July 4 coming with a bang

Sherwood Baptist Church will hold its annual Freedom Fest at 5 p.m. at Legacy Park this Sunday. File

Sherwood Baptist Church will hold its annual Freedom Fest at 5 p.m. at Legacy Park this Sunday. File

Staff Reports


ALBANY — Bombs will be bursting in air in the skies over Southwest Georgia over the next week, a series of colorful and noisy celebrations of the birth of the United States.

While the lion’s share of these pyrotechnic shows will take place a week from today on Independence Day, other events recognizing the patriotic holiday have been scheduled for days other than July 4.

At times of war, the Marines are always the first in and in this year’s area Fourth of July celebrations, they’re at the forefront once again.

At Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, located just east of Albany off Fleming Road, the observance of Independence Day will begin at 4 p.m. Friday with activities including performances by Marine Corps Band New Orleans, a static display of military equipment, a military working dog demonstration and a rock-climbing tower.

At 9:30 p.m., the fireworks show will get under way. MCLB-Albany officials say that there is no admission charge for the celebration, which is open to the public. Officials at the base encourage visitors to bring law chairs and blankets for comfortable viewing of the fireworks, but added that no alcoholic beverages or weapons may be brought aboard the base.

On Sunday, Sherwood Baptist Church will host its annual Freedom Fest at Legacy Park, 1518 Old Pretoria Road. That celebration starts at 5 p.m. and continues until 10 p.m.

There is no admission charge, and there are a number of activities for children and family leading up to the evening’s big show. Those activities include kid’s games and inflatables, cake walks, horse riding, a rock climbing wall and musical guests. The American Celebration, complete with fireworks, will start at 8:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at 1392 Whiddon Mill Road in Tifton will open at 6 p.m. for its Independence Day event. Admission is $5 per car. A 7 p.m. concert by the Vann Band will be followed by a fireworks show. Lawn chairs, coolers and blankets may be brought in, but no alcoholic beverages.

Independence Day on Wednesday will be the biggest collection of events. Downtown Albany will be the site of the city’s trademark fireworks celebration, which will be launched behind the Civic Center.

Thronateeska Heritage Center and the Flint RiverQuarium have special joint admission packages that day, with the Fourth celebration getting under way around 5 p.m. downtown with vendors and activities.

The 9:30 p.m. pyrotechnics show by Dangerous Entertainment will be set to a musical medley of classic and contemporary songs and patriotic favorites — including Albany native Ray Charles’ version of America the Beautiful. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets, but no alcoholic beverages.

At 8 p.m. at the State Theatre, 313 Pine Ave., a Summer Bash aimed at teenagers will feature Swisha Man Slim and DJ Shock. Admission starts at $7 for the show, which goes until midnight.

In Bainbridge, the Independence Day celebration will have a 1980s feel with a concert by the Molly Ringwalds at the Earle May Boat Basin. There’s free admission to that event, which includes the city of Bainbridge’s annual fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.

Westville historic village, 9294 Singer Pond Road, Lumpkin, will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on the Fourth, observing the holiday in 1850s style. While there won’t be fireworks, an anvil will be blown into the air every hour. There will also be bluegrass music, barbecue, watermelon and 1850s-era activities. Admission is $8-$10.

And at Pine Mountain, Callaway Gardens will open a five-day series of Star Spangled Beach Parties. The lineup changes each evening, but there will be two fireworks shows — one at 9:30 p.m. on July 4 and another at 9:30 p.m. on July 7. The July 4 event will also feature the U.S. Army Silver Wings Pyrotechnic Parachute Team at 9 p.m. and a 6 p.m. concert by Grammy winner Bryan White.

A detailed listing of events can be found today on the Coming Up Calendar on page 6B.