As always, Atlanta will host big celebrations of Independence Day, but sometimes smaller is better. Or maybe you’d just rather stay closer to home. Commemorate Fourth of July with community-based celebrations around metro Atlanta and beyond which offer a local feel with festivities for everyone.
Rodney Peek, a community organizer in Serenbe, a neighborhood located in Chattahoochee Hills, says he “loves seeing new and old neighbors get involved celebrate the holiday. It’s a way to celebrate our country together.”
The following 10 events will mark Independence Day with live performances, parades, food, activities for kids and plenty of red, white and blue fireworks. Events will occur July 4 unless noted otherwise.
Decatur. Head to downtown Decatur to join the Pied Piper Parade where family and friends can ride bikes, walk or skate in this community parade. After, stay for a concert on the square at the community bandstand featuring the Callanwolde Concert Band followed by a 15-20 minute fireworks show. Parade lineup begins at 5:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Decatur, 308 Clairemont Ave., Decatur. Fireworks will begin approximately 9 p.m. visitdecaturgeorgia.com
Peachtree City. The annual parade and fireworks will begin at Village on the Green then travel up Peachtree Parkway and end at Mcintosh Trail Recreation Center. Fireworks will take place over Lake Peachtree. 9 a.m.; fireworks begin at dusk. peachtree-city.org
Arbor Place Mall. This event, aptly called The Big Bang Celebration, will feature food vendors; train rides; live music and entertainment; a kids zone with bounce house, games and face painting; plus giveaways. 5-10:30 p.m. 6700 Douglas Blvd., Douglasville. 770.947.4244, arborplace.com.
Serenbe. For the a small town parade vibe, head to Serenbe which will hosts its 17th annual parade with decorated floats, golf carts, tractors, walking musicians, the city fire truck and more, all running along Selborne Lane from the gravel road at the Wildflower Meadow to Serenbe Stables. The event is approximately a 30-minute drive from Atlanta so visitors can make it a weekend getaway with a stay at the Inn at Serenbe or drive there on the holiday and have breakfast at The Blue Eyed Daisy. Parade begins at 10 a.m. serenbe.com.
Chattanooga, Tennessee. If getting out of town for the Fourth is on your agenda, consider a day or weekend trip since this city is approximately a two-hour drive from Atlanta. Events throughout the holiday weekend will include Pops on the River, a celebration at Coolidge Park featuring outdoor entertainment with popular soul and R&B group Love, Peace & Happiness followed by a patriotic concert by the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera. The finale of the musical evening will be a large fireworks display. Visitors can also cruise around during a sightseeing tour on the Southern Belle Riverboat to see fireworks from the water. Musical performances begin at 5:30 p.m. July 2. Pops on the River, chattanoogapops.com. Boat ride times vary, chattanoogariverboat.com.
Dunwoody. Parade of Stars is the theme for this year’s festivities, organized by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association. The 2.7 mile parade route circles the heart of the suburb and will include a variety of floats, entertainment, music and giveaways from local sponsors including NFA Burger, which will offer candy from a retro car. Parade begins at 9 a.m. dunwoodyga.org.
City of Marietta. Get in the red, white and blue spirit during a local parade, live entertainment, bell ringing, special kids zone, arts and crafts, food stalls and an evening fireworks display at the Let Freedom Ring Parade. Parade begins at 9 a.m. 99 S. Park Square NE, Marietta. mariettaga.gov.
Stone Mountain Park. The Fantastic Fourth Celebration, held from July 1-5, will include live entertainment, fireworks, family attractions, laser light shows with state-of-the-art digital graphics and awe-inspiring effects and more. Various times. 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. 770-498-5690, stonemountainpark.com.
Kennesaw. Salute to America, the annual Independence Day festivities in historic downtown Kennesaw, will feature two stages of live music, street entertainment, food vendors, music, family-friendly activities and fireworks, visible from Depot Park and along Main Street. 6-10 p.m. July 3. kennesaw-ga.gov/salutetoamerica.
Roswell. The annual Fireworks Extravaganza will offer live music, entertainment and food trucks. Guests can bring chairs and blankets to enjoy themselves at one of several fireworks viewing areas. Fireworks will begin at sunset. 6 p.m. Roswell Area Park, 10495 Woodstock Road, Roswell. roswellgov.com.