36 places in the Chattanooga area to watch fireworks, celebrate July 4

With the Fourth of July falling on a Monday this year, you can count on celebrations to start in earnest in the weekend leading up to the official holiday. Communities throughout Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Northeast Alabama have scheduled fireworks, festivals and other family fun to commemorate Independence Day. Here's a look around the region. Be advised that some communities have listings for multiple events. Also, while all of the following events draw on patriotic themes, not all include fireworks.


Fort Payne, Alabama

The city of Fort Payne will start its annual Independence Day fireworks show at 8:45 p.m. CDT June 30 near the Sports Complex, 100 Alabama Ave. NW. There will be no related events at the complex due to ongoing renovations. fortpayne.org/events


Dalton, Georgia

Pops in Burr Park, set for 6:30 p.m. July 1, is a patriotic installment of the Off the Rails concert series held weekly in Burr Performing Arts Park, 101 S. Hamilton St. The Creative Arts Guild Chamber Orchestra and featured soloists and ensembles will perform patriotic favorites. AmeriCalypso and Ballet Dalton will make appearances. Arts and crafts vendors will be set up. Fireworks will end the show. creativearts guild.org

LaFayette, Georgia

The city of LaFayette's Freedom Festival begins at 5 p.m. July 1 at the Ross Abney Facility, 252 First St. The evening includes music, children's activities and food vendors. Fireworks start at 10 p.m. mycityoflafayettega.org


Fort Payne, Alabama

Independence Day events at DeSoto State Park, 7104 DeSoto Parkway NE, start with a chance to fashion homemade flags from natural materials starting June 30 in the campground pavilion in the Improved Campground. Finished crafts must be turned in for judging by noon July 2 (all times are Central). A Splish & Splash Pool Party, with ice cream and door prizes, is 6:30-9 p.m. July 1. A parade of decorated vehicles starts at 3 p.m. July 2, ending in time for the Ice Cream Social in the Improved Campground at 4 p.m. Attendees are welcome to bring a favorite homemade ice cream or other dessert to share. Bring your own seating. All events are free. visitlookoutmountain.com



The Chattanooga Lookouts will present a three-night Fireworks Spectacular after their July 1-3 games against the Birmingham Barons at AT&T Field, 201 Power Alley. Games start at 7:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 6:15 p.m. that Sunday. Gate admission is $6-$11. lookouts.com

Summerville, Georgia

Howard Finster's Paradise Garden, 200 N. Lewis St., plans an Independence Day Scavenger Hunt over two weekends in July. According to the event's organizers, Finster filled his 4-acre art environment, Paradise Garden, with patriotic symbols and paintings of presidents. Your quest is to find them all, using an image list with clues for where each item is located. Find them all and win a prize. Admission is $15 adults, $10 seniors, $5 students, free to Chattooga County residents and children under 12. Leashed pets are welcome. The hunt continues July 8-10. facebook.com/howardfinstersparadisegardens



Pops on the River returns July 2 for the first time in three years at Coolidge Park, 150 River St. The popular community event features a free outdoor concert of patriotic music at 8 p.m. by the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, joined by the New Dismembered Tennesseans. Opening the show at 5:30 p.m. will be Chattanooga party band Love, Peace & Happiness. A fireworks finale, shot from neighboring Renaissance Park, will close out the CSO's performance (around 9:45 p.m.). Food and beverage concessions will be available, along with arts and crafts vendors. Bring your own seating. Coolidge Park will close to vehicular traffic at 4:30 p.m. the day of the show. chattanoogapops.com


Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St., adjacent to Coolidge Park, will piggyback on the Pops on the River celebration with its Star Spangled Picnic at 6 p.m. July 2. Tickets include barbecue by Sugar's BBQ & Ribs, Clumpies Ice Cream, music by Premiere Jazz, a silent auction of merchandise from North Shore merchants, a sneak peek of the upcoming production of "Giant Steps" and seating on the riverfront lawn for the CSO concert and fireworks. Bring your own seating. Tickets are $50 adults, $10 ages 12 and younger. theatrecentre.com


Graceworks Church, 6445 Lee Highway, is planning a fireworks show at 9 p.m. July 2. Visitors are welcome to bring chairs to sit beneath the church's 110-foot cross to watch the show. facebook.com/graceworkschurchchattanooga

