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5 things you need to know about the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival

There is no better way to celebrate national ice cream month than at a festival dedicated to ice cream.

Since it was founded in 2010, the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival gives the community a chance to enjoy a much-loved dessert while showcasing how to live a balanced lifestyle.

This year, the festival will take place at Piedmont Park from  11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 23. Entry is free and everyone is welcome to attend the event – even pets (on leashes, of course).

Here are some additional things you should know about the event:

1. More than 300 flavors will be available. After compiling a list of ice cream flavors from all vendors, spokesman Melisa Fox said there will be more than 300 different flavors for attendees to choose from.

2. The event celebrates and rewards gluttony.  There's an ice cream eating contest, friends. The only catch is that your hands must be behind your back. The winner will be chosen by a panel of judges, including chairman of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. Tommy Dortch and Diana Sabater, Food Network’s Chopped ultimate grand champion.

3. The festival celebrates ice cream and health. — The festival chooses a local non-profit health agency every year to raise awareness around their health and wellness plans and initiatives. This year, the Fulton-Dekalb Hospital Authority will have a wellness booth and offer free health screenings all day. It will also have a Grady baby celebration in which the first 500 babies can receive a free t-shirt.

4. The festival’s 2016 health initiative is “fight cancer.” Prior to the official start time of the festival, there will be a fight cancer walk for Leah Dortch, a mother of two fighting both liver and bile duct cancer. Dortch has worked heavily with the festival in the  Registration for the walk begins at 9 a.m. and the walk begins at 10 a.m.

5. There will be a variety of activities for kids and adults. These include: face painting, boom shock fitness, exercise routines, yoga, Chinese exercises from Falun Dafa Association of Atlanta, double Dutch routines, hula hoop competitions, jump rope fun, Frisbee toss and local music performances.

Festival organizers recommend that festival goers arrive early, and walk or take public transportation to the event. Those unable to walk can park at the Piedmont Park parking deck, Atlanta Botanical Gardens, or at Grady High School. 

July 4th Fireworks and Events 2016

Fireworks will light up the sky all over metro Atlanta on July 4th. Cities and towns, parks, malls and other venues usually do more than set off rockets, sparklers and firecrackers, though. Many also host live music, games and other activities to help you party the day and evening away.

Here’s your guide to some of the best shows and events in town, with something for everybody - and something near everybody. Most are free.  

Read carefully, some events are July 2nd or 3rd.

 

 

City of Atlanta:

4th of July at Centennial Olympic Park. Gates open 6 p.m. July 4th. Fireworks begin around 9:40 p.m. Free. Live music. Centennial Olympic Park 265 Park Ave. W., Atlanta. www.centennialpark.com.

The finale of the evening is Centennial Olympic Park’s Fireworks Spectacular, Atlanta’s largest fireworks display synchronized to a special selection of patriotic and popular music.

For a full list of items prohibited at the park visit www.centennialpark.com

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race: The 6.2 mile event kicks off the holiday with 60,000 runners making their way down Peachtree Street. Even if you don't have a race number, it's worth checking out. Event starts at 6:43 am on July 4th.

Lenox Square 4th of July.  Musical entertainment, food concessions, and fireworks show. July 4th. Fireworks at 9:40 p.m. Free. 3393 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta.  www.simon.com/mall/lenox-square

Red White & Brew. July 2nd. Celebrate the 4th early with unlimited beer, food, and live music while enjoying scenic views of beluga whales, manta rays and whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium. 7-11 p.m. $65 ($50 for members), 21 and older only.  225 Baker St., Atlanta. 404-581-4000. www.georgiaaquarium.org.

Funbelievable Fourth. July 4th. The Georgia Aquarium’s family-friendly celebration with food, festivities, music, and of course, views of over 500 aquatic species. Enjoy a spectacular view of the Centennial Olympic Park firework show from the Aquarium’s rooftop. 7-10 p.m. $25 for adults / $20 for children ($22.75 / $18.20 for members). 225 Baker St., Atlanta. 404-581-4000. www.georgiaaquarium.org

 

 

Around the area:

Acworth's 4th of July concert and fireworks

Alpharetta’s July 4th Fireworks and Festivities

  • July 4th. Celebrate Independence Day with family and friends at Wills Park. Festivities begin at 6 p.m., behind the Alpharetta Community Center. Fireworks begin at dusk. Wills Park 1825 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta, 678-297-6130, www.alpharetta.ga.us

Athens - Independence Day Celebration

  • July 1st. Enjoy free music and festivities in the streets of downtown Athens, starting at 5 p.m. Fireworks begin at dusk.

