How to Celebrate Fourth of July in Atlanta With or Without Fireworks

The show must go on.

The Fourth of July -- the day where cookouts end with heads gazing upwards, dogs everywhere hiding under their family’s beds, and Atlanta’s sky being filled with gorgeous colors and sparkling crackles -- is right around the corner. As with almost everything in 2020, COVID-19 is causing us to celebrate Independence Day much differently this year -- so much so, in fact, that staples like Centennial Olympic Park’s Fireworks have been cancelled. However, the city’s spirited approach during these times persists, and there are still plenty of virtual and in-person ways to celebrate this Fourth of July in Atlanta -- with or without fireworks.

Virtual Fourth of July Celebration and Drive-By Parade

Powder Springs
The city of Powder Springs is hosting a hybrid Independence Day celebration that combines virtual presentations with a socially distanced parade led by city officials. At 8am, 12pm, 3pm, and 6pm, the virtual festivities will consist of patriotic videos that feature the mayor, council members, and other city staff. The drive-by parade will start at 10am at the Ford Center and take a 90-minute trip around the city.
Cost: Free

Rock ‘N’ Taco Weekend Music Festival

Gourmet Taqueria Rock ‘N’ Taco is celebrating Independence Day all weekend long by hosting a three-day parking lot festival featuring some of Atlanta’s well-known tribute bands, from Rumours to Departure. The event will take place Friday, July 3, from 5-11pm, Saturday, July 4, from 12-11pm, and Sunday, July 5, from 12-8pm. In addition to the scheduled performances, there will be outdoor booths and tents selling tacos, beer, and liquor.
Cost: $5-$10

Star Spangled Beach Party

Pine Mountain
From Friday, July 3, to Sunday July, 4, Callaway Resort & Gardens is throwing an outdoor extravaganza for the Fourth of July with its new COVID-19 safety regulations in place. In addition to a nightly fireworks display, there will be plenty of beach and garden activities such as small-boat rentals, shore fishing, zip-lining, and bicycle rentals. 
Cost: $34.95

July 4th at the National Archives

The National Archives in the other College Park (in Maryland) is transitioning its 50-year tradition of celebrating America’s Independence Day to an online format. Starting at 11am, the National Archives will share a host of educational and patriotic activities -- from a virtual conversation with Thomas Jefferson to a live-streamed reading of the Declaration of Independence.
Cost: Free

Augmented Reality Fireworks

Most -- if not all -- of the fireworks showcases ITP have been cancelled this year for public health and safety concerns, but Downtown East Point has something special planned for Atlantans nevertheless. The city has partnered with Holopundits, an Ohio-based technology company specializing in mixed and virtual reality, to provide a virtual fireworks celebration. Those who download the TotalAR app (available on the App Store and Google Play) will be able to point their phone towards the sky between 9pm and midnight to enjoy an augmented reality fireworks show.
Cost: Free

Woodstock Fireworks

The Independence Day celebrations in Woodstock have largely been squashed by COVID-19 concerns, but the one activity that will persist is the city’s fireworks show in Woodstock Square. The Freedom Run, parade, and festival have all been cancelled, but city officials credit the viewing area’s social distancing-friendly layout as the reason why the fireworks display can still take place this year. The show begins at dusk.
Cost: Free

Your Space Virtual Race

Bert’s Big Adventure, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sending children with terminal illnesses on all-expenses-paid trips to Disney World, is hosting the Your Space Virtual Race. Participants can choose which distance they would like to run, walk, jog, or bike (1 mile, 5K, or 10K) and complete their race while social distancing. All proceeds from the event will help power Bert’s Big Adventure’s year-round programming, and every race participant will also be entered to win a $500 Visa gift card courtesy of Haagen Dazs.
Cost: $15+

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Josh Robinson is Atlanta-based contributor for Thrillist. Follow him on Instagram @roshjobin.
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