Independence Day in Alpharetta

Today we feature a guest post from Mike Christensen. Follow Mike on Twitter @SCSA31274.

July 4, 1776, the date that America declared its independence from Britain.  America has been onward and upward ever since.  It’s the freedoms we’ve earned since that day that allow me to write this article, although it’s the freedoms allowed by Lee to let me have this article published.

Independence Day is my favorite holiday, mostly because I can celebrate in the fashion that Americans love – by blowing stuff up.  Growing up in Atlanta, I had no access to personal fireworks due to Georgia laws.  Imagine the sadness of a ten year old boy standing in the driveway holding a lowly sparkler craning my head to the sky longing for more.

The fireworks laws in Georgia have turned most of the citizens into interstate traffickers.  When I was able to drive, my friends and I made the short 90 minute jaunt out I-20 to the first exit inside Alabama, where there was nothing except half a dozen fireworks stores.  We would load up and head back, risking fines and possible jail time.  That’s how much we love this country.  Today, the laws have relaxed a bit.   Fireworks tents have popped up in most large parking lots offering all kinds of sparking, flaming, exploding bits of freedom.

There are tons of other options for fireworks in Atlanta other than the “where are my fingers” do it yourself  variety.  I spent many a night asleep in the backseat while my parents fought traffic for hours trying to leave Stone Mountain after the display ended.  I’ve been to Lenox and Roswell.  Lenox was insanely crowded.  I ended up sitting in a bush in the Lenox mall parking lot.  Not the most comfortable experience.  It felt like I had Black cats going off on my rear end from the thorns.

I love Alpharetta’s Independence Day celebration at Wills Park.  Highway 9 is lined with families tailgating in their folding chairs and kids running about with the classic sparkler.  In addition to the fireworks, there is food, live entertainment and bouncy houses inside the park itself from 5:00 PM on.  My wife and I discovered a special secret place to view the fireworks – the parking deck at North Fulton Hospital.  It’s free on the weekends, but you will have to pay during  the week.  Drive to the top, park your car and wait for the magic.  As the fireworks roll on, look to the South. You will see numerous other displays from around the city – Roswell, Canton and maybe even Lenox.  It’s very peaceful.  Plus, it’s easy to get out and get home once everything is over.

So everyone have a safe and fun July 4th.  We want you around on July 5th to continue to celebrate the freedom of America.

Photo credit: bayassa (creative commons)

One Response to “Independence Day in Alpharetta”

  1. Travis Allen July 4, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    Dammit Mike…we’ve spent many a 4th on the parking deck roof…SHH!

    I think one year we counted no fewer than 12 displays that could be seen from there.

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