Have a Blast! The Best Parades and Pyrotechnics To See this Fourth

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From small suburban gatherings on the square to downtown extravaganzas, the big A offers an array of options for how you can fête the Fourth family-style. Read on for great ways to celebrate the birth of our nation that will have your brood exploding with excitement.


Decatur’s July 4th Pied Piper Parade
Join in on the family-friendly, flag-frenzied fun as Decatur’s July 4th Pied Piper Parade winds its way through downtown Decatur. Tots can decorate a wagon, ride their bike, skate, or walk in this event as the City Commissioners lead the parade in a mini-firetruck. Parade line-up is at the First Baptist Church of Decatur and ends at the Community Bandstand on the square with a presentation of colors and the Star Spangled Banner. The fireworks display starts at dark. Parade lineup is at 5:30 pm. Parade starts at 6 pm, Downtown Decatur, Free. All ages. Event details.


Centennial Olympic Park July 4th Celebration
An Atlanta tradition, let the kids cool off in the Fountain of Rings as you await Centennial Olympic Park’s 4th of July Celebration. The finale of the evening is Centennnial Olympic Park’s Fireworks Spectacular, synchronized to a special selection of patriotic and popular music. The crowds are large, so remember that for this event, MARTA really is “smarta.” Thurs., Park gates open at 6 pm and fireworks start at approximately 9:40 pm, Centennial Olympic Park, Free. All ages. Event details.


Lenox Square’s Legendary Fourth
For over half a century, Lenox Square has celebrated stars and stripes in grand tradition. Presented by The Atlantan and Lincoln, this year’s activities will include musical entertainment, food concessions and the largest fireworks display in the Southeast. This year Lenox Square will host its inaugural talent search, ‘Atlanta’s Next Legend’ where the crowned winner will perform in front of crowds filled with family and friends. Fri., 10 am to 10 pm, Lenox Square Mall, Free. All ages. Event details.


Fantastic Fourth Celebration at Stone Mountain
Don’t miss the 46th Annual Fantastic Fourth Celebration! The Atlanta Journal-Constitution readers have voted Stone Mountain Park as the best place in Atlanta to enjoy fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday. Enjoy the Lasershow Spectacular in Mountainvision followed by a special, patriotic fireworks finale on both nights! Included with $10 daily parking permit or $35 annual parking permit. Fri., 9:30 pm., Stone Mountain Park, Free with your $10.00 vehicle fee to enter the Park. All ages. Event details.


July 4th Star Spangled Beach Party at Robin Lake
The kid-friendly celebration begins early and lasts well into the night at Callaway Garden’s annual July 4th Star Spangled Beach Party at Robin Lake Beach. Highlights include beach activities, live music—headlined by the Swingin’ Medallions, the FSU Flying High Circus and their annual Fireworks Extravaganza. Fri., all day, Callaway Gardens, Free with admission. All ages. Event details.


Fourth of July Parade, Festival and Fireworks in Marietta
Marietta’s Independence Day celebration begins with the Marietta Freedom Parade that starts at Roswell Street Baptist Church and ends at North Marietta Parkway. The parade features marching units from the City of Marietta, Air National Guard Band of the South, local civic organizations, beauty pageant queens, scouts and local businesses of all types. After the parade there will be free live concerts and entertainment, museum tours, food, arts and crafts, carnival games, and, of course, fireworks. Fri., 10 am to 9 pm, Marietta Square, Free. All ages. Event details.


July 4th Festivities and Fireworks at Wills Park, Alpharetta
Alpharetta’s Wills Park will play host to lots of kid- and family-friendly activities, followed by a late afternoon concert on the Event Lawn, and fireworks at dusk. On the Event Lawn behind Alpharetta Community Center will be the music stage featuring the Alpharetta City Band, playing uplifting patriotic music beginning at 6:00 PM, and then at 7:00 PM, Serious Business takes the stage, playing classic rock and new country music hits. Food vendors will be on hand to keep tummies full and tired tantrums at bay. Fri., 5 to 10 pm, Wills Park, Free. All ages. Event details.


4th of July All American Fireworks Spectacular at Turner Field
Enjoy an old American pastime this 4th of July.  You and your little sluggers can spend the evening at Turner Field rooting for the Home Team. Watch the Atlanta Braves and the Arizona DiamondBacks battle it out. Make sure to stay after the game for a spectacular fireworks display choreographed to patriotic music. Fri., 7:35 p.m., Turner Field, Ticket prices vary. All ages. Event details.


Where will your family celebrate the Fourth? Tell us below!

–Phebe Wahl

Photos courtesy of Callaway Gardens, Stone Mountain Park via Facebook and Creative Commons via Flickr