COVINGTON- One of the joys of small town Georgia is the town square. It’s not just an area where people can shop and eat, but it’s a place where they can come together to celebrate holidays, hear seasonal concerts, and take a breather under the trees during a hectic work day.
Nowhere is the charm of town squares more evident than when it comes time to celebrate the Fourth of July. It summons iconic images of fireworks exploding over historical or community significant buildings, families lazing on blankets while enjoying a picnic, and kids, almost giddy with excitement, anxious for dark, running around in an environment that feels safe and warm.
So, here are a few places where old-fashioned, hometown Independence Day celebrations are happening, and some celebrations stages at larger venues in the metro Atlanta area.
Pre-Fourth of July Events
Thursday, July 2
Madison’s Main Street Summer Happenings in the Park will feature Line Dancing 101, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Thursday, July 2, at 218 W. Jefferson St., Madison For more information, visit http://www.madisonga.com
Friday, July 3
David Prince will appear in concert on Friday, July 3, at the City of Rutledge’s Summer Concert series 8 to 10 p.m.. For more information, visit the city’s web site at www.ruthledgega.us.
Early Independence Day Celebrations
Independence Day Celebration, Social Circle
Social Circle will celebrate Independence Day early, Saturday, June 27, starting with a parade at 5:30 p.m. honoring Vietnam Veterans, featuring the Georgia State Patrol Honor Guard, 116th Army Band of Georgia’s National Guard. A gospel concert in Stephens Park, located at the intersection of Cemetery St. and Fairplay Dr., follows at 6:30 p.m. Special appearance by Charlotte Ritchie. Fireworks begin at dark. For more information is available at the Social Circle’s Main Street web site [http://socialcirclemainstreet.com/2015-independence-day-celebration.htm].
Stars and Stripes Circuit, Conyers
July 2 - 5. The Georgia International Horse Park hosts a Stars and Stripes Circuit, a AQHA/GQHA Sanctioned Quarter Horse Show, at the Charles Walker Arena, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The free seasonal event features Western Dressage, Ranch Horse Riding, Reining, Leveling, NSBA Classes, and multiple derbies and exhibitors. For more informiation, visist the Park’s web site [www.georgiahorsepark.com].
Independence Concert and Fireworks, Madison-Morgan Cultural Center
Celebrate Independence Day on Friday, July 3, with a concert and picnic at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, 424 South Main St., Madison. The event starts at 7:30 p.m. The Athens Classic City Band will perform. Bring picnics, baskets, tables and chairs. Prizes will be awarded for the most patriotic table decorations. Tables are available for rent at $20 each. For more information, call Erin Garrett at (706) 342-4743. Rain location inside the cultural center.
‘Camelot’ Prelude, Lawrenceville Lawn, 210 Luckie St., Lawrenceville
For a different kind of Independence Day celebration, try “Camelot,” performed by the Aurora Theater in Lawrenceville. The performance is free, and will be followed by a fireworks display outside. Lawn seating begins at 5 p.m. for the 7 p.m. performance. Reserve a table of VIP seating for 6, $125 until July 3rd.For more information, visit Aurora Theater’s web site [http://www.auroratheatre.com/on-stage/seasonal-programming/prelude-to-the-4th-camelot/]
Red, White & Boom! Pre-Fourth Celebration, Norcross
Celebrate the Fourth early in Downtown Historic Norcross at Lillian Webb Park, 5 College St. Inflatables for the kids will fill South Peachtree St., minimal fees apply, plus local restaurants and vendors will sell food and libations. Llive music begins in the park at 6 p.m. with Maxwell Taylor, Man of 1,000 Voices, followed by Bruce in the USA at 7 p.m. Fireworks will be set off after dark. For more information, visit www.norcrossga.net.
Saturday, July 4
Annual July 4th Festival, Fanfare, and Fireworks, Porterdale
The City of Porterdale hosts a Fourth of July celebration, beginning at 6 p.m. Downtown businesses will be open as well as the Memorial Gym (location). A DJ will play music in the gymSaturday, July 4, 6 p.m. The fireworks at 9 or 9:30 p.m. Select vendors; our downtown business will be open. Select menus. Gym will be open, dj playing music in the gym; public restrooms
Independence Day in the Park & Music Fest, Downtown Covington
Independence Day in the Park and Music Fest will be held on the square in Downtown Covington, kicking off at 2 p.m. with the Special Olympics Equestrian Team’s Golf Cart Parade. The event features a rock wall, water slide, dunking booth, a cow train, antique car show, and other games and activities for children and adults. Music will be provided throughout the day and evening and features DJ Bounce, Joe Cannon and Kids, MacKibben Music Stuidios, Myles Gary, Derwin Daniels Band, Drive Time and Drew Parker. At 6 p.m. The Newton County Community Band will present a special concert. At 9:43 p.m., the National Anthem will be played, followed by fireworks extravaganza. For more information, visit The Independence in the Park Music Fest web site [www.downtowncovington.org].
Parade and Picnic, Oxford
The City of Oxford and the Oxford Lion’s Club sponsor a parade and entertainment, starting at 10 a.m. at the Old Church on Wesley Street. Monetary prizes reward parade entries in various categories. Lunch can be purchased from concession stands run by the youth groups of Oxford churches. The Lion’s Club provides watermelon and popcorn free.
Henry County Fireworks Extravaganza, Hampton
The Henry County Fireworks Extravaganza will be held from 2 to 10 p.m. at Nash Farm, 100 Babbs Mill Rd., Hampton. Festivities include live music, a car, motorcycle and truck show, a children’s play area, infaltables, zipline, hayrides, festival foods, a Bingo tournament, raffle with cash prizes, craft vcendors, a beer and wine garden. Fireworks begin around 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit the web site [http://visithenrycountygeorgia.com/list/events/events-henry-county-fireworks-extravaganza].
Walton County Freedom Fest/4th of July Celebration, Monroe
Walton County Freedom Fest/4th of July Celebration will be held at Legion Field, 121 Blaine Street, Monroe. A family-oriented community celebration, the event features live music, free food, children’s activities and fireworks, beginning at 5 p.m. Musical performers include The Nick Savage Bang, St. Francis and Louis The Finger, who will appear on the Main Stage; and Meikii and Mile from Meadow, appearing on side stages. A DJ will also be on hand. Hosted by volunteers from churches and other community organizations, the event also receives help from the Walton County Fire Department, which will set off fireworks at dark, and the City of Monroe Police and Walton County Sheriff’s departments, who assist with traffic control. For more information, visit the Monroe Freedom Fest Facebook page [https://www.facebook.com/FreedomFestMonroe?fref=ts].