Auburn July 4th Festival & Fireworks

  • July 2nd. 5 to 11 p.m. Family fun, food, games, music, and activities. Fireworks on July 4th. 1369 Fourth Ave., Auburn. www.cityofauburn-ga.org.

Austell - Six Flags Over Georgia

  • Thrilling rides and attractions, fun games and fireworks show. Guests who arrive 7/3-7/5 with a Coca-Cola can, can get in an hour early. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. on all three nights. www.sixflags.com/overgeorgia

Braselton- 4th of July Festival/Parade

Buford- Mall of Georgia 14th Annual Star Spangled Fourth

  • July 4th. Event opens at 5 p.m. Free concerts begin at 5 p.m. in the Village Amphitheatre. Fireworks display scheduled to begin at dusk. Post-fireworks screening of Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (rated PG-13). www.simon.com/mall/mall-of-georgia

Calhoun-Northwest Georgia Fairgrounds

Canton

  • July 4th. Parade through downtown begins at 6 p.m. Fireworks show will be held at Riverstone with music and dancing. Fireworks begin at dusk. Location: Riverstone Boulevard, Canton, GA 30114, USA www.canton-georgia.com

Cartersville

  • July 4th. Fireworks Watch Hike. 8:15 PM - 10:00 PM @ Pine Mountain Recreation Area (West Trailhead).

Clayton County

  • July 2nd-4th. Enjoy live entertainment and fireworks at international park “The Beach.” Firework Show starts at dusk. $10 per person. 770-477-3766. www.claytonparks.com

Chamblee

  • July 4th. 5:00PM: Bike parade from Chamblee Middle School to the Keswick Park soccer field. Festivities and live music. Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. www.chambleega.com

Covington

  • July 4th. Main Street Covington Independence on the Square. Festivities begin at 2 p.m. 770-385-2077. Fireworks begin at dusk.

Cumming

  • July 3rd Celebration at Cumming Fairgrounds, 6-11 p.m. Free admission and parking. Fireworks start at 9:30 PM. July 4th Steam Engine Parade at 10:00 AM.  www.cummingfair.net

Dahlonega

  • July 4th. Begins with the annual Firecracker 5/10k at 7 a.m. Live music and festivities up until fireworks begin at dark. Downtown Dahlonega & UNG Drill Field. Free. (706) 864-3711.  www.dahlonega4thofjuly.com

Dalton

  • July 4th. Festivities begin at 2:00 p.m. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. at Heritage Point Park. 1275 Cross Plains Trail, Dalton, Georgia. Free. Pool and splash pad open on July 4th from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. with $2 admission.  mydprd.com

Decatur

  • July 4th. Pied Piper Parade. Decorate your wagon, ride your bike, skate or walk in this parade, line up begins at 5:30 p.m. Parade begins at 6 p.m. and ends at the Community Bandstand on the square, with a concert by the Callanwolde Concert Band at 7 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. Free. 404-371-8386.

Douglasville

  • July 4th. “Living in America” Parade begins at 10:00 a.m. Fireworks at dusk. Free. 6695 Church Street Douglassville, GA 30134 (678) 449-3124.

Duluth Celebrates America

  • July 3rd. Music, food and festivities on Duluth Town Green. 6-11 p.m. Fireworks show at 10 p.m. (770) 476-3434. www.duluthga.net

East Point Hometown Celebration

  • June 30th-July 4th. Carnival at the East Point Commons across from East Point MARTA station. 3-11 p.m. Bring blankets and chairs and enjoy art, food, and live music. Fireworks on July 4th at 9:30. 404-270-7059, www.downtowneastpoint.com.

Ellijay

  • July 2nd. Star Spangled Beach Party. Live music 3-9 p.m. Parade assembly 4 p.m. Parade starts at 6 p.m. $25 float entry fee. 

Gwinnett County - Gwinnett Braves vs. Norfolk Tides

  • July 4th. Fireworks extravaganza immediately after game. Game begins at 7:05 p.m.  gwinnettbraves.com

Griffin

  • July 4th. Independence Day Celebration - Parade at 10 a.m. on Taylor Street. Fireworks at dusk. Festivities will take place at the Kiwanis Fairground prior to fireworks at 1025 S Hill St. Griffin, GA 30224. www.cityofgriffin.com

Hampton

  • July 1st. Friday Night Drags and Fireworks at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Show starts at 9-10 p.m. $20 to drag race. $8 general admission. 1500 N. U.S. 41, Hampton. 770-946-4211 www.atlantamotorspeedway.com

Hall County - Fireworks at Laurel Park

  • July 2nd. Gates open at 9 AM. Sports facilities, playground, sprayground and dog park are open to the public. Fireworks begin at 8 p.m. $5 per car.  American Legion Fireworks Display - 3100 Old Cleveland Highway, Gainesville.

