Labor Day weekend is about to feel like July Fourth in downtown Braselton.
Because of the pandemic, the city postponed its Independence Day festivities to Saturday, Sept. 5, and plans to make up for it with a “Red, White and Blue Redo.”
“I know we’re all lacking in safe things to do in recent months,” Nikki Perry, Braselton’s tourism director, said. “We felt like it was important to give people an opportunity to enjoy some time with their family and celebrate Labor Day weekend.”
To protect residents and visitors, Perry said the city plans to host a “reverse parade.” Instead of allowing spectators to line the streets and watch floats and decorated vehicles pass by, the opposite will happen.
Red, White and Blue Redo
What: Braselton patriotic reverse parade and fireworks show
Parade: 6-8 p.m. at Year One parking lot, 1001 Cherry St., Braselton
Fireworks show: Dark-thirty, around 8:30 p.m. in downtown Braselton
Parade sign up: downtownbraselton.formstack.com/forms/2020reverseparade
From 6-8 p.m., Perry said all the parade’s entertainment will remain stationed in Year One’s parking lot at 1001 Cherry St. Attendees are asked to drive through the guided route as local businesses, organizations and individuals wave from their spaces.
“It’s a no-contact parade,” Perry said. “You won’t have to worry about people in the parade approaching vehicles. They won’t throw candy or hand out any literature. We want to make sure this is safe.”
Although the American Legion Post 7 in Gainesville had plans of postponing its July Fourth fireworks show to Labor Day weekend, Johnny Varner, veteran service officer, said Hall County officials “shot the whole thing down.”
Laurel Park, which touches Lake Lanier, typically serves as the annual event’s venue. Varner said the celebration easily draws in over 5,000 people, making it impossible to safely hold during the pandemic.
“We were thinking of how we could do something at the Legion, but it doesn't seem feasible at this point,” he said. “The numbers (COVID-19 cases) don’t help, they keep going up. Nobody wants the liability.”
Braselton will hold its fireworks show around 8:30 p.m., after sunset.
Instead of asking people to congregate in one place for its fireworks show, Perry said Braselton is encouraging people to space out and socially distance themselves in the downtown area.
“We’re counting on the public to stay safe and take care of themselves,” Perry said. “More of our events have been canceled to keep the public safe. We’re hoping that this is an opportunity for people to be responsible and come out and spend time with their family.”
Businesses, organizations, churches and individuals who would like to participate in the parade can sign up by visiting downtownbraselton.formstack.com/forms/2020reverseparade.