Here’s a good list of where you’ll find fireworks displays around North Georgia for Independence Day and July 4th in 2021.
** Updated on June 29, 2021
July 4, 2021 celebrations are coming back this year. We’ll keep updating this list of links to fireworks displays. So, check back to see what’s happening with the weather and maybe other unforeseen things that could affect the displays.
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) operates 13 day-use parks with beaches on Lake Lanier’s almost 700-miles of shoreline. You can either pay $5.00 per visit, or purchase an annual park pass to save money.
Margaritaville at Lanier Islands is accepting reservations for their lakeside RV resort that is open for business and recreation.
They’re calling it “Rustic and Refined.” What could make your stay outdoors on gorgeous Lake Lanier better than that?
Okay. Access to the water park, beaches, docks, restaurants, miles of walking trails, movies on the giant screen, the Ferris wheel, cruises, live entertainment, golf, and horseback rides all make the RV resort even more incredible.
Surrounded by nature with incredible lakefront views, the 30 – 50 feet concrete pads have the practical features that make RV’ing convenient and fun.
Along with restrooms equipped with showers, laundry equipment, sites will offer full hook-up – water, sewer and 30-50 amp power, grills, picnic tables, fire pits and WIFI.
RV’ers can chill around a campfire, grill outside and enjoy “roughing it with luxury” or join the entertaining action at LandShark Landing, The Chill Zone, and Paradise Beach.
At Margaritaville RV Resort you can have it all! Click Here for Online reservations. Or, call the campground at (470) 323-3463.
Margaritaville at Lanier Islands Press Release
Expect the best at the new RV resort at Lanier Islands.
Laurel Park is probably the best free park on Lake Lanier. For starters, it has a beach, two playgrounds, a dog park, baseball fields and volleyball courts. It’s also got a some beautiful, large picnic shelters with lake views.
If you ever come here on a weekend from spring to fall, you’ll find the park packed. Every picnic shelter will be full, there will be bouncy castles, ball games, soccer and 101 other things going on.
If you come duringthe week, you’ll probably find a lot of people using the one-mile walking and jogging trail around the park.
Oh, and did I mention it has just about the best boat ramps on the lake? Built for huge tournaments, there are the old four ramps plus a giant new mega ramp. These are also in a completely separate part of the park so that the fishermen and the families don’t get in each other’s way.
Sleeping outdoors at Lake Lanier’s Van Pugh South Campground might solve all your problems! Rough it in a tent … or tough it out in an RV the size of the Starship Enterprise. Anywhere along Lanier’s shoreline is good medicine.
Our pal, President of the Lake Lanier Convention and Visitors Bureau Stacey Dickson, was honored among the state’s top tourism professionals at the 2019 Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference on September 10.
Stacey received The Larry Allen Tourism Leadership Award, which recognizes an individual who demonstrates excellence in leadership skills and abilities. The award is given in memory of Larry Allen, who was General Manager of Stone Mountain and exemplified all around friendship, support and leadership in the tourism industry.
It’s a humbling honor to be recognized by my peers for this leadership award. Over my career I’ve been blessed to work in beautiful places with loving people who encouraged my creativity and allowed me to grow personally and professionally.
I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my parents and the opportunities they put in my path to help me learn how to lead. Servant leadership is something I was exposed to early in my work life and it has been a hallmark of my leadership style over the years.
I’m proud to say I have harvested many friendships along my journey. This award was such a wonderful pat on the back, I appreciate the honor and promise to keep up the good work.
Executive Director of Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority Bill Donohue added praise for Stacey:
If you google dynamic, professional, talented tourism leader–Stacey Dickson will be at the top of the page! She is the energizer bunny of CVB Directors and leads the Lake Lanier CVB with passion, determination and charm. Stacey flat out gets more done with less money and staff than any CVB I know of in Georgia. She has put together a fantastic team of marketing professionals that can handle anything from a Flowery Branch Gilmore Girls Block Party to the International World Dragon Boat Championships. The Board is so very proud of her and thankful that she calls the Lake Lanier CVB her home.