Heard County

  • July 2nd. GMC SummerFEST. Food, festivities, music and fireworks on the Chattahoochee. 5 – 11:30 p.m. Fireworks begin at dusk. Court Square, downtown Franklin. Free. (706) 675-0560  www.heardchamber.com

Helen

  • July 4th. Fireworks start around dusk behind the Alpine Village Shoppes and Helen Welcome Center. (706) 878-2181. 8016 S. Main St. Helen, GA 30545

Henry County Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza

  • July 3rd. Festivities begin at 4 p.m, including a car show, 5k run, cornhole tournament, and children's area with inflatables. Fireworks at dusk. Richard Craig Park in McDonough, 125 S. Zack Hinton Blvd. (678) 432-4399  www.hcfireworks.com

Kennesaw’s Salute to America

  • July 3rd. Free admission. Concert starts at 6 p.m., fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Downtown Kennesaw. www.kennesawjuly3.com.

Lake Lanier

  • July 1st to 3rd at LanierWorld. July 1: Concerts from 3-11 p.m. July 2: Live music all day, fireworks at 10 p.m. July 3: DJ from 2-6 p.m. Fireworks at 10 p.m. 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford Ga. (770) 945-8787. www.discoverlakelanier.com

Lawrenceville

  • July 3rd. Prelude to the Fourth - Lawrenceville’s renowned Aurora Theatre will perform a Broadway Musical with a full orchestra, followed by a dazzling fireworks display! 7:30-10 p.m. 210 Luckie Street, Lawrenceville, 30046. (678) 226-2639  

Lilburn

  • July 4th. Sparkle in the Park. Music, food and fireworks. 5:30-10 p.m. At 7:30 GLOW will have a family-friendly concert.  Bring a lawn chair or blanket, coolers are allowed. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. Lilburn City Park, 76 Main St., Lilburn. www.cityoflilburn.com

Marietta

  • July 4th. Fourth in the Park. Day-long celebration. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Parade, free live concerts, museum tours, arts and crafts show, food, carnival games, and fireworks finale. Fireworks when dark. Glover Park on the Marietta Square www.mariettaga.gov

Monroe

  • July 4th. Freedom Fest. Festivities begin at 6 p.m., concert at 7 p.m. Athens Tech Campus, 121 Blaine Street. Free. Fireworks at dark. (404) 992-5050  monroedowntown.com

Newnan Rotary Club’s Independence Day

  • July 4th. Parade at 9 a.m. Newnan Rotary Club Fireworks celebration @ Drake Stadium. Free. Gates open at 5:30 festivities begin at 6 p.m. Fireworks begin at dusk. www.mainstreetnewnan.com

Norcross

  • July 3rd. Red, White & BOOM! 5-10 p.m. block party. Inflatables and vendors. Fireworks at dusk. Free. Lillian Webb Park, 5 College St., Norcross. 678-421-2000. aplacetoimagine.com

Peachtree City

  • July 4th. The parade begins at 9 a.m. on Peachtree Parkway at Braelinn Golf Course. Fireworks at Drake Field start at dusk. 151 Willowbend Rd. www.peachtree-city.org

Roswell's Annual July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza

  • July 4th. Starts at 5:30 p.m. Carnival games, food and fun. Live music starts at 6 p.m. Sweet Apple Elementary School - 12025 Etris Road. Fireworks begin at dark. BBQ & Bluegrass 11 a.m to 5 p.m. on the Barrington Hall Grounds 535 Barrington Dr. www.roswellgov.com

Sandy Springs Fireworks Display

  • July 3rd. Parade 9 a.m Mount Vernon Rd Fireworks. Live music starts at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks at 9:45 p.m. Viewing will be at Concourse Corporate Center Lawn: Five Concourse Parkway. Local residents are encouraged to pack a snack.  www.sandyspringsga.org

Snellville

  • Star Spangled Snellville. Independence Day Celebration on the Towne Green. July 4th starting at 4 pm. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. www.snellvillepride.com/

Stone Mountain

  • Fantastic Fourth Celebration at Stone Mountain Park. Enjoy the Lasershow Spectacular, followed by fireworks July 1-4 on the lawn. Attraction hours 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Laser show & Fireworks: 9:30 p.m. $15 daily parking pass or $40 for annual parking permit. U.S. 78 E., Stone Mountain. www.stonemountainpark.com

Sugar Hill

Tallapoosa

  • Fireworks will be at Helton Howland Memorial Park the night of July 2nd. On July 4th, the parade will begin at 1 p.m. in downtown Tallapoosa. 678.416.1401.

