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Let your July Fourth sparkle
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fireworks fly over Lake Lanier during last year's Fourth of July celebration in Gainesville.

Area Fourth of July events

Patriotic Picnic Pops concert, Gainesville. Gainesville Symphony Orchestra with Shawn Megorden. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Brenau University Amphitheater, Prior Street, Gainesville. $30 adults, $27 seniors, $12 students. Add $50 per table of eight. 770-532-5727. 

American Legion Paul E. Bolding Post 7 fireworks display, Gainesville. Day of activities capped off by fireworks at dusk. Gates open at noon Sunday, Laurel Park, 3100 Old Cleveland Highway, Gainesville. $5 parking per car; concessions available for sale.

Dawson Day Sparks in the Park Independence Day Celebration, Dawsonville. Inflatable slides, dunk tank, rock wall, face painting, carnival food for sale and fireworks. Saturday, with gates opening at 5 p.m. and fireworks at dark, Rock Creek Park, 445 Martin Road, Dawsonville. Free admission and parking; various costs for activities and food.

Independence Day Celebration, Dawsonville. Relay races, patriotic crafts and watermelon seed-spitting contest. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge, 418 Amicalola Falls Lodge Road, Dawsonville. $5 parking.

Fourth of July Fireworks, Braselton. Dusk Sunday, Chateau Elan Winery, 100 Tour De France, Braselton. Free. 800-233-9463.

Fourth of July Family Celebration, Dahlonega. Pet show, ceremony, reading of the U.S. Constitution, watermelon cutting, car show, live music, parade and fireworks. Sunday, with parade at 5 p.m. and fireworks at dusk. North Georgia College & State University, 82 College Circle, Dahlonega. Free.

July Fourth Mountain Style, Helen. Watermelon eating contest, sack races, live music and a hoedown. 8 p.m. Friday through 9 p.m. Sunday, Unicoi State Park and Lodge, 1788 Ga. 356 N, Helen. $5 parking.

Celebrate Braselton Festival, Braselton. Annual festival with live music, children’s activities, a parade and booths. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, downtown Braselton. Free.

Mall of Georgia’s Fabulous Fourth, Buford. Live music, kids activities, fireworks and movie. Sunday, with live music from 2-9 p.m. and fireworks at dark. Mall of Georgia, 3333 Buford Drive, Buford. Free.

Fantastic Fourth Celebration, Stone Mountain. Laser show and fireworks. 9:30 p.m. Saturday-Monday, Stone Mountain Park, Exit 8 off U.S. 78, Stone Mountain. $10 for parking pass; laser show free. All attractions pass $27 for adults, $21 for age 3-11.

Star Spangled Classic, Athens. Fireworks, family games, inflatables and music. 6 p.m. Sunday, Bishop Park, 705 Sunset Drive, Athens. Free.

The Classic City 4th of July American Music Festival, Athens. Live music by Cherryholmes, Packway Handle Band and Curley Maple. Saturday and Sunday, The Melting Point, 295 E. Dougherty St., Athens. $25 for a two-day pass. 706-549-7020.

A variety of Independence Day celebrations across North Georgia will let you celebrate in the mountains, beside the lake or even at the mall.

In Gainesville, there are two different kinds of July Fourth celebrations taking place this weekend — one on Saturday and one on Sunday.

On Saturday, the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra presents its first concert of its new season, its annual Patriotic Pops event. This concert features a variety of patriotic music and allows families to have a picnic as the sun goes down over the amphitheater at Brenau University.

Then the big celebration kicks off at noon on Sunday, when the gates open to Laurel Park and the annual American Legion fireworks event begins. The day is planned to be full of activities and music, with fireworks set off over Lake Lanier at dusk.

If you’re looking for a celebration with a little more country, July Fourth events in Helen and Dawsonville may fit the bill.

July Fourth Mountain Style at Unicoi State Park in Helen and the Independence Day Celebration at Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville both offer a celebration with a rustic flair.

At Unicoi, there is a seed spitting contest, sack races and an old-fashioned hoedown. At Amicalola, there will be patriotic-themed crafts and another watermelon seed-spitting contest. Both events run throughout the weekend.

And south of Hall County, there is a small-town July Fourth event in Braselton on Sunday that includes live music and children’s activities. Johnny O’Connell, American Le Mans Series champion and Corvette racing driver, will be the grand marshal for the “Celebrate Braselton” parade Sunday.

O’Connell is the three-time American Le Mans Series champion with 38 wins. He also has eight victories at Sebring, including the 2009 race, and has started a record 100 races in AMLS-sanctioned competitions.

“We are thrilled with Johnny O’Connell being our grand marshal,” said Braselton Mayor Bill Orr. “This town is well connected to worldwide racing, so fans get an up close, extra treat on July 4.”

If you’re looking for an event with more of a big-city feel, then head to Stone Mountain or the Mall of Georgia in Buford. The Fantastic Fourth event at Stone Mountain starts at 9:30 p.m. Saturday through Monday and features a laser light show; the Mall of Georgia’s Fabulous Fourth is all day on Saturday and features live music and fireworks, followed by a screening of “Transformers” on a jumbo screen.

Regional events