At the conference, Governor Brian P. Kemp recognized the performance and impact of the state’s tourism industry while attending the 2019 Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference in LaGrange.
Other honors went to the Gainesville Convention & Visitors Bureau; specifically, Regina Dyer and her marketing campaign Free Range Chickens of Gainesville. Regina truly earned her award for creative expression.
This annual educational and professional development event brought together more than 400 tourism industry professionals from across the state. Visitors in Georgia spent an estimated $31 billion in 2018–a 4.8% increase over 2017 numbers.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and the Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus hosted the event.
“Tourism is a key piece of Georgia’s success story,” said Governor Brian P. Kemp. “As the top state for business for the sixth year in a row, visitors to Georgia are a crucial sector of the state’s economy. Travelers explore our outdoor activities, food, music, arts, culture, and historical venues while supporting small businesses and local communities. I look forward to the Peach State building on 2018’s record year and continuing to be a worldwide destination for those looking for Southern hospitality.”
During the conference, Governor Kemp recognized the contributions of select organizations and individuals in Georgia’s tourism industry by presenting nine Georgia Tourism Awards. The peer-selected awards acknowledge individuals and businesses in Georgia who have demonstrated dedication, creativity, and excellence.
The Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference provides a platform to educate members of the tourism industry about travel and tourism-related issues on a national and statewide level, focusing on emerging trends as well as ways to reinforce current tourism efforts and future initiatives.
We’re proud to know Stacey and Regina and to have this opportunity to publicize their worthy efforts and accolades — even though posting this story will bring me no closer to fame and/or fortune the next time our picturesque area is selected as the location for another movie in which I could have a role with Nicole Kidman.
Hundreds of volunteers will be taking trash out of Lake Lanier on Saturday, September 14th all around our favorite body of water from 8 AM until 1 PM for Shore Sweep 2019.
Volunteers are primarily needed by the not-for-profit Lake Lanier Association to remove gar-bajj from islands, coves and shorelines and take it back to one of the collection sites around Lanier.
Other important jobs are checking people in, distributing cleanup supplies and passing out T-shirts and refreshments.
The two rules for Shore Sweep Volunteers are: have fun and stay safe! If you’ll be in a boat, please wear a life vest. If you’ll be handling stuff that you find laying (lying?) around, please wear a decent pair of gloves. Try to remember to bring sun screen, bug spray, plenty of water and sturdy shoes — not flip flops. Garbage bags will be provided.
Yes, you’re going to get dirty. Look on the bright side! If you meet The Most Perfect Person EVER … he or she will also be grungy. That means the next time you see them ought to be a pleasant surprise! (Presuming they bathe.)
Here’s where you can drop off junk or hang around and help others!
LAqualand Marina (public boat ramp)
Bald Ridge Marina (Public Boat Ramp)
Balus Creek Boat Ramp
Clarks’ Bridge Boat Ramp
Don Carter State Park (public boat ramp)
Gainesville Marina (Public Boat Ramp)
Gwinnett Park boat Ramp
Lake Lanier Islands (walkers only at welcome center)
Longwood Park (boat ramp)
Port Royale Marina (public boat ramp)
University Yacht Club (Yacht office boat ramp)
Warhill Park boat ramp.
Actually, you don’t have to wait until the 14th to clean up Lanier. You can help beginning on Sunday, September 1st. That’s when advance locations will be open and ready for all the trash you can carry. The advance locations are NOT the sites that will be open during Shore Sweep. In fact, they’re only accessible by boat.
Shore Sweep Advance Locations
The lake map coordinates are from the Atlantic Mapping Recreation and Fishing Guide for Lake Lanier.
Map coordinate J-7, closest buoy marker 1SM, old beach at Shady Grove Park
The Elachee Nature Science Center in Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve is a treasure hidden from the eyes of too many who live near or visit Lake Lanier.
After perusing the grounds for an hour or two to speak with leaders and followers at Elachee Nature Science Center and coming home with five snazzy brochures, I’m still not sure of the exact relationship between Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve and the Elachee Nature Center.
Yes, I tried to comprehend what was explained to me by a very competent, smart lady. Sadly, all I can remember is:
“It’s easy! Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve is the hypotenuse of the gravitational influx of Elachee!”
