Hours before the fireworks were set to begin, hundreds of people gathered Sunday night at the Cumming Fairgrounds to enjoy food, fun and family.
Robin Patterson, who was joined by husband Dave and their two children, said it was her first time experiencing the annual festivities in Cumming.
Son Ozzie, 4, said he couldn’t decide if he was looking forward more to the rides or the fireworks.
Patterson said the family came to “meet up with some good friends, have fun, grill out, and let the boys wear themselves out.”
They had many activities to choose from, including water treaders, a rock wall, spider bungee jumps, slides and bounce houses.
Ramsey Collier, 7, was having her face painted in patriotic colors.
Her favorite part of the night?
“Fireworks!” she said before adding, “Except for the cotton candy and the bungee jumping and the slides — all of it.”
Subhan Qureshi, 9, was looking forward to the fireworks show.
“I like the exploding part,” he said.
His 4-year-old sister, Anum, had fond memories of previous shows.
“I remember seeing all of them,” she said.
Lori Reichart and Jennifer Brakke came with their families to celebrate the holiday.
“The fireworks are usually a good show,” Reichart said.
Added Brakke, “It’s fun to do with friends. We’ve both been coming for about five years now.”
Julia Ogilvy, 11, said her family usually goes fishing in North Carolina or celebrates in South Carolina, but this year they opted to see Cumming’s spectacular display of light and sound.
“It’s great,” she said. “I love them.”
When the fireworks ended, dozens in the crowd participated in a second show – the annual dance contest.
After several rounds, 5-year-old River Jack Randolph prevailed with his break-dancing moves, sunglasses and baseball cap, which he wore backwards.
Tanya Brooks, who came in third, said she participated for her own enjoyment.
“I did it for fun and I love dancing,” she said.
As for the strategy that got her in the final three?
“Just have fun,” she said.