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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What to do this Fourth of July in Atlanta

July Fourth. FIREWORKS. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know the deal: Head to somewhere with a good view near Olympic Centennial Park in Downtown or Lenox Square in Buckhead for the spectacular, patriotic, oooh-and-aaaah-worthy displays of colorful explosions. If you're looking for something a little different for the Fourth, though, we've got some ideas for you.

Feeling like a true patriot? Decline all invitations to Independence Day parties by explaining, in a self-righteous tone, that the Fourth is amateur night for fair-weather flag wavers and that true-motherfucking-patriots are celebrating freedom the other 364 days of the year, okay?

Cruise to the grooves with the Yacht Rock Revue at the Georgia Aquarium's Red White and Brew festival.

Not to forget the American baseball tradition. Turn up at Turner Field as the Braves play the Colorado Rockies, wear red, white and blue (the team's colors) and get yourself a beer and a hotdog. Feel that spirit yet?

Read Ron Kovic's memoir Born on the Fourth of July and get really, really, really bummed out.

Film screenings, plays, storytelling, book signings, fine art and live music — it sure will be as lively as ever in Underground Atlanta as the 16th annual Heritage Arts Festival culminates on Independence Day.

Get a feel for the family-neighborhood atmosphere in Downtown Decatur by joining the 4th of July parade. You'll not only get to hear a live band and of course watch fireworks, but you can also paint your own wagon! When's the last time you did that?

Remember that Koko, the sign-language gorilla that loves her kitten, was also born on the Fourth and celebrate her birthday, instead. Try not to remember the part about the cat getting run over by a car.

Tiny swimwear has been requested for the rooftop pool party at The Melia Hotel. Break out the banana hammock and dance poolside with DJs Vicki Powell, Kyle Keyser, and others.

If you're really not the hip hop type and your music taste resides somewhere between Beethoven and Mozart, you can join the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's All-American Celebration. The repertoire includes everything from patriotic melodies to classical favorites, including Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

When is it not a good idea to crush some beer cans with Blondie and the other lovely ladies of the Clermont Lounge?

Party like my alcoholic uncle and have yourself a fifth on the Fourth.

Call that one British friend you know, try to be humble about the whole Independence thing, and ask for some advice about living in a declining empire.

Additional reporting by Marketa Nosalova

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