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New venue a blast

Large crowd flocks to motorsports park

POSTED: July 9, 2014 4:00 a.m.
Michele Hester Dawson Community News/

Dressed in red, white and blue, 2-year-old Charlie Welch waves her flag and dances during the Sparks in the Motorsports Park festivities.

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Dawsonville's annual Independence Day celebration revved into gear Friday at Atlanta Motorsports Park with a fireworks display that wowed spectators for miles around.

"It was awesome, best finale ever," said Shalena Samples, who attended the inaugural event with her son, parents and extended family.

According to organizers, the July Fourth festivities drew an estimated 5,000 people in its first year at the private track in western Dawson County.

Pam and Scott Blevins were among the many drawn to the event by the mystery of the 2-mile track.

"We were planning on going to Dahlonega and then he saw online they were having fireworks here," she said. "The track is really what drew him here."

Her husband said he's wanted to take a tour of the track since it opened in 2011. He was not disappointed.

"Oh, it's great," he said. "I didn't know there were so many different things that they did here. The karting and it's open to the public."

Jason Baird drove up from Cumming with his young son, Hudson, to check out the track and maybe see a couple of the exotic cars that frequent the country club for auto enthusiasts.

"Who could turn this down, especially from a guy's perspective," he said.

Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan said he was pleased with the turnout and the positive spotlight the event placed on the city.

"To put together that event in a month, it was fantastic," he said. "It was done very well and I really see bigger and better things out of it next year.

"It was a great event, it was well attended and the show was excellent."

Presented by the Dawsonville Downtown Development Authority, Sparks in the Motorsports Park is expected to become an annual affair.

"I thought it was an incredible event. We really appreciate those that stepped up and took that to the next level," said City Councilman Chris Gaines. "I think that shows that, as a city, we care about the citizens and things that are beneficial to them.

"It was a great event for the city and the residents, all around."




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countyresident: July 9, 2014 11:18 a.m.

Before reporting the fireworks were such a "blast" maybe the views of the residents who live around the motorsports park should have been asked. We had to deal with traffic, a loud band playing that could be heard over a 1/4 mile away and the fireworks themselves. We could not enjoy our evening because of the "event". While technically the city limits amp is roughly 5 miles from the downtown area out in the county. Moving the show out of downtown puts a burden on county residents...something amp and the city leaders have never cared about. If any of the city leaders lived near the park it would have never opened. So before reporting on what a success this was you should consider the fact that not everybody is happy about this.

S38: July 9, 2014 2:05 p.m.

Get over it and stop crying. to many cry babies crying about useless things.

Gold: July 10, 2014 5:58 p.m.

I can't believe someone is complaining about this. Get a life. You should of attended and enjoyed yourself. I drive by AMP all the time and I don't see any increased traffic because of it.

You share this planet with other people and you better get used to it.

S38: July 14, 2014 2:40 p.m.

Amen must be a move in from Atlanta.

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