Atlanta offers a rich variety of recreation all year round, but no time of year puts our city’s wonderful diversity on display more than the 4th of July. Our nation’s independence day is the occasion for a vast array of celebrations, from splashy displays of patriotism to homegrown gatherings where communities share their best with each other.
Whether you’re a longtime local or a newcomer, riding solo or leading a group of visitors from out of town, your only difficulty while celebrating the 4th of July in Atlanta will be plotting your itinerary from one event to the next.
Here are some of the highlights of this year’s 4th of July festivities:
Marietta Square: Fourth in the Park
For classic 4th of July fun, bring the whole family to Marietta Square for an old-fashioned parade, live music, carnival games, and much more.
Mall of Georgia: Fabulous Fourth
This celebration is focused on kid-friendly fun, offering games such as cornhole, water balloon toss and a bounce house. Live bands will keep you grooving until sundown. Make sure to stick around after the fireworks display for an outdoor screening of Hunger Games: Catching Fire on a 70-foot screen.
Peachtree Road Race
If the Founding Fathers’ exploits inspire your own ambitions, you can join the Atlanta Track Club for the largest 10K in the world. While those wishing to run will have applied for entry in March, spectators and encouragers can find a shady spot along the course, which starts at Buckhead shopping district, continues through Midtown and ends at Piedmont Park. Dying to get your hands on this year’s Peachtree Road Race shirt? You can get one by signing up as a volunteer for the race. http://www.atlantatrackclub.org/event-information-volunteer
Class up your 4th of July in Atlanta with a rooftop table at W Atlanta-Buckhead’s Whiskey Blue, where you can enjoy some of the city’s best cocktails and tastes from fine street food vendors accompanied by a live DJ. If your taste slants more toward the lowbrow (and you don’t mind getting up a little early), head over to Dutch Monkey Doughnuts for their annual Independence Day doughnut-eating contest.
Centennial Olympic Park: 4th of July Celebration
Everyone knows there is no better way to wind up a 4th of July celebration than with a spectacular fireworks display, and the show at Centennial Olympic Park is one of The Big Peach’s best. Come early for performances by drummer J-Fly and Season 5 American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, or simply show up, throw down a blanket, and relax back into the grass for the largest fireworks display in the Southeast.
Be Safe While Traveling
Whatever way you choose to spend your 4th of July in Atlanta, be extra sure that you get there and back safely. It’s a grim downside to national holidays that they are notorious for involving more road accidents and fatalities than at other times of the year. The National Safety Council predicts that as many as 409 Americans will be killed while traveling on the road over holidays with another 49,500 likely to be injured.
With all the great ways to celebrate in our city, Atlanta’s roadways are sure to be even more busy than usual, which means that every driver needs to be extra mindful. The importance of staying sober or designating a driver goes without saying; it’s also vital to maintain a festive frame of mind, be patient and keep a cool head while making your way around town.