From splashing around in Lake Lanier’s water park and Centennial Olympic Park’s fountains to attending an old-fashioned small town celebration, there’s something for everyone this 4th of July. Atlanta celebrates the 4th of July every year in a big way. In fact, Atlanta has some of the very best fireworks displays in the Southeast. Wherever you choose to celebrate the day, be sure to get there early to find a parking place and a good viewing spot to set up your blanket or chairs. In addition, plan on spending some time in traffic once the fireworks are over. It’s all worth it at the best places to watch 4th of July fireworks in Atlanta.
Fantastic Fourth Celebration at Stone Mountain Park
1000 Robert E. Lee Drive
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Hours: July 3 and 4 – 9:30 p.m.
Price: $10 one-day parking/$35 annual parking fee
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the Fantastic Fourth Celebration at Stone Mountain Park. On Tuesday and Wednesday, July 3 and 4, the park comes alive at night with a patriotic lasershow in Mountainvision and is followed both nights by one of the Southeast’s best fireworks extravaganzas. Attractions open at 10:30 a.m. If you plan on just watching the lasershow and fireworks, expect to pay only the $10 parking fee. Stone Mountain Park draws exceptionally large crowds on July 3 and 4, so be sure to stake your claim on the lawn early.
Fourth of July Celebration at Lenox Square Mall
3393 Peachtree Rd. Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30326
Hours: July 4 – noon; fireworks – 9:40 p.m.
The absolute biggest and best fireworks demonstration in the Southeast takes place every July 4 at Lenox Square Mall. The day-long celebration begins at noon with a family festival and live entertainment. At precisely 9:40 p.m., the night sky over Buckhead explodes with more than three tons of fireworks in a spectacular display of light, sound and color. The show lasts 15 minutes and is televised live on WSB-TV. The annual event is very popular with locals and visitors alike, so be sure to get there early to stake out your spot. Food and drinks are available for purchase.
4th of July Celebration at Centennial Olympic Park
265 Park Ave. WNW.
Atlanta, GA 30313
Hours: July 4 – 2 p.m.
The fireworks shoot off at dark (around 9:30 p.m.), but there’s plenty of entertainment and activities to keep the whole family entertained throughout the day. Park gates open at 2 p.m. Visitors may relax on the great lawn and kids may play in the fountains to cool off on a hot summer day. Free musical entertainment begins at 4 p.m. The fireworks finale is the star performer, with a spectacular display that’s synchronized to patriotic and popular music. This family friendly event is open to the public, so get there early for a prime spot on the lawn.
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4th of July Fireworks at Lake Lanier Islands
7000 Lake Lanier Islands Parkway
Buford, GA 30518
Hours: July 4 – 9:30 p.m.
Price: $11.99 to $34.99
The annual Fourth of July celebration at Lake Lanier Islands Resort is buckets of fun for the entire family. Get there early in the day to enjoy the Beach and Water Park, which offers endless fun for kids of all ages and adults too. Your admission ticket to the water park includes the fireworks display July 4. You may also choose to arrive later and pay a discounted price. Be sure to scope out a spot on the beach for the best place to view the fireworks, which will be presented at dark. Lake Lanier is located about 35 minutes north of downtown Atlanta and definitely worth the drive, especially on the 4th of July.
Norcross Independence Day Celebration
65 Lawrenceville St. Northwest
Norcross, GA 30071
Hours: July 3 – 4:30 p.m.; fireworks – 9:30 p.m.
If you want a 4th of July celebration that has a small town vibe, look no further than Norcross, located about 20 minutes north of downtown Atlanta. The nicest thing about this small-town celebration is that it takes place every year the day before the 4th of July. That means the crowds aren’t as crazy as those at some of the downtown fireworks shows. For families arriving early, enjoy inflatables, face painting, train rides and games for kids. Live concerts kick off at 4:30 p.m. Sparks begin to fly around 9:30 p.m. when the first firework is set off in the Norcross sky. They can be viewed from anywhere in downtown Norcross, but Lillian Webb Park is a good choice to set up camp. If you’d like to avoid huge crowds, then this small town celebration may be just your ticket to old-fashioned 4th of July fun.
Related: Best Parks for Kids in Atlanta
Jackie Kass is a freelance writer from Atlanta with more than twenty years of writing experience. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.