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Dance-off returns
Dance Off 2 es
Stephen Clack competes during the dance competition after the fireworks in 2009. - photo by File photo
What many local residents may not know is that Cumming has two fireworks shows for them to enjoy every July Fourth. And they happen about 30 minutes apart at the Cumming Fairgrounds.

Most folks know about the city’s fireworks show that lights up the night sky, but the other spectacle takes place at ground level on the old sawmill stage, where Thunder 104.3 WZTR FM holds a dance competition.

“We all wait for the fireworks,” said Bo Wilson, station manager for the Dahlonega radio station. “Afterwards, this a good way to cap the night off with a little fun.”

After the literal fireworks conclude, fairground visitors of all ages are invited to create some metaphorical ones with their dancing feet.

Competitors dance in one large group as judges pass through the crowd to select 10 finalists.

Of those, the field is narrowed to five and then three, with each elimination round based on crowd applause.

The top three finalists will receive a prize from the radio station. Previous awards have included savings bonds or trips.

Dancers in the final 10 will receive assorted prizes, such as tickets to the Cumming County Fair & Festival in the fall or a T-shirt.

Music will be provided by the band Pine City, featuring Andrew Black.

Dancers should be ready for music that ranges from Southern and classic rock to country.

As for how to get into that final group?

Fairgrounds Administrator Dave Horton suggests that dancers let go of their inhibitions and have their feet go crazy.

“They got to be able to get out there and show their stuff,” Horton said. “They can’t be shy about it. They got to bring it to get the crowd applause.”

Wilson, who will serve as a judge, offered the same advice.

“Tighten up those shoes, lace up the boots and get down.”