Villa Rica Fireworks Extravaganza

  • July 3rd. 5:00-10:00 p.m. The Villa Rica Sports Complex, 1605 Highway 61, Villa Rica. 678-840-1430.  www.villaricaparks.com

Woodstock’s Festival in the Park

  • July 4th. Freedom Run at 7:15 a.m. Parade at 10 a.m starts at Woodstock Elementary School on Rope Mill Road. Events after parade go until 3 p.m., at City Center. Fireworks at dusk behind the Target shopping center at Hwy 92 and I-575. www.woodstockga.gov.

Elton John, Drake, Van Halen and Sam Smith lead Music Midtown lineup

2015 MUSIC MIDTOWN LINEUP

Elton John

Drake

Van Halen

Sam Smith

Lenny Kravitz

Hozier

Billy Idol

Panic at the Disco

Run the Jewels

Jenny Lewis

Tove Lo

August Alsina

Icona Pop

The Airborne Toxic Event

Kodaline

Catfish and the Bottlemen

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

Elle King

New Politics

X Ambassadors

Jamie N Commons

Colony House

Rozzi Crane

Alessia Cara

Elliot Moss

EVENT PREVIEW

Music Midtown

Sept. 18-19. $136 (early bird two-day general admission); $156 (regular two-day general admission); $600 (VIP); $1,200 (Super VIP). On sale 10 a.m. June 27 through all Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com, www.livenation.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Piedmont Park, 1342 Worchester Drive N.E., Atlanta.

Elton John has played every size venue in Atlanta, from the Civic Center to the Roxy to the Georgia Dome.

But his headlining gig during this fall’s Music Midtown marks the first time the occasional Atlanta resident will perform in Piedmont Park.

“There’s a lot of panache there,” said Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta, in his Buckhead office last week.

John, who most recently played Atlanta in November 2013, will zip through the city on his way from London to Brazil, where he’s slated to play the Rock in Rio festival.

John is among a diverse quartet of headliners for the fifth year of Music Midtown, which takes place Sept. 18-19 in Piedmont Park, its home since returning in 2011.

Smoothie Canadian rapper Drake — who made a surprise appearance at last weekend’s Hot 107.9 birthday concert at Philips Arena — will also commandeer a headlining slot, as will veteran rockers Van Halen and British crooner Sam Smith.

The rest of the lineup is a robust parade of mainstream heritage acts, well-regarded current hitmakers and a smattering of upstarts: Lenny Kravitz, Hozier, Billy Idol, Panic at the Disco, Run the Jewels, Jenny Lewis, Tove Lo, August Alsina, Icona Pop, the Airborne Toxic Event, Kodaline, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Elle King, New Politics, X Ambassadors, Jamie N Commons, Colony House, Rozzi Crane, Alessia Cara and Elliot Moss.

A handful of additional acts will be announced closer to the event.

“That’s the purpose of a festival — we draw you in,” Conlon said. “Whatever demographic you are, there might be two or three people you think are worth the value, but then you’re excited about being exposed to these other acts. Someone could be a huge Elton fan, but has always wanted to see Hozier or is curious about Sam Smith.”

Like last year, only two-day admission tickets will be sold for Music Midtown.

Early bird general admission tickets are $136. The price then increases to $156. VIP tickets are $600 and Super VIP costs $1,200.

“Based on the level of talent for two days, I think it’s the most affordable festival in the country,” Conlon said.

All tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday through Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com, www.livenation.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

The major upgrade this year is the addition of a fourth stage, which Conlon said will be located at the Active Oval, almost lateral to the stage at Oak Hill.

About 75,000 people attended last year’s Music Midtown each day, which featured headliners John Mayer and Jack White and Zac Brown Band and Eminem and often resulted in a congested walkway between the largest stage in the Meadow and Oak Hill.

“We got high marks on the surveys we did after the fact (last year) on the experience, but people said they would like it to flow better, so we’re trying to spread things out,” Conlon said.

The three stages that have been part of Music Midtown since 2013 will remain in the same spots, but the Oak Hill stage will accommodate smaller acts while the new stage at the Active Oval, as well as in the Meadow, will host headliners.

Conlon said since the extra stage equates to more performers, his talent budget increased from $6 million last year to $8 million this year.

