Albany celebrated the Fourth of July with a fireworks extravaganza. Thousands of people attended the event which took place downtown.
ALBANY, Ga. -- Nothing quite says "Happy Birthday, America" quite like seed spittin' and explosions. Fortunately, both and more will be plentiful today as Southwest Georgians celebrate the 236th birthday of the nation.
From Fort Gaines to Thomasville and Cordele to Albany, Southwest Georgia's salute to Independence Day is set to happen in a big way.
Closest to home will be the city of Albany's annual Independence Day extravaganza, which will start this afternoon down along Front Street near the Civic Center.
Folks downtown can purchase special joint, discounted tickets to both the Thronateeska Heritage Museum and the Flint RiverQuarium at the venues or at the Albany Welcome Center at the Bridge House. The Welcome Center will also be renting bikes at a discounted rate to patrons.
Food and retail vendors will be lined up along Front Street leading up until the fireworks show begins around 9:30 p.m. The fireworks will be fired from behind the Civic Center.
For teens who prefer an inside venue tonight, Summer Bash gets under way at 8 p.m. at The State Theatre, 313 Pine Ave. The event, hosted by Swisha Man Slim and DJ Shock on the 1S&2S, goes until midnight and includes Twerk contest. Admission starts at $7.
To the north, the community of Smithville will be shooting off fireworks as part of its downtown Independence Day celebration. Those fireworks will be shot off around 8:30 p.m.
On the Crisp-Sumter County line, officials at Georgia Veterans State Park will be shooting off "Fireworks on the Flint" to commemorate the nation's birthday. At dark, officials at the park will light up the sky with their tribute to America and, again, the only charge will be $5 for parking.
To the west at George T. Bagby State Park near Fort Gaines, officials have planned a day full of events including an old-fashioned watermelon seed-spitting contest and other games. The only charge is $5 for parking.
Westville historic village, located at 9294 Singer Pond Road near Lumpkin, is celebrating the holiday in 1850s style 10 a.m.-5 p.m. today, with bluegrass music, barbecue, watermelon, games and races, plus blowing the anvil every hour. Admission ranges from $8-$10.
Further up at Pine Mountain, Callaway Gardens will host the first of a series of Star Spangled Beach Parties 10 a.m.-midnight. Events during the day include beach activities and sand castle building, music and performances by the FSU Flying Circus and the Army Silver Wings Pyrotechnic Parachute Team. Grammy winner Bryan White is in concert at 6 p.m., followed at 9:30 p.m. by a fireworks show. Admission ranges from free for children under 5 to $25.
And down south in Thomasville, CNS is sponsoring its annual Independence Day celebration. Beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Remington Park, food vendors and musical acts will start of the activities, with everything leading up to the fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, the city of Bainbridge's annual celebration will take on a 1980s tone with the Molly Ringwals in concert at 7:30 p.m. at the Earle May Boat basin, followed by fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Check today's Coming Up Calendar on page 6C for more information on events taking place during the long holiday weekend.