How do you normally spend the Fourth of July?
Being a Native Atlantan, I have celebrated the Fourth at almost every major fireworks extravaganza in the city at one time or another.
As a very young child we would watch the fireworks at Lenox Mall and I believe also at Perimeter Mall. I do not remember much about these celebrations as we moved from there shortly before my 7th birthday. I do remember the noise bothering me one year and I am pretty sure I screamed my head off that year. Luckily for my younger siblings, my parents were patient with me and continued to take us to fireworks displays even when my younger siblings were born.
In my family growing up, going to see the fireworks at Stone Mountain was a tradition as a child. This is before there was even a nightly Laser Show. We would trek out for the fireworks. Instead of actually going into the park with the younger children who would be frightened by the noise, we parked a few miles away. When the Laser Show started, the fireworks and Fourth of July celebration was awesome! There would be the 45 minute Laser Show and then a 15 – 20 minute firework show. Before the Laser Show, we would take a picnic dinner to have on the lawn. It turned into a day long celebration that is very hard to beat.
When I lived in Rome, Georgia, there were fireworks on the levy with the Rome City Orchestra playing live music before the fireworks. It was a community event and the place to be in Rome. In addition to the fireworks in Rome, my parents took us back to Stone Mountain several years for the fireworks and Laser Show. So, we would have fireworks 2 or 3 days in a row for the Fourth of July.
As a married adult, we have also done fireworks locally in our community. Those are usually a bust as there is no way our small town can compete with the extravaganza that is Stone Mountain or Lenox Mall. We have done Lenox Mall a couple of times. Lenox is fun but the music is hard to hear. Still, being around all those other Americans to celebrate the Fourth gives me such a sense of pride in our country and patriotism.
Of course, Lee and I have done fireworks at Stone Mountain, which despite the huge crowd and long lines to get out of the park, is my absolute favorite. It reminds me of the fun times I had as a child celebrating with my family. It reminds me of the fun times I have had as an adult. It is as American to me as Apple Pie – well, actually Peach Pie, which we normally have on the Fourth in my house.
This year, we will participate in Tea Party Patriots events on Friday and Saturday night. We will probably wind up seeing the fireworks from Downtown Atlanta. I think that might be the only major venue in the city I have not seen the fireworks from. It should be a fun Fourth. Maybe I’ll even convince Lee that we should make the trek to Stone Mountain 1 day to extend the holiday into a 3 day celebration. Regardless, my kids cannot wait for it!
And, neither can their mom.