Fourth of July Celebrations

fourth of july celebrations

2016 Fourth of July celebrations, concerts, parades, fireworks in the Chattahoochee Valley

Here is a list of Fourth of July celebrations for 2016 in the Chattahoochee Valley area. If your community’s event or events aren’t listed here, please email [email protected] click here.

June 24-25

June 25

July 1

July 2

July 3

July 4

20 Moving Tips: Move Your Life, Keep Your Sanity


Moving and Packing Made Easier

Moving can be one of the most stressful events of your life… and with good reason.

Packing up years of accumulated stuff, keeping track of odds and ends, and tripping over boxes—tend to generate chaos and disorder. By the end of the day, you’ll probably look at your home and want to pull your hair out.  

If your stuff is staring you in the face, silently mocking you, use these 20 moving tips to help keep your sanity during your next relocation.

  1. Create a 3-ring binder, write down lists of everything you need to do, need to move, need to clean and when it all needs to be done.This notebook will be your moving-out bible, and could save your mind. For ease of planning, split your binder into four categories:
    • Here – for everything related to your current home and the packing up of all your stuff
    • There – for everything related to your next home
    • In Transit – for everything and anything you may need to reference or keep as you literally travel from one home to the next
    • Miscellaneous – for everything and anything you might need to reference or keep while you are without your household goods
  2. Schedule movers/book a Uhaul. Do this well in advance, especially if you’re moving at the end of a month (the most popular time to move and when they’ll most likely be booked up).
  3. If your budget allows, consider hiring professional movers who will take on much of the physical stress of packing and transporting your belongings.
  4. Gather sturdy boxes and packing materials from grocery, furniture or electronics stores, friends and neighbors.
  5. Don’t procrastinate. A few weeks prior to your move, start packing several boxes a day.
  6. Begin by packing non-essentials (out-of-season clothes, rarely-used kitchen equipment, knick-knacks, etc.) and work up to necessities as you get closer to moving day.
  7. Pack room-by-room. Focus on one area of a room at a time and don’t mix items from different rooms in one box.
  8. Instead of wrapping each dish in newspaper or bubble wrap, separate your dishes with Styrofoam plates. 
  9. Sell, toss or donate anything you haven’t used in more than a year.
  10. Have a pre-moving yard sale and make a little extra cash while you’re at it! The less stuff you have, the less you have to move.
  11. Place labels on the sides of boxes so you can see them when the boxes are stacked. Pack your boxes by room and label them accordingly. Color coding boxes by room is a great way to mark where each box should go.  This makes it easy for movers to identify which room they should put the boxes. 
  12. For items that must be disassembled, keep screws, washers, and so forth in labeled plastic bags. Put all the bags in one box so they won’t get lost. Do the same with the cords from your electronics.
  13. Take pictures of your electronic hookups so you have a guide to use when you get to your new home.
  14. Coordinate your moving dates with some overlap. Leave plenty of time between closing on your current home and the move-in date for your new home to paint or put in new flooring—whatever projects you have in mind—before you move in.
  15. Don’t box up everything. You should personally transport jewelry, heirlooms, important papers, legal documents (wills, birth certificates, passports. etc.), and valuables.
  16. Pack an overnight bag of essentials for each family member: medicines, toiletries and a change of clothes. And anything else you may use on a daily basis. Keep these bags handy so you’ll have everything you need for your first night in your new home without digging through boxes.
  17. Slip your hanging clothes into garbage bags while they’re still on the hanger. Simply transport them to your new closet and remove the bag.
  18. Have a friend watch your kids and/or pets so you can focus on the task at hand.
  19. Hire someone to come in when the house is empty to give it a scrub down. It should cost around $100. It’s totally worth it not to have to clean the house after a sweaty day of moving boxes.
  20. Take your time, think ahead, and keep your sense of humor!

Moving is an exciting time, so apply these to your next move to enjoy more and stress less! For more moving tips and ideas, visit

5 Simple Tips for a Successful Birthday Bash

birthday bash

Whether you’re planning a princess tea party or a superhero birthday bash, the secret to organizing a party your child will treasure is to keep your little one’s interests at the forefront.

If your child does well in smaller groups, keep the guest list small. Plan the menu around her favorite foods and look for little touches that celebrate the unique joy she brings to your family. Here are five tips to help make your little one’s big day extra special.

