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Independence celebration Saturday at Rock Creek
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Fireworks will light up the sky Saturday night at Rock Creek Park as Dawson County gets a jump start on the July Fourth holiday.


The Dawson Day Sparks in the Park event will begin at 5 p.m. with activities for the entire family.


Presented by the county and the Dawson Community News, the fireworks display is expected to be one of the most extravagant in north Georgia.


“This year’s Independence Day celebration will be even bigger and better than last year,” said Cathy Brooks, county spokeswoman. “The fireworks display is expected to be more spectacular than even that of last year.”


Set to rocking background music, the fireworks display will start about 9:45 p.m. and last nearly 20 minutes.


But don’t wait too long to arrive. Dozens of local groups and merchants will offer a variety of family fun, including a rock-climbing wall, face painting and a hot dog-eating contest.


Also expect to find a wide range of food vendors, peddling everything from boiled peanuts and popcorn to burgers and barbecue.


Picnics are also welcome, though coolers are subject to inspection. No alcohol is allowed on park grounds or outside parking areas.


Featured entertainment The Frogz, an Atlanta based six-piece band, return for a second year to play a variety of music from the past and present. The set list will emphasize dancing and fun.


Admission is free. Children’s activities, souvenirs and concessions are available for purchase.


Gates open at 5 p.m., with live music starting at 6 p.m.


Parking is available at Rock Creek and Dawson County River parks, as well as Riverview Middle and Elementary schools.


Shuttle service will transport visitors between the park and satellite parking areas until 9 p.m., at which time the portion of Hwy. 9 between Thompson and Dawson Forest roads will close to northbound traffic.


The southbound lane will be open to pedestrian traffic only.


Those not attending the event are encouraged to avoid the area from 5 to 11 p.m.