Copperhill, Tennessee / McCaysville, Georgia

The bordering cities' downtown districts will light up with fireworks at 9:30 p.m. July 2. The pyrotechnics will be preceded by a Walk the Line 5K at 6:30 p.m. and live music starting at 7 p.m. at Tooneys, 100 Blue Ridge Drive in McCaysville. The marathon is part of the Riverwalk Run Series, which takes runners through the twin cities and across the iconic steel bridge. Food, drinks and music will be available before and after the race on the river deck of Riverwalk Shops. Free parking is available near the finish line at McCaysville City Park. Run information is available at RiverwalkRunSeries.com. Tickets to arrive by train on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway's Fireworks Special have sold out. blueridgemountains.com

Etowah, Tennessee

Etowah's Fourth of July Celebration goes from dawn to dusk July 2, starting with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, served by Boy Scout Troop 74, 7-10 a.m. at the L&N Depot, 831 Tennessee Ave. Cost is $5. Etowah First Baptist Church sponsors the Independence Dash 5K road race and 1-mile fun run 7:30 a.m. from Capstar Bank, 523 Tennessee Ave., to benefit local mission projects. Churches in McMinn and Polk counties will take part in a cornhole tournament starting at 10 a.m. on the walking trail at the depot to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. Crafts, food vendors and other activities will be set up on the lawn. Music culminates with the Dexter Thomas Band performing hits of the '60s, '70s, rock, R&B and funk music at 8 p.m. on the L&N Stage. facebook.com/Etowah-4th-of-July-106400910976933

Graysville, Tennessee

Graysville's Freedom Fest is 6-10 p.m. July 2 at Kristopher's Kingdom Park, 475 Black Track Road. The Graysville Fire Department is coordinating the event, which includes an auction, food, music and a free waterslide for kids. Sponsors say the fireworks display will be the largest in the event's history. 423-775-9242

Jasper, Tennessee

Jasper's Big Boom is 2-9 p.m. CDT July 2 at 700 Phillips Ave. This family day in the park features carnival rides, blowup slides, face-painting and a caricature artist, all free. Food and craft vendors also will be on site. Fireworks will end the day. jasper-tn.com

Pikeville, Tennessee

Pikeville Summer Nights, a monthly concert series on first Saturdays, doubles as a Star Spangled Celebration on July 2. The band Good Rockin' Tonight will perform at 5 p.m. on the Main Street Stage downtown. Main Street also will draw classic cars for a cruise-in, and the farmers market will be filled with vendors. Fireworks will start at 9 p.m. (all times are Central). happeningnext.com

Ringgold, Georgia

The Catoosa Fireworks Festival will be held July 2 at the Northwest Georgia Amphitheater, 220 Catoosa Circle. A crafts market will be set up at 1 p.m., and live music, food vendors and children's activities will get going at 5 p.m. Fireworks are scheduled at 9:30 p.m. facebook.com/catoosacountyga

Rossville, Georgia

Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park, 1730 Lakeview Drive, will end the day with fireworks at 10 p.m. July 2. The park will be open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. SoakYa rides will operate 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Online tickets are $39 for ages 3-59. Tickets for guests ages 1-2 and 60 and older must be purchased at the gate. lakewinnie.com

Scottsboro, Alabama

The Jackson County Jubilee is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. July 2 on the square in downtown Scottsboro (all times are Central). The Independence Day celebration is held in conjunction with monthly Scottsboro Trade Days, which is taking inspiration from similar events in the 1920s to mark 120 years of Trade Days. Vendors will be set up by 9 a.m., and a parade will begin at 10 a.m. Horse and buggy rides will follow the parade. A radio DJ will spin hits from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and stump speeches will take place at the bandstand starting at 11 a.m. Food trucks will have concessions for meals on the picnic tables under the oak trees on the courthouse lawn. facebook.com/scottsborotradedays


Soddy-Daisy's Independence Celebration and the 25th annual Firecracker Rod Run will begin at 9 a.m. July 2 at the Kids Park at Soddy Lake, 150 Depot St. Judging for the rod run begins at noon, with trophies awarded at 2 p.m. Scheduled to perform are Barefoot Nellie & Company at 11 a.m., Wade Henry Sims and the Last Band at 4 and Tyson Leamon and the Holy Gamblers at 7:30 p.m., leading up to the fireworks display at 10 p.m. The park will be filled with arts and crafts vendors, woodcarvers, ax throwers, pony rides and food trucks. 423-718-1735 (festival info) 423-718-2138 (rod run)