1. Set a theme.

Build your celebration around a theme that reflects your child’s interests. Popular options include a favorite color, sport, activity or character. While the Internet offers a mind-boggling array of ideas for crafting the perfect theme, there also are a variety of party-ready options for busy moms with limited time.

2. Decorate the guests.

There’s no reason to stop with streamers and balloons. Integrate your guests into the decor with fun activities that bring your theme to life. Face paint, washable tattoos or stamps let little guests take an active role in the party and express a little creativity of their own.

3. Amp up the activity.

Create opportunities for all the little partygoers to participate in the festivities with interactive games that tie back to the theme of the party. Old-school favorites like pin-the-tail on the donkey can be updated to reflect today’s popular characters; make-your-own slime or clay is the perfect project for a group of mad scientists; or a treasure hunt can be adapted to nearly any theme.

4. Add some fancy to the food.

If your party menu calls for more than cake and ice cream, you can take advantage of another avenue to carry through your theme. A little creativity, some clever monikers and a few basic modifications can quickly transform everyday snacks into festive fun.

For example, a dinosaur party might feature Brontosaurus Burgers and T-Rex Trail Mix. The options are nearly endless, and if you’re at a loss, you can find ample inspiration online.

5. Offer a fond farewell.

No birthday party is complete without treats to send partygoers home happy. However, goodie bags need not be costly or elaborate. An inexpensive item such as bubbles or sidewalk chalk tied in theme-colored ribbon is a fun choice for many ages. Simply package items in a vessel that fits the theme, such as a purse for a princess party or a small pail for a beach blast.

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6 Tips to Stop the Summer Slide

stop summer slide

The weather is warm and school is out, but learning shouldn’t stop just because vacation has started. Stepping too far away from the books can result in learning loss. However, research shows that encouraging kids to read for 20 minutes a day over the summer can help prevent the summer slide.

The key is finding ways to make reading fun, combining educa­tion and entertainment, according to Kate DiCamillo, a two-time Newberry Medal Award-winning author and the 2016 Collaborative Summer Library Program National Summer Reading Champion.

“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty, but rather as a gift that emphasizes the fun of opening a new book and celebrating the satisfaction that comes from read­ing another story,” said DiCamillo, who is the 2016-17 Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program literary partner.

Summer schedules can get busy, but with a little creativity it’s easy to fit in those 20 minutes, even when you have other plans. Here are 6 tips to make reading fun and help stop the summer slide.

1. Take a book.

The best way to get your kids reading is to have books available, so take them with you, whether it’s in the car, at the beach or waiting at the doctor’s office.

2. Summer recharge.

Plan ahead for a fun reading-related trip during the summer to reignite the love of books and reward kids for reading. It doesn’t have to be fancy; the trip could simply be camping like a character in a book.

3. Explore hobbies.

Reading is more fun when the subject matter involves your favorite things. Look for books that match your kids’ personal interests.

4. Pen pals.

Work with other parents to set up pen pals and have kids write letters back and forth to practice their reading and writing skills.

5. Take direction.

Ask kids to read the directions for a classic summer project, like setting up a tent or making a picnic snack. Whether they are directing you or doing it themselves, reading and understanding directions builds important skills.

6. Tap into tech time.

If you’re committed to limiting screen time for the summer, consider a compromise that lets kids use devices for productive activities, such as reading e-books.

The sooner you start a habit of reading every day, the better your child will be prepared when school kicks off again. 

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Summer Festivals 2016

summer festivals 2016

Summer Festivals in Georgia & Alabama

Fun things your family can do in the summer

Southern summers can be scorching hot, but we still love to get outside, cook some food, and just have fun. The South is home to dozens of family-friendly festivals each summer. Here are 10 of our favorites in Georgia and Alabama.

Alabaster CityFest

Alabaster CityFest

June 4, 2016

Alabaster, AL

Alabaster CityFest is one of Alabama’s state’s largest music and arts festivals, The event features fun for everyone, including live music concerts and a huge area for the kids with inflatables, kiddie rides, Lowes Build & Grow Workshop, kids music stage, K9 dog show, arts & crafts and more! Free admission and free parking.