The investment seems to have a far-reaching economic effect on the city.

According to a study commissioned by Live Nation from the Research Center in Nashville, Tenn., the total impact on the Atlanta-area economy from the 2014 installment of Music Midtown was more than $49 million.

The study noted that Music Midtown donated $100,000 to the Piedmont Park Conservancy to go toward the maintenance of the park and also provided a $400,000 rental donation to the city of Atlanta, which has historically funded the Centers of Hope.

The overwhelming majority of tickets — 63.25 percent — were sold in Georgia, with 2.87 percent coming from the Northeast, 2.80 percent from the Midwest, 1.73 percent from the West and 29.25 percent from the rest of the South.

“It’s growing nationally,” Conlon said of the event. “We’re an urban festival and there aren’t that many of them. I like having music in an urban environment, and the artists love being on stage and seeing the skyline.”

Atlanta Area July 4th Fireworks

Fireworks will light up the sky all over metro Atlanta on July 4th!  Below is your guide to some of the best shows and events around town, with something for everybody - and something near everybody. Most are free.

City of Atlanta:

4th of July at Centennial Olympic Park: Gates open at 6pm. July 4. Fireworks are scheduled to begin at 9pm. Free. Centennial Olympic Park, 265 Park Ave. NW, Atlanta, GA 30313. www.centennialpark.com.

Channel 2’s “Georgia Salutes America” program and fireworks from Centennial Olympic Park will air on WSB-TV.

There will be live music at the event, artist names to be released soon, and the finale of the evening is Centennial Olympic Park’s Fireworks Spectacular, fireworks synchronized to patriotic music.

A list of prohibited items in the park can be found on the Centennial website: www.centennialpark.com.

Atlanta Journal Constitution Peachtree Road Race: One of the premier Fourth of July traditions, this 6.2 mile race kicks off Independence Day celebrations with about 60,000 people running and walking through the streets. Even if you don’t have a race number, be one of the 150,000 spectators cheering on the participants from the sidelines. http://www.ajc.com/s/peachtree/#race-info

Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies: Cheer on the Braves at Turner Field and then stay after for a firework celebration of Independence Day choreographed to patriotic music. 7:10. July 4th. Turner Field, 755 Hank Aaron Dr Atlanta, GA 30302. 800-745-3000, www.braves.com.

Georgia Aquarium’s Red, White & Brew: Celebrate Fourth of July with dinner, drinks and a view of Centennial Olympic Park’s firework show atop the Georgia Aquarium’s roof. 7-10 pm, fireworks starting at approximately 9:40pm. $55 ($45 for members), 21 and older only. 225 Baker Street NW, Atlanta GA 30313. 404-581-4000. www.georgiaaquarium.org.

Lenox Square 4th of July: Shops & Restaurants open 10am-6pm. Musical Entertainment starts at 6pm. Fireworks scheduled to being at 9:40pm. July 4th. Free. 3393 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30326. 404-233-6767. http://www.simon.com/mall/lenox-square.

Whiskey Blue Fourth of July Extravaganza: Celebrate the fourth on the rooftop of the W Atlanta- Buckhead. Enjoy Whiskey Blue’s signature cocktails, gourmet bites, sounds of Dj Rimby and take in the Southeast’s largest fireworks display at Lenox Square. Tickets start at $25. July 4. W Atlanta Buckhead, 3377 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta GA 30326, www.whiskeyblue.xorbia.com.

Other Area Events: 

Acworth’s Fourth of July Celebration: Live music starts at 4pm. Concerts begin at 5:30pm. Fireworks at dusk (9:30pm). Free. http://www.acworth.com/fourth-of-july-celebration/.

Allatoona Yacht Club Fireworks Celebration: July 3rd at sunset. Boat access only in front of the Altoona Yacht clu, with fireworks visible from many coves adjacent to area. Free. Allatoona Yacht Club, 176 Websters Overlook Dr SE, Cartersville, GA 30121.

Alpharetta’s July 4th Festivities and Fireworks: Celebrate independence Day with family and friends at Wills Park. Free. Entertainment and children’s activities begin at 6pm, behind the Alpharetta Community Center. Fireworks begin at dusk. Wills Park, 1825 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta, 678-297-6130, www.alpharetta.ga.us.

Athens Independence Day Celebration: July 4. 4-10pm, an evening of festivities with fireworks beginning at dusk at the Georgia Square Mall.

Auburn July 4 Festivities and Fireworks: 5-11pm. July 4. Downtown Auburn, 1369 4th Ave Auburn, Ga 30011, cityofauburn-ga.org.

