Bethany Bearden (left) and Kimberly Robinson, Gainesville, celebrate after finishing the 48th running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race on Tuesday, July 4, 2017, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/
Photo: Compton
Photo: Compton

July 4, 2018: Everything to do in and around Atlanta on the holiday

There’s good news and bad news about the Fourth of July this year:

It falls on a Wednesday, meaning that at least for one week, Hump Day is officially a holiday.

Then again, it’s so crammed full of fun things to do, you might end up needing a day off from the day off.

Don’t believe it? Well, then take a gander at this lineup of parades and picnics, fireworks displays and fun runs all taking place around town just on July 4th. We’ve broken them down by location to make it a little easier to find things in your area.

Surviving all the fun? Well, that’s up to you.

July 4 at 9 p.m. on WSB-TVGeorgia Salutes America fireworks and festivities 

Get a virtual look at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race, as runners talk about what it means to accomplish the 4th of July tradition in Atlanta. Video by Ryon Horne


49th AJC Peachtree Road Race. If you have to ask what it is ... ! Sixty thousand people will run the spectator-lined 10k course from the start in Buckhead near Lenox Square to the Piedmont Park finish line. Wheelchair competitors are off first at 6:27 a.m., followed by waves of runners led by the elite women (6:50 a.m.) and men (7 a.m.).

RELATED: Photos and best costumes from the 2018 AJC Peachtree

4th of July celebration at Children’s Museum of Atlanta. Uncle Sam himself leads the parade (at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.) as part of a host of holiday-themed activities for budding young patriots. Museum opens at 10 a.m., 4th of July activities start at 11 a.m. $15.95, free for babies under age 1 (ticket prices higher at the door) 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-5437,

Party on Peachtree at the Whitley. Looking to watch the early morning runners in action, or even to recover from your own run? The hotel (formerly the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead) will have a DJ on its terrace overlooking the start line of the AJC Peachtree Road Race, along with a Grab and Go breakfast menu and a “Bloody Mary and Sparkle Bar” (available after 9 a.m.). Inside, the hotel will offer a Breakfast Buffet ($34, excluding tax and gratuity). 7 a.m.-11 a.m. 3434 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-240-7071,

Historic Fourth Ward Park will play host to its first July 4th fireworks celebration on Wednesday. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM
Photo: Bob Andres

Fireworks in Fourth Ward. For the first time, scenic Historic Fourth Ward Park will host five hours of family-friendly July 4th festivities culminating in fireworks set to a soundtrack curated by nearby Ponce City Market. 5 p.m. Free. 680 Dallas St N.E., Atlanta.

GWCCA Fourth of July Celebration. Relocated to International Plaza from under-renovation Centennial Olympic Park, there’ll be live music from After 7, Dionne Farris and others, fireworks and more. 7 p.m. (gates open at 6 p.m.). Free, additional charge for parking (pre-purchase here)  285 Andrew Young International Blvd. NW, Atlanta (between the Georgia World Congress Center, Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Philips Arena).

Who needs fireworks on the Fourth when you can celebrate with Whale Sharks like these at the Georgia Aquarium. (Gene Phillips)
Photo: Lexington Herald-Leader

Red, White & Brew. Celebrate a finny  Fourth with beluga whales, whale sharks and other exotic creatures in the Oceans Ballroom. Includes BBQ dinner, live music, unlimited beer and cider and unparalleled views of aquatic species. Ages 21 and older. 7 p.m. $65, members $50. Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker Street N.W., Atlanta. 404-581-4000,

  >> Intown Atlanta things to do on July 4th


Canton 4th of July. Community parade in the area around the Riverstone Shopping Center followed by the 80ators in concert and fireworks at dusk. 5 p.m. Free. 1451 Riverstone Pkwy, Canton.

