It’s that time of the year again –  time to wake up long before the sun comes out, figure out how to get Lenox Square without a car, and set off with 60,000 of your closest friends from across the state and country to run 6.2 miles down Peachtree Street.

The Peachtree Road Race will be run for the 49th time this year and it’s setting up for a Chamber of Commerce July 4th in metro Atlanta this year. Chances of rain are low, humidity is not too bad and the high on Wednesday is only expected to be 88° – a relatively cool July day for an Atlanta summer.

There are a few new things to know if you are headed to the race this year – either for jogging or spectating purposes. As in previous years, there is a strict “No Bag Policy” at the Peachtree Road Race. Backpacks but also Camelbaks or other similar devices are prohibited. Also, the start times have been moved up by 30 minutes this year. Streets will close earlier – including Peachtree Street at 4:30 – and the first wave, the wheelchair racers, will take off at 6:25 a.m. The last wave, Y, will start at 8:40 and Peachtree Street will be back open by noon.

As part of the run-up to this year’s race, the Atlanta Track Club has unveiled a new project dedicated to branding Atlanta as “Running City USA.” It is aimed to be a boost both to the track club but also general wellness for the city and metro area. Besides hosting the world’s largest 10K every year, Atlanta is also home to the second largest track club in the country. “It means the entire city is committed to growing health and wellness, with trails, parks and paths acting as the city’s moving connector. It means this is a city experiencing unprecedented growth and sharpening its focus on creating a more walkable, runnable, and livable city,” says the official Running City website. You may have seen or heard ads for the project and expect to see plenty more if you turn out for the Peachtree on Wednesday.  

If waking up before the sun on Wednesday does not sound like a good way to spend a holiday to you, there are plenty of other options for July 4th in the metro area.

The Georgia Aquarium is hosting “Red, White and Brew,” a celebration featuring unlimited beer and cider samples, BBQ, live music and, of course, approximately 500 of your favorite aquatic friends. 

Stone Mountain is having its Fantastic Fourth Celebration all week, featuring the “Must-See Fireworks Show” per USA Today and “America’s Most Spectacular Fourth of July Fireworks” by Reader’s Digest.

All of downtown Covington will be turned into Stars and Stripes Fest on Wednesday. Fireworks, food, live music and more. It was voted the “Best Fourth of July Celebration” in 2016 by Main Street America.  

If you aren’t near any of those places – or the Marietta Square or Wills Park in Alpharetta or the Cumming Fairgrounds – get in your car just before sunset on Wednesday, start driving and look up – safely of course.



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