Austell- Six Flags Over Georgia Coca-Cola July 4th Fest: July 3-5. Thrilling rides and attractions, fun games and a fireworks show. Guests, who arrive with a Coca-Cola can, will be admitted to the park an hour early. Fireworks begin at 9:30pm on all three nights.

Braselton Fourth of July Festival, Parade & 5K: Star Spangled 4th of July 5/ Fun Run at 8am (walk begins at 8:15am. Celebration continues with a Festival from 4-9pm, Parade at 6pm, and Fireworks at Dusk. Braselton Park – www.braselton.net.

Buford - Lake Lanier- Lanier World, July 3rd, 4th, and 5th from 3-7pm. Enjoy the day with rides, slides, and live entertainment. Fireworks will begin after dark at Sunset Cove. 7000 Lanier Islands Pkwy, Buford GA 30518, www.lanierislands.com.

Buford- Mall of Georgia’s 13th annual Star Spangled Fourth: Kids zone opens at 5pm July 4 for games, free concerts in the Village Amphitheater also begin at 5pm. Fireworks begin at dusk (approximately 9:35pm). Post- fireworks screening of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1” (rated PG-13). Free.  Mall of Georgia, 3333 Buford Dr, Buford GA, 678-482-8788, www.mallofgeorgia.com.

Canton Fireworks and Festival- 4-7pm July 4 live music, followed by a parade from 7-8pm. Fireworks at dusk behind Riverstone. Riverstone Blv, Canton GA 30114. www.localendar.com.

Cartersville- Stars, Stripes & Cartersville Fourth of July Celebration- July 4. Parade at 9am on Main Street. Concert from 8-9:30pm followed by fireworks at Dellinger Park. $2 per car parking fee. 100 Pine Grove Rd, Cartersville GA 30120, http://www.visitcartersvillega.org.

Clayton County, 4th of July at the Beach- July 4, Event from 10am-7pm. Fireworks following at dusk. Admission is $9 for children, $11 for adults. The Beach at International Park, 2300 Highway 138, Jonesboro GA 30236, www.claytonparks.com.

Chamblee Fourth of July Celebration- 5-10pm, July 4. Free. Keswick Park, 3496 Keswick Dr, Chamblee GA 30341, 770-986-5016, www.chambleega.com.

Covington- Independence in the Park, 6pm July 4. Downtown Covington Square, 770-385-2077, www.downtownconvington.org.

Cumming’s July Fourth Celebration- Fireworks July 3rd at 9:30pm at the Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Road, Cumming GA 30040. Steam Engine Parade July 4th at 10:00 a.m. - downtown square. www.cummingfair.net.

Dahlonega- July 4. Independence Day Parade through historic square at 5pm, ending at drill field of University of North Georgia where fireworks show will be held at dusk. www.dahlonega.org.

Dalton- no information at this time

Decatur’s July 4th Pied piper Parade- decorate your wagon, ride your bike, skate or walk in this event. Begins at 6pm and ends at Community bandstand where a concert starts at 7pm. Fireworks begin at dark (approximately 9pm). Free. 404-371-8386, www.visitdecaturgeorgia.com.

Douglasville- July 4th Celebration -July 4th. Parade begins at 10:00 a.m. Fireworks will start at dusk. Fireworks can be viewed from Arbor Place mall front parking lot. http://douglasvillecalendar.com/.

Duluth Celebrates America- July 3rd Celebration, Duluth Town Green, 6-9pm, www.duluth-ga.com.

East Point Hometown Celebration- July 4, 3-11pm Carnival, fireworks at 9:30pm. 2757 Main Street, East Point GA 30344 across from East Point MARTA station. 404-270-7059, www.downtowneastpoint.com.

Ellijay, 4th of July Star Spangled Beach Party- Celebration on July 4. Parade at 6pm, fireworks at dusk. http://www.gilmerchamber.com/4th-of-july-star-spangled-beach-party-in-downtown-ellijay/.

Flowery Branch- Sterling on the Lake- July 5 celebration, 4pm with food, drinks and a live 80s band. Fireworks display at dusk. $20 per car for non-residents. 7005 Lake Sterling Blvd, (770) 965-3980, www.sterlingonthelake.com.

Gwinnett County- Gwinnett Braves v Charlotte Knights- Saturday July 4. Fireworks extravaganza immediately after game. www.gwinnettbraves.com.

Hampton- Friday Night Drags & Show-n-Shine Fireworks Night at AMS- Event from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Atlanta Motor Speedway, 1500 N. U.S. 41, Hampton. 770-946-4211, www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.