Woodstock July 4th Spectacular. Daylong lineup of events starts at 7:15 a.m. with the Freedom Run; parade starts at 10 a.m. from Woodstock Elementary School (230 Rope Mill Rd.), followed by a festival at The Park at City Center (101 Arnold Mill Rd). Fireworks at dusk behind the Target shopping center at Hwy 92 and I-575. Free.  Race information:

  >>Want get a jump on the fun? Check out the AJC’s Ultimate Guide things to do all Fourth of July weekend


Independence Day Celebration in Acworth. The event in Cauble Park starts with live music headlined by the Paul Hand Band and concludes with fireworks after dark. Parking by pass only and if they run out, you’ll need to catch a shuttle from downtown. 4 p.m. Free (tables: $50-$70). 2293 Beach St. Acworth. 770-917-1234,

The Marietta Freedom Parade makes its way down Roswell Street on Tuesday, July 4, 2016, In Marietta, GA. An estimated 30,000 spectators turned out for the parade. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
Photo: Steve Schaefer

Six Flags Over Georgia’s Coca-Cola July 4th Fest. Catch the final day of this year’s Independence Day celebration featuring rides and food all day and fireworks at dusk. And if you bring along a can of Coca-Cola, you can get in one hour before the park opens and access select rides and attractions. Park officially opens at 10:30 a.m. $69.99 general admission, $49.99 children under 48 inches, free for ages 2 and under (see online for additional ticket options). 275 Riverside Parkway, S.W., Austell.

Fourth in the Park Celebration. All-day event beginning with parade from Roswell Street Baptist Church and culminating with 8 p.m. concert by Journey tribute band Departure. In between there’s arts and crafts show, carnival games, food vendors and more. 10 a.m. Free. Marietta Square, 39-75 E Park Square, Marietta. 770-794-5601,

  >>Things to do in Cobb on (and before) July 4th


Avondale Estates 4th of July Celebration. Parade starts at DeKalb School of the Arts, located at 1192 Clarendon Ave., and proceeds to the intersection of Clarendon Ave. and South Avondale Road. Fireworks at dusk at Lake Avondale. Free.

City of Chamblee’s Fourth of July Celebration. Five hours of fun starts with a bike parade from Chamblee Middle School to Keswick Park, site of a cornhole tournament, food ,a concert by Bogey and the Viceroy and fireworks. 5 p.m. Free. 3496 Keswick Drive, Chamblee.

Decatur residents decorate bikes, strollers, skateboards and more for the annual Pied Piper Parade. CONTRIBUTED BY CITY OF DECATUR

Pied Piper Parade and Fireworks in Decatur. Everyone’s invited to walk, bike or skate from the First Baptist Church of Decatur, located at 308 Clairemont Ave., through downtown. Followed by Callanwolde Concert Bandplaying a concert on the Decatur Square and then fireworks. 6 p.m. Free. 101 E. Court Square, Decatur.

Dunwoody 4th of July Parade and Festival. See marching bands, floats, clowns, animal units and local celebrities parade along the two-mile route, which starts at the intersection of Mount Vernon Road and Jett Ferry Road and proceeds to Dunwoody Village. Spruill Center for the Arts CEO Bob Kinsey is grand marshal of this year’s parade, whose theme is “Dunwoody Salutes America and the Arts.” A festival follows the parade. 9 a.m. Free.

  >> See what’s in store on the weather and traffic front before heading out 

Fantastic Fourth Celebration at Stone Mountain Park. The weeklong festivities continue with attractions that include the the High-Flying Dog Show and conclude with special laser and fireworks shows at night. Attraction hours, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; $31.95; $29.95 ages 3-11. Laser show and fireworks, 9:30 p.m. Free with $15 parking. Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. 

  >>Things to do in DeKalb County on 4th of July


Alpharetta 4th of July Celebration. Kids activities, food vendors, music by the Alpharetta City Band and fireworks at Wills Park. 6 p.m. Free. 1825 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta.

2018 Independence Day Hometown Celebration in East Point. Kicks off at noon with the start of Summer Carnival (runs through Sunday). The special “Salute to the Red, White and Blue” on Wednesday starts at 3 p.m. and includes “South Fulton County's largest Pryo Digital Fireworks” at 9:30 p.m. Free. Downtown East Point, across from the East Point MARTA station and East Point City Hall.

