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Happy birthday, America!

Rain and storms could delay Southwest Georgia Independence Day celebrations

Independence Day fireworks and much more will take place at the Exchange Club Fairgrounds July 4.

Independence Day fireworks and much more will take place at the Exchange Club Fairgrounds July 4.

ALBANY, Ga. — After a close budgetary call, the rockets’ red glare will be exploding in the skies over Albany Thursday night.

And fireworks shows are also scheduled this week in other cities and communities, including Tifton, Cordele and Valdosta. In fact, a fireworks fan could catch an aerial pyrotechnics show each night from Thursday through Friday in Southwest Georgia.

That is, if the weather cooperates.

The celebrations were to kick off this evening in Tifton, where the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village (formerly known as the Agrirama) planned to have a fireworks show at dark following a 7:15 p.m. concert by Clovers & Co.

On Tuesday, however, museum officials said that tonight's event had been postponed. As of Tuesday, no date had been scheduled for the show. The National Weather Service on Tuesday was predicting an 80 percent chance of heavy rain tonight in Southwest Georgia.

On Thursday, the city of Albany will conduct its annual 4th of July celebration at a new venue. Originally not scheduled to take place, city officials put together the celebration quickly after learning federal budget constraints had forced Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany to cancel its annual fireworks celebration.

While officials said they didn’t have enough to time to set up a downtown show as in the past few years, the Exchange Club stepped in to offer the fairgrounds at 810 S. Westover Road.

The weather prospects are better for Thursday night, with the chance of rain dropping from 70 percent during the day to 40 percent in the evening, NWS officials said.

The gates at the fairgrounds are scheduled to open at 3 p.m. for entertainment, music and food. The fireworks show is to start about 9:15 p.m., followed by a big-screen presentation of the film “Here Comes the Boom.”

Admission is $2 for an individual and $5 for a vehicle of up to six occupants. Any occupant over the six-person limit will be charged $2 for admission.

On Friday evening, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2785, 315 Philema Road, in Albany will have a fireworks show at dark. That will follow a concert by Stillwater.

About 35 miles north of Albany, another fireworks show will be in the air Thursday night. Fireworks on the Flint at Veterans Memorial State Park near Cordele on U.S. Highway 280 will launch at 9:30 p.m.

About 65 miles south of Albany in Thomasville, the annual CNS 4th of July Celebration & Fireworks will be conducted in the 1300 block of Remington Street in Thomasville. Games, food and entertainment will precede the 9:30 pyrotechnic show.

And 80 miles to the southeast of Albany, Wild Adventures Theme Park near Valdosta will salute America Thursday and Friday nights with fireworks shows. In addition, The Springs will be in concert Thursday evening and Sawyer Brown on Saturday at the theme park.

For those who want an old-fashioned Independence Day celebration, Westville historic village near Lumpkin. The historic site will “blow the anvil” every hour, while also allowing visitors to engage in traditional games and activities.

The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center in Columbus will fire its cannon every hour Thursday, while also providing food, activities and entertainment for visitors. Other state parks in the area such as Reed Bingham at Adel and Florence Marina near Lumpkin have three-day weekends full of entertainment and activities planned.