By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Dawsonville knows how to celebrate July 4th
132V Screen shot 2015 07 08 at 10.13.30 AM

The second annual Dawsonville July 4th celebration at Atlanta Motorsports Park brought thousands of fireworks fans to the field for festivities and fun.

And, a deluge of rain held off until minutes after everyone exited the parking lots.

I loved the fireworks show, said Megan Dempsey, who came with her family from Alpharetta. We totally werent expecting those guys to jump out of an airplane carrying flags. That really touched my heart because my dad served in Vietnam.

Two active duty military personnel parachuted from a small plane nearly 1,000 feet above AMP.

Its our pleasure to be here, said Team Leader Keith Walter, the only civilian with the group. This is a great crowd.

Army Special Forces Lt. Cmdr. Ken Ayers flew a POW flag behind his parachute and loved the landing zone.

We can land these things on a dime, and coming down right next to the crowd was really fun, Ayers said.

Parachuting with an American flag was Navy Lt. Cmdr. Lauro Luna and assisting on the ground was Army Staff Sgt. Andy Sippl, the youngest of the group stationed in Tampa, Fla.

Approximately 4,000 people attended the event, which included live entertainment, food vendors, go-cart driving, bouncy houses, a dunk tank and more small town, July 4th fun.

We were really happy with the turnout, and we think its promoting the city the way we wanted to, said Seanie Zappendof, secretary/treasurer of the Downtown Development Authority, who organized the event. I had strangers come up and tell me the fireworks were better than Lenox.

The cost of the 30-minute fireworks show? $10,000.

We really want to thank Jeremy Porter of AMP, who has donated his property two years in a row to the community, Zappendorf said. We are so grateful to him. He had the vision of bringing in the parachuters, and we made it happen. Its also all about the community welcoming the event and making it successful. So, we want to thank everyone who came out and enjoyed themselves.


Earlier in the day, Dawsonville hosted its first Heritage Days festival in front of city hall.

Visitors enjoyed demonstrations on quilt making, honeybees, milking a cow, soap making, blacksmithing, a corn hole tournament and car show.

This event will grow into one of our major festivals in the future, Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan said. People want to know more about their heritage and what better way to learn than in Dawsonville.

And, speaking of heritage, moonshine tours were given at a local distillery by TV star Jeff, made famous on the Moonshiners show.

The event was sponsored by the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.

I want to thank all of the wonderful volunteers for their time, Grogan said.


During the July 4th weekend, Georgia State Patrol working Dawson County issued 32 tickets, 48 warnings, and arrested two people for DUI. They also worked seven car wrecks with no serious injuries.