4 x 4 ways to celebrate the 4th

Our handpicked guide to independence day events (plus one rainy-day option)

Photograph courtesy of Lenox Square

Four Classic Atlanta Celebrations

Peachtree Road Race
Prime spectator locations are the intersection of Roswell Road, W. Paces Ferry, and Peachtree or where Peachtree crosses Tenth. Details

Atlanta Braves vs. Marlins: Turner Field
It opens with Corey Smith singing the National Anthem and closes with pyrotechnics. And a whole lot happens in between. Not a bad deal for a single Braves ticket. Details

The Legendary 4th: Lenox Square
Join 200,000 others in the Southeast’s largest Independence Day celebration. (Allow plenty of travel time; it gets crowded.) Details

Fantastic Fourth Celebration: Stone Mountain Park
A laser show AND fireworks? Can’t get much more excessively American than that. Details

Four Big Parties

Whole Hog Pig Roast and Backyard Beer Olympics: Atkins Park Bar and Restaurant
Hang out on N. Highland Avenue and enjoy roasted-hog specials and the chance to compete at cornhole, darts, ladder toss, or ping pong for $500 in prizes. Details

Red, White, and Brew: Georgia Aquarium
Beer, barbecue, live music, and good views of Centennial Park’s fireworks show. The party is 21 and up, but there is a separate parking deck for families who just want see the show. Details

Red, White, and ‘Cue: Bone Lick BBQ
Sure, PBR giveaways will be great, whole-hog barbecue sounds delicious, and putting all that on a Westside rooftop makes this a solid party option. But the real reason you should go? Twinkie. Eating. Competition. Oh, yes. Details

Red, White, and Whiskey Blue: W Atlanta-Buckhead
Recline 125 feet above street level on the rooftop of the W and take in panoramic views of the city’s fireworks displays (and perhaps a few cocktails, too). Details

Four Pyrotechnical Spectacles

Star Spangled Beach Party: Callaway Gardens
Rather than deal with the crush of a crowd, why not take a long weekend away? You can relax on the beach, play some golf, and still catch a fireworks show. Details

Fireworks Extravaganza: Nash Farms
Peruse a car, motorcycle, truck, and, yes, tractor show during the day and see the fireworks roar over the site of some of Georgia’s largest Civil War battles. Details

Fabulous Fourth: Mall of Georgia
Come early for live music leading up to the show and stay late for a free screening of the 2012 movie Playing for Keeps. Details

Fourth of July: Lake Lanier
Retire lakeside for live music all day before watching the show sparkle on the surface of Lanier. Details

Four Charming Small-Town Celebrations (right here in the city)

Avondale Estates
Watch the early-morning parade (or just join in and march; almost everyone in town takes part). The evening firework display is at Lake Avondale. Details

Begin the evening by watching the open-invitation parade then find a spot on the courthouse lawn for the city of Decatur’s fireworks show, which starts around 9 p.m. Details

A morning parade is followed by arts, crafts, and carnival games on the Marietta Square and then evening fireworks. Details

Carnival games, food by Shane’s Rib Shack, and a fireworks display will fill Roswell High School grounds. Details

And one not-so-American rainy day option

James Bond at the Plaza Theatre
Sure, he’s the ultimate Brit, but Bond makes a fine rainy-day companion in Thunderball, the July 4 installment of the Plaza’s “50 Years of Bond” program. Details