accessible parking will be on the park grounds.

Additional free parking can be found at River Park Canoe Launch and Riverview Elementary and Middle schools, with free shuttle service.

Those not attending are encouraged to avoid the area from 5 to 11 p.m.

In Buford

The Mall of Georgia’s 11th annual Fabulous Fourth of July Celebration begins at 2 p.m. July 4.

Festivities begin with visitors registering for prizes and live entertainment. Bands scheduled to perform include The Brent Gafford, Vintage Boogie Band and The Woody’s.

Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m., followed by the film “Playing for Keeps” at 9:45 p.m.

The fireworks display will launch from the Nordstrom overflow lot. Attendees are not permitted to park or sit in sections of the Nordstrom’s parking lot, which will be marked. For the easiest entrance and exit, families should park in the Dillard’s lot.

Also in Buford is Lake Lanier Islands Resort’s “Red, White and Luau Fourth of July Celebration” on July 4 at 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway.

Live music presented by Rock 100 will feature The Geeks band and Blair Crimmins & The HULAgans at Sunset Cove.

Blair Crimmins & The HULAgans will play from 4-6 p.m. followed by The Geeks from 7-9 p.m.

Patriotic food and drink specials will be offered. For information,

In Blairsville

The Georgia State Park and Historic Site offers varied events on the Fourth of July and the following weekend.

Independence Day at Vogel State Park will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 4. It includes a flag-raising ceremony, bicycle parade, pedal boat races, sandcastle-building competition, watermelon eating, sack races, egg tosses and greased-pole climbing.

Admission is $3.50-$10 per person with a $5 parking fee.

The Fourth of July weekend is considered one of the busiest holidays, so Georgia State Parks encourage visitors to reserve picnic shelters, campsites, cabins, lodge rooms and yurts. Call 800-864-7275 or visit

Regional events