Heard County- A Chattahoochee Independence Day Celebration- July 4, 5pm- 12am. Food, Fun, Music, and fireworks at dusk. Court Square, Franklin GA. www.heardchamber.com.

Helen-Fireworks planned for Friday July 4th 9:30 p.m., behind the Alpine Village Shoppes. www.helenga.org

Henry County Fireworks Extravaganza- festivities begin at 2pm with live music, car shows, raffles, food, and more. Fireworks display after dark at 9:30pm. 100 Babbs Mill Rd, Hampton GA, 678-432-4399, www.hcfireworks.com.

Kennesaw’s pre-Independence Day Salute to America- July 3rd, concert at 6pm, fireworks at 9:30pm. Free. Downtown Kennesaw, 2828 Cherokee St, Kennesaw GA 30144. 770-422-9714, www.kennesaw.com.

Lawrenceville- Prelude to the Fourth- July 3rd, 7-10pm. Lawrenceville’s renowned Aurora Theatre will perform a Broadway Musical, followed by a dazzling fireworks display after dark. 210 Luckie St, Lawrenceville Ga 30046, www.lawrencevillega.org.

Lilburn-Sparkle in the Park- City park will be lit up with fireworks and have live music, GLOW the Show band. 5:30-10pm, July 4. 76 Main St, Lilburn Ga 30047, www.cityoflilburn.com.

Marietta- Fourth in the Park- Day-long celebration, July 4th 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Glover Park on the Marietta Square, www.mariettaga.gov.

Monroe- Freedom Fest- July 4th. Event begins at 5:00 p.m. at Athens Tech Campus, 121 Blaine Street. Fireworks after dark. www.monroedowntown.com.

Newnan- Fourth of July Parade and Rotary Celebration- 4th of July parade at 9am at Main Street. Fireworks celebration- Drake Stadium, gates open at 5:30. www.ci.newnan.ga.us.

Norcross- Red, White & Boom! Pre-Fourth Celebration- 3p.m. block party. Live music at 6 p.m. Fireworks at dusk. July 3rd. Free. Lillian Webb Park, 5 College St., Norcross GA 30071. 678-421-2000, www.norcrossga.net.  

Peachtree City- July 4th Parade, begins at 9am on Peachtree Parkway at Braelinn Golf Course. 4th Fest 5 pm- 9 pm at City Hall Plaza. Fireworks 9 pm-10pm Drake Field. www.peachtree-city.org.

Roswell- Fourth in the Park Celebration- 10am Freedom Parade, followed by a festival in Marietta Square (10am-9pm). Fireworks after dark. Free. Marietta Square, 4 Depot St Ne, Marietta GA 30060. www.roswellgov.com.

Sandy Springs- Independence Day Parade & Fireworks Display- Parade on July 4, 9am. Fireworks on July 5, festivities begin at 7:30 p.m. with the fireworks beginning at 9:45 p.m. The spectator area is located at the Concourse Corporate Center Lawn. www.sandyspringsga.gov.

Snellville- Star-Spangled Snellville- Independence Day Celebration on the Towne Green. July 4th starting at 3 pm. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. www.snellvillepride.com.

Stone Mountain- Fantastic Fourth Celebration- Enjoy the Lasershow Spectacular, followed by a fireworks July 3-5 on the lawn. Begins at dusk. $10 daily parking pass or $35 for annual parking permit, U.S. 78 E., Stone Mountain. www.stonemountainpark.com.

Sugar Hill- Sparks in the Park- July 3, music performances beginning at 6pm. Fireworks starting at 9pm. E.E. Robinson Park. www.cityofsurgarhill.com.

Tallapoosa- Fourth of July Celebration- Parade downtown starting at Veterans Memorial Park. Food entertainment and fireworks at Helton Howland Park.  www.visitharalson.org.

Villa Rica Fireworks Extravaganza- July 3, 5pm, Free. The Villa Rica Civic Center and Sports Complex, 1605 Highway 61, Villa Rica GA 30180. www.villaricaparks.com

Woodstock’s Stars and Strikes July 4th Spectacular- 7:30 am Freedom Run. Parade at 10am starting at Woodstock Elementary School. Festival at 3pm in the Park at City Center. Fireworks after dusk behind the Target shopping center (HWY 92 and I-575). www.woodstockga.gov.

TomorrowWorld EDM festival brings nearly $100M to Georgia

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Among the parade of generic office parks lining Fulton Industrial Boulevard in Atlanta resides a unit stocked with contents that are anything but ordinary.

