What’s Happening And Not Happening This Fourth Of July Weekend In Atlanta

Parades, food, music and fireworks: all the delights of Fourth of July weekend await Atlantans this year — both outdoors and in-person and online and virtual for those who prefer to stay in.

“City Lights” senior producer Kim Drobes joined host Lois Reitzes to talk about fun festivities happening this weekend and how and where to enjoy them.

Many of the long-awaited annual events are returning after last year’s cancellations due to the pandemic.

Two notable exceptions are the annual fireworks displays at Lenox Square and Centennial Olympic Park, but locals can still expect a wide array of options for celebration.

“You know how Atlanta is just made up of a bunch of tiny communities that are kind of woven together, and then we have this magical city in the middle? Each one of these communities is doing something. So the main idea to take away this year is just stay local,” said Drobes.

Two big events for the vaccinated who are ready for crowds: The Marietta Freedom Parade on July 3 and Dunwoody’s Independence Day Parade on July 5. Each of the parades will draw expected crowds of 20,000 to 30,000 participants and spectators.

One fun way to celebrate both the holiday and minority-inclusive local businesses is a festival hosted by Black Wall Street Market near Stonecrest Mall, created by developer Lester Bill Allen. The new market is modeled after Ponce City Market, Krog Street Market and other similar outdoor clusters of shops and vendors.

“His mission is to increase the size and number of minority- and women-owned businesses. So he’s looking for about a total of about a hundred little shopkeepers to eventually take home in the new Black Wall Street Market,” said Drobes.

To support and promote the new venture, BWSM is hosting a festival on July 3 and 4, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., with food, vendors and entertainment.

Tucker Parks and Rec Department is hosting a free Fourth of July pool party from noon to 4 p.m. Live music, hot dogs and contests will regale guests, including a watermelon-eating contest, as well as a cannonball contest to crown the contestant who makes the biggest splash.

For those spending their holiday a little farther outside the metro area, Kennesaw is hosting its Salute to America all-day festival starting at noon on July 3. The city’s Independence Day celebration will include two stages with live music at Depot Park and Main Street, as well as “inflatable amusements,” mechanical rides, face-painting and great picnicking areas.

For folks seeking alternatives to big-crowd, in-person events, the city of Douglasville is hosting a July 4 virtual online Shoebox Parade.

Participants will make parade floats out of shoeboxes, to join in a Facebook-hosted virtual parade.

The city of Decatur is also hosting socially distanced fireworks on the night of the July Fourth, in a spacious area for comfortable and safe group viewing.