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Star-spangled celebration
Sparks fly on the 4th of July
A-July 4 pic1
Johanna and Avaya Higgins patiently wait for Mondays fireworks at Atlanta Motorsports Park to begin. - photo by Michele Hester Dawson County News

It's not always an easy task to impress an 11-year-old.

But the city of Dawsonville appears to have done the near impossible.

"The big, explosive grand finale was awesome," said Kenny Shealey, who joined friends Monday night to watch fireworks at Atlanta Motorsports Park.

Now in its third year, Sparks in the Motorsports Park is the city's annual Independence Day fireworks extravaganza.

"The event was spectacular," said Mayor James Grogan. "We had many new vendors for food this year, the bike shows were the best ever and the crowd was very large."

Thousands turned out for an afternoon of July 4th fun that included a motocross stunt show that Shealey called amazing.

"The back flips were the coolest part," he said.

There was also face painting, kart racing, a cake decorating contest and a 4K run that ended as the fireworks erupted in the sky.

Seanie Zappendorf, acting chairwoman for the Dawsonville Downtown Development Authority which organized the event, called the entire day a huge success.

"The morning started with the 4th of July 4-Hour Summer Karting Enduro race. The event was sold out so it was a great success for its first year," she said. "The 4k had over 50 runners registered which is pretty good since most of those runners ran the Peachtree Road Race that morning and just thought it was fun finishing their run under the fireworks."

Zappendorf said the event could not have gone off without the support of everyone who attended, from the workers and volunteers, to the vendors, entertainers and the guests.

"It takes about $22,000 to hold this yearly event, so I truly appreciate Jeremy Porter, owner of AMP, our friends and local businesses that helped made this happen," she said.