South Pittsburg, Tennessee

The annual Fourth of July celebration starts at 5:30 p.m. July 2 on the South Cedar Stage (all times are Central). All food, drinks, activities, music and the fireworks display at 9 p.m. are free. A golf cart parade will award two top prizes, worth $100 and $50, to the best-dressed carts. Events are sponsored by South Pittsburg Parks and Recreation. 423-837-5012

Spring City, Tennessee

Shake the Lake is scheduled 9 a.m.-10:15 p.m. July 2 at Veterans Park, 448 E. Jackson Ave. Food and merchandise vendors will be set up throughout the day, and musicians will entertain before the fireworks at dusk. facebook.com/events

Winchester, Tennessee

Twin Creeks Villages will host a fireworks display over Tims Ford Lake on July 2. Thousands of spectators watch the pyrotechnics from boats or throughout the 100-acre park. Activities begin around 8:30 p.m. CDT. winchester-tn.com.home/events/6206



Collegedale's Freedom Celebration starts at 4 p.m. July 3, with the Commons, 4950 Swinyar Drive, and Veterans Park, 9318 Apison Pike, at the center of action with vendors, entertainment and children's activities, including free inflatables, a petting zoo, trackless train rides and face painting. Fireworks are scheduled at 9:30 p.m. Entertainment kicks off with the Ain't Just Whistlin' Dixie Jazz Band at 5 p.m., New Grass Express at 6 p.m., Lou Wamp & the Bluetastics at 7 p.m. and the East Tennessee Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. Admission is free. Bring your own seating. collegedaletn.gov


Camp Columbus, 8601 Camp Columbus Road, will present a fireworks display at dusk on July 3. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and music by TNT Entertainment follows at 6 p.m. Concessions including hamburgers and hot dogs will be available. Bring your own seating. No pets or coolers allowed. facebook.com/Camp-Columbus-117377851614027/events


Sewanee, Tennessee

Sewanee's activities are scheduled July 3-4, mostly centered on University Avenue. Sunday events include a Sewanee Summer Music Festival concert at 3:30 p.m. in Guerry Auditorium ($20 ticket), and a street dance with music by the Eaglemaniacs at 7 p.m. in Angel Park (all times are Central). Monday includes an arts and crafts, a mutt show, cake decorating contest and a parade on University Avenue at 2 p.m. A $1 donation is requested for the fireworks show over Lake Cheston at dark. This year's theme is "Hot Diggity All-American Dogs." sewanee4thofjuly.org


Athens, Tennessee

The city of Athens and the Athens Parks Foundation will present the Buddy Liner July 4 fireworks display at 9:30 p.m. July 4 from Athens Regional Park, 2405 Decatur Pike. The show is a double celebration of Independence Day and the city's bicentennial. Officials say that combining the celebrations makes the fireworks show the largest ever in McMinn County. The 20-minute show will feature "a constant barrage of high-elevation, high-intensity shells, choreographed to music" to be broadcast on WJSQ-FM 101.7 and WLAR-FM 95.1. The park will be closed to the public on July 4, and spectators are asked to view from area parking lots and roads. 423-744-2700, ext. 3


The Jewish Federation of Greater Chattanooga is enticing visitors with an indoor, air-conditioned picnic at 11:30 a.m. July 4 at the Jewish Cultural Center, 5461 North Terrace. Southern rock band River Moon Express headlines the event. The picnic dinner includes grilled chicken, with homemade potato salad and coleslaw among the sides, along with a selection of desserts. Vegetarian meals are available if requested by the registration deadline of June 29. Cost is $15 for adults, $28 for two, $36 for a family of four, $7 for children 7-16, free for younger children. Register: jewishchattanooga.com

The Creative Discovery Museum, 321 Chestnut St., will celebrate Red, White & Blue Day, with patriotic-themed crafts and activities, noon-4 p.m. Monday, culminating in a 21-geyser salute with Diet Coke and Mentos at 3:30 p.m. $13 admission. cdmfun.org