Barrington Hall, one of three historic Southern homes in Roswell, will be the site of a Fourth of July celebration Wednesday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

4th Annual Barbecue & Bluegrass: A 4th of July Celebration on the Grounds of Barrington Hall. A nod to the yearly July 4th barbecues that were thrown by Barrington King, original owner of the historic house in Roswell. Food and drink available for purchase, live music, hayrides and more on the lawn. 11 a.m. Free. 535 Barrington Drive, Roswell. 770-640-3855,

Roswell Annual 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza. Held at Roswell High School, includes inflatables and other games for kids, food trucks,  live music and fireworks after dark. 5:30 p.m. Free, but must purchase tickets for some games and inflatables.  11595 King Rd, Roswell.

Sandy Springs Stars and Stripes Celebration. Pack a picnic, corrall the kiddies and head to the Concourse Corporate Center lawn to listen to music by Shiloh and watch fireworks light up the night sky near the King and Queen buildings. 7:30 p.m. Free. Concourse Parkway, Sandy Springs.

  >>Things to do in North Fulton on and around July 4th


Mall of Georgia’s Star Spangled Fourth. Kids games and activities, music by The Throwback Experience and the Mike Veal Band, followed at 9:35 p.m. by fireworks. And the fun continues afterwards with a screening of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” 3 p.m. Free. 3333 Buford Drive, Buford.

You can spend this most American of holidays taking in an all-American baseball game in Gwinnett county.

Gwinnett Stripers vs. Norfolk Tides. As if watching the Baby Braves take on their archrivals weren’t high-charged enough, there’ll be post-game fireworks, a special jersey auction and more fun-for-the-Fourth activities. 7:05 p.m. $9-$20. Coolray Field, 2500 Buford Drive, Lawrenceville.

Sparkle in the Park. Lilburn’s annual celebration includes food, kids activities, live music by the GLOW band and a crescendo of fireworks when darkness falls. Main St. will be closed at times, so heck online for location of parking and shuttle bus stops. 5:30 p.m. Free. City Park, 76 Main St., Lilburn.

Star Spangled Snellville. Have fun and give back to the community! Music from Contagious Band and Rhythm Nation Band, vendors, family fun and fireworks after dark. Another cool touch: Blood South Blood Mobile will be on site collecting pints of blood. 4 p.m. Free. Towne Green, 2342 Oak Rd., Snellville.

  >>Things to do in Gwinnett on (and  before) July 4th


Cartersville 4th of July Celebration. Parade steps off at 9 a.m. from Cartersville Baptist Church and proceeds through downtown. At 2 p.m. the party starts in Dellinger Park, concluding with fireworks. 10 a.m. Free (parking: $5 per vehicle). 100 Pine Grove Road, Cartersville.

Pine Mountain Fireworks Watch. Guided hike to the top of Pine Mountain Trail provides a unique look at the fireworks iin nearby Dellinger Park. 8:15 p.m. Pine Mountain Trail - West, Cartersville.

Independence Day Parade & Celebration in Douglasville. Daylong celebration starts with a 10 a.m. parade down Church St., followed by a festival in Hunter Park that concludes with fireworks at dusk. Free. 8830 Gurley Road, Douglasville. 678-715-6094, In a neat touch, nearby Arbor Place Mall, where many people park to view the fireworks, is partnering with two local organizations for a Fourth of July food drive. People are asked to bring canned and nonperishable food items to the mall parking lot where they will be collected by A Gift Of Love Services and Crossroads Church. 

  >>9 family-friendly ways to celebrate July Fourth in metro Atlanta

Peachtree City Celebrates Independence Day. Parade begins at 9 a.m. on Peachtree Parkway South and proceeds north to Huddleston Elementary School. Fourth Fest at City Hall Plaza begins at 5 p.m. and concludes with fireworks display over Lake Peachtree. Free.

Fourth of July Celebration at Yonah Mountain Vineyards. This one’s a little far afield, but it’s a novel way to mark Independence Day. The Cleveland, Ga., winery’s celebration will feature live music,  lawn games, beer on tap by Left Nut Brewery and Young American wine specials to mark the holiday (50% off cases and 30% off bottles). 2 p.m.-5 p.m. Free. 1717 Highway 255 South, Cleveland.706-878-5522,

Looking for more? Listen to our weekly accessAtlanta podcast, which offers more ideas for things to do in and around Atlanta.

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