To quote Katharine Hepburn’s unforgettable line in The African Queen, “Never the less…” You need to pay $5 at the gateway to the forest, off-road bicycle trails, rustic lake (no fishing, sorry) and magnificent Science Center, but that doesn’t cover the cost to examine Elachee’s interior displays.
No, that’s not a shot. It’s just … it’s complicated. Especially to me, a freelance writer (a.k.a. “someone who is ‘artsy’ but can’t get a real job”).
You can easily avoid determining who runs what by paying a $100 annual membership fee to Elachee Nature Center and getting a “free” $50 parking pass for anywhere on the entire Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve for a year. That membership also provides access for two adults and four young grandchildren, discounts in the gift shop, visits to all the interior displays and so much more that you’ll feel guilty for only forking over a hundred bucks.
Although the Audubon website refers to it as, “The Chicopee Woods Mature Preserve,” people of all ages will enjoy learning, frolicking or sitting and pondering it all.
This giant outdoor carnival of plants, trees, critters and forests is huge. Depending on which source you accept, the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve is either 1,200, 1,400 or 2,674 acres in size.
Snake Day is almost here!
Yup. Snake Day!
Elachee members pay only $5 each (plus the $5 entry/parking fee at the gate) to do more stuff with snakes than I will ever want to know from 10 AM until 3 PM on Saturday, September 14, 2019.
You can have my spot. I’d rather walk one of the trails through the forest.
Once you pay to enter the property, there’s no charge to roam the seven trails on the map (available for free) of the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve.
Hikes range from a third-of-a-mile to an almost 3-mile loop.
Hiking Trail Rules
Trails are open daily from 7 AM until dusk.
No dogs are allowed on weekdays.
Dogs are allowed on weekends, but must be kept on a leash.
Bikes, horses (and probably llamas) are not allowed on trails.
No fishing, hunting or collecting “plants or animals.”
Hike at your own risk.
Please bring sufficient snacks, water and walking gear.
No restrooms on the trails.
Call 911, if there’s an emergency.
Visitors are welcome to browse around the gift shop and powder their noses at no charge at the Elachee Nature Science Center during regular business hours. You can also purchase water and snacks there.
With prior notice, you are welcome to bring small and large groups to enjoy the exhibits and field trip classes for kids from PreK through high school. A stunning assortment of programs are available, so forget about just going once. You’ll have to come back for another amazing day … then another.
The Birding Hike takes place at Chicopee Lake at 2100 Calvary Church Road in Gainesville.
That’s on the far side of the main entrance of Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve (which is off Atlanta Highway a mile north of the Gainesville campus of the University of North Georgia and a mile south of a zillion places to buy spiffed-up used cars, worn tires and shiny rims [cash only, please]).
Birding Hike on Saturday, October 5, 2019
Since Chicopee Lake is one of the premier birding spots in northeast Georgia, we expect to see a wide variety of both resident birds and fall migrants.
This local birding hike is a seasonal public education program provided by Elachee Nature Science Center.
Elachee Birding Hike: 8-11 a.m., Saturday, October 5, 2019 FREE Program Participation
Parking fee of $5 applies, unless you have an annual parking pass.
Arrive a few minutes before 8 a.m. with binoculars and dressed for the weather. The hike will not take place if it is raining.
We are led to believe that summer ends with the passing of Labor Day. Pffft. Talk about “fake news.” This list of Lake Lanier day-use park and campground closing dates proves that the spectacular waterfront parks around America’s Greatest Lake are still open for business. For a while.
These USACE Day-Use Park Beaches Close on September 28, 2019:
Buford Dam Upper Overlook
Buford Dam Park
Burton Mill Park
Little Hall Park
Long Hollow Park
Lower Pool East
Boat ramps, picnic tables and walking paths will remain open at most day-use parks.
These USACE Campgrounds on Lake Lanier Close on September 15th:
Van Pugh South
The two USACE campgrounds that close for the 2019 season on October 20th are Bald Ridge and Old Federal. Bolding Mill stays open the latest, with a closing date of November 20th.