Though summer officially started last weekend, it doesn't feel real until the Fourth of July, when we remember the meaning of the red, white and blue while enjoying our freedoms with family time, picnics and fireworks.
For this week's 13 Things, we've collected some of the best ways to celebrate the Fourth in central Georgia.
Sunday, June 30
1. Start celebrating early on Sunday, June 30 with a fireworks and a parade in Perry! Bring your families, picnic baskets, coolers, blankets (and of course yourself) to the parade in downtown Perry starting at 6 p.m. Perry native and Green Bay Packers' cornerback Casey Hayward serves as the parade's Grand Marshal.
Catch the parade on Washington Street, Main Street and Gen. Courtney Hodges Blvd.
2. Then at 7 p.m., head to the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter for live music, a kid's zone and food vendors. The fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 3
3. Celebrate in the city of Warner Robins with the 31st Annual Independence Day Celebration Wednesday, July 3.
Join the crowd on the McConnell-Talbert Stadium field with your lawn chairs and picnic blankets for a free concert with Stillwater, Bobbie Eakes and much-anticipated encore performance by the Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
Gates open at 6 p.m. and the concert starts at 8 p.m.
4. Feel free to stop by the Freedom Celebration at First Presbyterian Church in Warner Robins from 7-11 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3. They'll have food and fun!
Thursday, July 4
Make a full day of it!
5. First, try one of these festive breakfast ideas:
--Red, white and blue star pancakes
6. Hang a patriotic wreath or your United States flag outside.
7. Start off by visiting Fort Hawkins for their annual 4th celebration with a tour of the block house replica. Enjoy lemonade, cookies and fountain fireworks. Stop by anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
8. Then, stop by Huntington Hill for a block party starting at noon.
9. If you're near Dooly County in the evening, enjoy fireworks at Carl Savage Airport in Montezuma. Those start around 6:30 p.m.
10. If you're in or near Macon, enjoy the rocket bursts at Lake Tobesofkee at Sandy Beach Park. Those start at 9:30 p.m.
11. Then, once you're home, enjoy some late-night reading of the Declaration of the Independence.
12. Eat a festive dessert and...
13. ...light your own sparklers and spell out your names outside! (Be sure to keep a bucket of water outside and read these sparkler safety tips first!)
Be safe out there!