In one of his many letters to his beloved wife Abigail, our second president from 1797 to 1801 John Adams wrote to her of Independence Day on July 3, 1776:
"The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.
"I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.
"You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. -- I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. -- Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not." (Copyright 2003, Massachusetts Historical Society)
Adams' words and his perspective can help rejuvenate us as we prepare to celebrate our 235th Fourth of July with more than parades and picnics and partying—although, as Adams said, all of these outward signs of celebration certainly should be expressed on our Independence Day.
All free—except for any food or merchandise you may buy, here are a sampling of mostly nearby celebrations except for Stone Mountain Park—even though the Taylor Farm Park fireworks display on Pine Valley Road will not be hosted by Paulding County this year due to budget constraints:
1. Hiram on Saturday
Sponsored by the City of Hiram, this year’s fourth-annual Salute to the Stars & Stripes will be held Saturday at on Ga. 92 in Hiram. GLOW, a seven-piece performance dance/show band, will perform. Local food vendors will be selling their goodies, and local non-profit organizations will be providing and fun activities for children.
Hours: 6 to 10 p.m.
2. Hiram on Sunday
This Community Fireworks Show will begin at 6:30 p.m. until dark at
3. 'Let Freedom Ring' in Douglasville on Monday
10 a.m.: Annual Independence Day Parade along the traditional Church Street route from Fairburn Road west to Rose Avenue.
During the parade, Soldier's Angels will host its seventh-annual Christmas for the Troops Booth at the National Guard Armory on Church Street. Donations are sought of individually wrapped toothbrushes, lip balm and travel-size hygiene items to go to the troops in Christmas stockings. Concessions and Soldier's Angels merchandise will be on sale. Also, you can sign a personal greeting for the troops.
Contact: Dianne Moore, 770-949-8352.
11 a.m. - 5 p.m.: SHARE House Festival and Barbecue at Hunter Park on Gurley Road off U.S. 78 with arts and crafts vendors, Douglasville Idol competition, entertainment, children's activities, BBQ and more. GreyStone Power is sponsoring this event as a fundraiser for SHARE (Someone Helping Another through Resources and Education) House, a nonprofit providing crisis intervention and care to those abused by family violence.
Registration fees are $25 to be in the parade and $50 to be a festival vendor.
Contact: Douglasville Welcome Center, 770-947-5920.
Festival volunteers, who are 18 and older, also are needed for the Children's Carnival and to serve food and drinks and paint faces. Shifts are available.
Contact: Janet Kelley, 770-855-3527, email@example.com.
Around 9 p.m.: 4th of July Fireworks will launch from the West Pines Golf Course behind Walmart off Interstate 20 in Douglasville. However, the best viewing location is across Interstate 20 at the Arbor Place Mall parking lot.
Contact: Douglasville Welcome Center, 770-947-5920.
4. Powder Springs on Monday
The 16th-annual Independence Day Celebration will feature entertainment, food, a variety of children's activities and a fireworks show. Atlanta's Greatest Hits, FM 106.7 with Randy and Spiff, also will be taking part.
"Reserve a VIP table or bring your chairs and blankets. Relax. Eat mouth-watering food. Enjoy a free concert. Let the kids play on a variety of interactive inflatable activities. Then get ready for a fabulous patriotic program; and finally, end the day with a phenomenal fireworks show!" says the city's promotional material.
Hours: 4 to 10 p.m.
Where: The Powder Springs Town Square, 4488 Pineview Drive.
Tables: Reserved seating available at $50 for each 60-inch round table. Click for reservation form and instructions.
- 4 p.m.: Scott Thompson – Acoustic set
- 6 p.m.: Music, fun and games
- 6:15 p.m.: The Mustangs
- 7:15 p.m.: More music, fun and games
- 7:45 p.m.: The Mustangs
- 9:15 p.m.: Patriotic program
- 9:30 p.m.: Fireworks
5. Saturday through Monday at Stone Mountain Park
Stone Mountain Park's 44th-annual Fantastic Fourth Celebration will take place Saturday, Sunday and Monday on Memorial Lawn. The Family Value Pass provides access to all of the park’s attractions, a meal ticket and a refillable cup for unlimited Coca-Cola refills that can be used throughout the day. The Family Value Pass is an exclusive online offer with a 30-percent discount and is valid only on the date of your visit.
An evening VIP Lasershow Terrace Snack Package is available only on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy the Lasershow Spectacular in Mountainvision from the comfort and convenience of a terrace seat plus receive a commemorative Glo-necklace. The all-new Lasershow Spectacular in Mountainvision can be seen nightly Saturday through Monday to be followed by a spectacular fireworks display. Stone Mountain Park is the only place in Atlanta to enjoy fireworks all three nights during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Along with all of these nearby events—especially for the fireworks, Stone Mountain Park likewise expects large crowds all three days. Park attractions will open at 10 a.m. on each of the three days, and the Lasershow Spectacular in Mountainvision will start at 9:30 p.m.
Once parking capacity is reached, the park may close the gates early. For safety reasons, no pedestrian traffic will be allowed to enter the park through the main entrance on Highway 78.
Vehicle entry to the park is $10 for a one-day permit or $35 for an annual permit. No free park re-entry will be allowed. Guests who leave the park on Monday and then wish to return will have to pay the $10 park entry fee again.
Contacts: 770-498-5690 or www.stonemountainpark.com for park updates before your visit.