Georgia Peach Festival

Georgia Peach Festival

June 11, 2016

Byron and Fort Valley, GA

This week-long festival attracts more than 10,000 visitors a year. Events are split between the two host cities  – Byron and Fort Valley. The Georgia Peach Festival offers a wealth of events focused on peaches, including live music concerts, a parade, peach-focused arts and crafts, as well as a flea market, a Miss Georgia Peach contest – and the highlight of the event – the fireworks display.

Blairsville-Scottish Festival and Highland Games

Scottish Festival

June 10-12, 2016

Blairsville, GA

Celebrate everything Scottish at the Blairsville-Scottish Festival and Highland Games. Each year the festival kicks off with a Kilted Golf Classic, a Kilted 5k run and a Ceilidh-On-The-Square that is fun for the whole family. All weekend long you can enjoy: visiting Scottish clans, Societies, hear pipe & drum bands, see the Parade of Tartans, a Mini Cooper car parade, dancers, musicians, Highland animals, vendors, Scottish food, kid’s games and heritage searches. The Kirkin’ of the Tartans highlights Sunday’s entertainment, along with clan contests and more.

Alabama Blueberry Festival

Alabama Blueberries

June 18, 2016

Brewton, AL

This festival has arts and crafts, marketplace vendors, antique car show, live entertainment, blueberries, blueberry bushes, cookbooks, 5K run, cardboard boat race, and more. There is also a free children’s section. Home of the “original” blueberry ice cream (made especially for the festival). Live entertainment featuring Brewton Born Country/Gospel Recording Artist Chris Golden! Free admission and parking. Shuttles will be running!

Fort Benning’s Independence Celebration

Benning Indepence celebration

Last weekend in June

Fort Benning, GA

Don’t miss the annual Fort Benning Independence Celebration June 24 and 25. Celebrate our nation’s independence and show support your for our military, Soldiers, Families, retirees and the civilians who make it all possible. Enjoy a variety of traditional fair foods, more than 30 free inflatables for the kids, air shows and military exhibitions. The grande finale features the Soldier Marathon Fireworks Show — the largest fireworks display in the Chattahoochee Valley. Free and open to the public.


Callaway Gardens’ Star Spangled Beach Party

callaway star spangled beach party

July 4, 2016

Pine Mountain, GA

Callaway Gardens’ annual Star Spangled Beach Party is begins early and lasts well into the night. Highlights include beach activities around Robin Lake, Live music, the FSU Flying High Circus and a Fireworks Extravaganza. Be sure to pack plenty of red, white and blue for this All-American Weekend!

Georgia Mountain Fair

Hiawassee, GA

July 15, 2016

Thousands of visitors from across the region flock to the historic Georgia Mountain Fairground for the Georgia Mountain Fair. With first class musical performances, fun carnival rides, unique attractions and a glimpse into North Georgia’s rich history and culture, the Fair provides something for every member of the family. Admission is $12. Children 12 & Under Free
Free Parking.

17th Annual Butternut Creek Festival


July 18 – 19, 2016

Blairsville, GA

One of the finest juried arts and crafts shows in the southeast, this annual, two day festival showcases the work of 65-70 artists and craftsmen. You’ll find basketry, fine art, fabric art, decorative painting, glass, jewelry, metal working, photography, pottery, scrimshaw, and woodturning. Free admission and free parking with shuttle service from the parking lots to the show site.

Piedmont Park Arts Festival

Piedmont Park Arts Fest

August 15-16, 2016

The Piedmont Park Summer Arts & Crafts Festival is a 2-day outdoor event with an emphasis on the visual arts and family fun. This event features up to 250 painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metalwork, glass blowers, jewelers, and crafters! The Festival will also offer artist demonstrations, live acoustic music, an Emerging Artists Pavilion, a children’s play area, plus festival foods and beverages with healthy alternatives. Ranked one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 events.

30th Annual Fort Mims Reenactment


August 27-28, 2016

Stockton, AL

August 30th marks the anniversary of the Battle of Fort Mims. Join us for a weekend of living history, re-enactments, crafts, and more as we remember the American and Creek Indian lives lost on this site so many years ago. The event features living history demonstrations, reenactments and more. Displays of arrowheads and artifacts, early 1800’s crafts (basket weaving, blacksmith work, pottery making, flint napping), period music, Native American crafts and culture, and more. Concessions available. Bring a lawn chair. Burnt Corn re-enactment 11 a.m. and Fort Mims re-enactment at 2 p.m.