Communities around Lake Lanier and the headwaters in the mountains can celebrate Independence weekend with parades, food trucks, car shows, live music and fireworks. Some celebrations get under way a day or two before the actual holiday Monday, July 4.

Here’s a sample:

o Laurel Park Celebration, Gainesville. All day celebration July 2 presented by Paul E. Bolding Post 7 American Legion; gates open 9 a.m. with food vendors, kids’ activities, music, splash pad, and more, fireworks at dark visible from numerous points around north end of Lake Lanier, 3100 Old Cleveland Hwy. $10 per car.

o Red, White & Boat, Gainesville. Music and fireworks celebration by the lake, bring chairs and coolers, 7-10 p.m. July 2, Gainesville Marina, 2145 Dawsonville Hwy. RSVP at

o Margaritaville/ Lanier Islands, Buford.  Live music 8-11 p.m. July 2 & 4, fireworks 10-10:15 p.m. July 2-4; water park open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Regular admission., 770-945-8787.

o University Yacht Club, Flowery Branch. Festivities for members only, fireworks display at dusk July 3 visible by boat, Burton Mill Park, and nearby coves. 6700 Yacht Club Rd., 770-967-2814.

o Thomas Mashburn Steam Engine Parade/Independence Day Celebration, Cumming. Parade with sports teams, dance academies, antique cars, tractors and steam engines on Tribble Gap Road from Forsyth Central High School to Cumming Fairgrounds. 10 a.m.-noon July 4; Independence Day Celebration with children’s activities, food, vendors, live music, adult beverages, and more 4-10 p.m., fireworks 9:30 p.m. Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Rd.

o Celebrate the 4th in Braselton. Food, music, parade, fireworks; parade on Ga. 53 begins at 6 p.m., live music and food trucks on the Town Green, 5-10 p.m. July 4, 9924 Davis St.

o Red, White & Blairsville. Food trucks, bounce houses, and fireworks, 7:30-10 p.m. July 4, Meeks Park, 11 Pool Lane.

o Fireworks at the Fairgrounds, Hiawassee. Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds annual blast in the mountains with live 60s-70s music with Vintage Vixens, 6-8 p.m., fireworks 9:45 p.m. July 4, 1311 Music Hall Rd.

o Parade and Celebration, Dahlonega. Firecracker 5K, car show, patriotic parade, free concerts in Hancock Park, DJ and fireworks show on University of North Georgia drill field ad dusk, July 4. For schedule see

o Old Fashioned Celebration at one of nation’s oldest state parks, Blairsville. 9 a.m. flag raising ceremony, followed by bicycle parade, pedal boat races, and other activities, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. July 4, Vogel State Park, 405 Vogel State Park Rd. $5 parking. , 706-745-2628.

o Annual Fireworks at Dusk, Helen. Bring lawn chairs and blankets, view fireworks from Alpine Village Shoppes and Helen Welcome Center. Arrive by 9 p.m. July 4, 1074 Eedelweiss Strasse. 706 878-2181,

o Mall of Georgia Family Fun Day, Buford. Family fun and entertainment, 2-6 p.m. July 4, Village Amphitheatre, 4345 Buford Dr., 678 482-8788.