Cleveland, Tennessee

Mount Olive Ministries will present Fourth of July fireworks at 9:15 p.m. July 4 at Bradley Square Mall, 200 Paul Huff Parkway. The launch site is Perry Stone Ministries on the hill next door. WCLE-FM 104.1 will broadcast synchronized music. The ring road behind Bradley Place will be closed before and after the fireworks, and the building will impede the line of sight. Best parking for viewing is on the east side of the mall. The mall will close at 6 p.m. facebook.com/shopbradleysquare

Dalton, Georgia

Dalton Parks and Recreation sponsors an all-day lineup of events at Heritage Point Park, 1275 Cross Plains Trail, starting with an old-timers softball game at 10 a.m. The day also includes pageants for ages 2-12, a cornhole tournament (2 p.m.), free inflatables (2-6:30 p.m.) a frog race (3 p.m., bring your own frog) and wrestling matches (6:30 p.m.). Contestants may register after 1:45 p.m. for eating contests at 5 p.m. in three categories: doughnut holes, doughnuts and Krystal hamburgers. Fireworks begin at dark. mydprd.com

Decatur, Tennessee

A special edition of Downtown Summer Nights, a free summer concert series, will feature music by Skelton Key and Aunt Betty starting at 7 p.m. July 4 on the downtown stage. Fireworks follow at dark. Bring your own seating. facebook.com/downtownsummernights

Dunlap, Tennessee

Dunlap's Independence Day celebration begins with a parade at 9 a.m. July 4 starting from the Sequatchie County Fair building, 103 Heard St., to Rankin Avenue and Cherry Street (all times are Central). The Dunlap Music Festival will take place at 7 p.m. on the Harris Park stage, 69 Church St. Performing are Josh Gracin and Presley & Taylor. Fireworks will follow. 423-949-2115

Henagar, Alabama

The Sand Mountain Potato Festival, a community tradition since 1983, begins with a patriotic parade that ends in the city park for the raising of the flag by local Boy Scouts. The park at 18294 Alabama Highway 75 will be abuzz with activities throughout the day, including a cornhole tournament, volleyball tournament, antique car show, antique tractor show and games for the kids, along with craft and food vendors. Live music will include local bands performing Southern gospel, country, bluegrass and contemporary hits. Covered pavilions throughout the park provide a place to enjoy vendors' potato-inspired dishes. Fireworks will follow at dark. cityofhenagar.com

Signal Mountain

The Signal Mountain Lions Club will hold its annual Fourth of July BBQ and related events 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. July 4 at Althaus Park, 809 James Blvd. (behind the Signal Mountain Golf and Country Club). Plates will include pork barbecue, coleslaw, baked beans and a hamburger bun. Hamburgers, hot dogs and funnel cakes also will be sold. Barbecue by the pound and slaw and baked beans by the pint will be available for drive-thru pickup. Musical entertainment and activities for children also will be part of the day. The club is not providing fireworks this year. smtnlions.org

Summerville, Georgia

Summerville's Celebrate Independence festivities are scheduled 5-10:30 p.m. July 4 at the Chattooga County Agricultural Center, 33 Middle School Road. A cornhole tournament is scheduled, free watermelon will be served and free waterslides will be set up 5-9 p.m. The Kevin Allen Band will perform at 8 p.m. Fireworks start at 10 p.m. summervillega.org

Sweetwater, Tennessee

Sweetwater's Independence Day Celebration will start at 3 p.m. July 4 in downtown Sweetwater. The day includes food, live music, family activities and fireworks synchronized to music on local radio station WMTY-FM 98.3. sweetwatertn.net

Trenton, Georgia

The 1945 Dade County Fair is July 4 in Jenkins Park on Price Street. Activities include a softball tournament at 9 a.m., car show at noon ($15 entry fee), cornhole tournament at 2 p.m. ($40 per team) and vendors set up all day. Churches will provide carnival games from noon to 5 p.m., and activities such as pie judging, a cake walk, talent show and redneck races will take place throughout the day. Contests will judge watermelon eating, pie eating, hot dog eating and hairy legs. The musical lineup features bluegrass band Southwind at 12:30 p.m., Katrina Barclay at 2 p.m., Camden Smith at 3:30 p.m., Corey Lane at 5:30 p.m. and headliner Mitch Rossell at 7:30 p.m. Fireworks start at 10 p.m. 1945fair.com

Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6281.