Painted fiberglass mushrooms the size of a Mazda lean against the floor. Candy cane-striped poles are tucked tightly together as if sharing bunk beds. Triple stacks of green and yellow picnic tables look like flattened turtles.

If Disney World and Home Depot mated, the result would look something like the innards of this 50,000-plus-square-foot warehouse housing a chunk of the decorations and supplies for TomorrowWorld.

The massive electronic dance music festival, which has boasted an annual parade of 300 DJs/producers including David Guetta, Afrojack and Steve Aoki, will be back in Georgia's Chattahoochee Hills Sept. 25-27 and is expected to bring another windfall of spending in the state.

Last year’s TomorrowWorld spurred $93.9 million in economic activity across Georgia, including $71.8 million in the Atlanta area, during the three-day event, according to a study paid for by the event’s producers.

The 2014 numbers represent an increase from the 2013 festival, which generated economic impact calculated at $85.1 million for Georgia, with $70 million of it in Atlanta and neighboring areas, according to an earlier study.

The average TomorrowWorld visitor stayed 3.5 days in the Atlanta area, indicating that attendees from all 50 states, as well as Canada, Mexico and Europe, are viewing the festival — a 21-and-older gathering — as a travel destination.

TomorrowWorld producers commissioned the economic impact report from Virginia-based research firm ICF International.

In 2013, the inaugural year that TomorrowWorld branched off from its parent festival in Belgium, TomorrowLand, which celebrates its 11th year in July, and staked out the 8,000 acres of farmland in south Fulton County, about 120,000 fans attended over the three-day period.

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That fell short of the projected goal of 50,000 per day. But last year, the number bounced to 160,000 attendees for the duration of the festival, according to the report.

For 2015, organizers are optimistic about a 20 percent increase.

“We really want to become the pillar in the state of Georgia,” said Jamie Reilly, project director for TomorrowWorld and a decadelong veteran of Cirque du Soleil, while in the storage warehouse. “TomorrowWorld is not just a festival, it’s an experience and that’s what makes it so unique. We put the emphasis on the experience from the moment (attendees) buy a ticket to how they receive the ticket to how they camp with us.”

The land at Chattahoochee Hills — which TomorrowWorld has contracted for eight more years — can accommodate up to 200,000. But while a sell-out would be celebrated, producers are cautious about the growth rate.

“We want to ensure that we don’t compromise the fan experience due to the quantity of the people at the venue,” Reilly said.

This year’s festival, which will operate under the theme of “The Key to Happiness,” will feature more than 300 marquee names including Guetta, Tiësto, Steve Angello, Martin Garrix, Afrojack, Hardwell, Armin van Buuren, Adventure Club and Ferry Corsten.

TomorrowWorld will grow to nine stages in 2015 — an increase of one — including a live music stage. Last year’s popular “Atlanta Stage,” which spotlighted local acts, will return.

In a continued effort to infuse TomorrowWorld with local flavor to differentiate it from its counterparts in Belgium and the newest version of the festival in Brazil — which took place in May — organizers will hold a vendor fair as well as a job fair.

“TomorrowWorld is part of the TomorrowLand brand, and we now have three festivals yearly,” Reilly said. “But each has a unique taste to them, a unique lineup and differences and intricacies.”

Here are some other statistics from the economic growth report:

Peachtree Sports Festival

The Peachtree Sports Festival presented by Allstate and Firestone will debut in Atlanta at the Cobb Galleria Centre on Saturday, April 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This family-friendly event focuses on exposing kids of all ages to a variety of sports with a full day of Youth Sports Clinics hosted by professional instructors. The festival features a speaker series where attendees will hear from influential figures in pro sports and collegiate athletics from the Southeastern region.

The clinics will highlight 13 sports: archery, baseball, basketball, fishing, football, gymnastics, lacrosse, martial arts, running, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.

Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Children under 6 are admitted free.

A portion of ticket sales will benefit Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta. Families who pre-register for clinics online will receive a free 4-pack admission pass.

SPEAKER SERIES:

  • 9 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.: David Greene, former UGA quarterback and SEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2002
  • 10 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.: Greg McMichael, former Atlanta Braves reliever and member of 1995 World Series championship team
  • 11 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.: D.J. Shockley, former UGA and Atlanta Falcons quarterback, MVP of 2005 SEC Championship
  • 1 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.: Brian Bosworth, 2-time All-American linebacker from the University of Oklahoma
  • 2 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.: Bobby Cremins, former head basketball coach of Georgia Tech
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