The 4th of July is just around the corner, and to many, this monumental day is celebrated with family fun, parades, fireworks, concerts and picnics. Luckily, there's no need to travel to the coast, the city, or cross-country this year, because Athens, Georgia has all that you and the family could want- and more- for a July Georgia getaway to celebrate Independence Day this year!

Thanks to Foundry Entertainment, Packway Handle Band, and the Athens Folk Music and Dance Society, the Classic City American Music Festival is returning for its fifth year at The Melting Point! This one-day Blugrass/Americana festival is packed with eight of the most talented and established groups of their kind. Impressing the nation for six decades, Dr. Ralph Stanley will perform with The Clinch Mountain Boys at 8 p.m., elevating his musical ingenuity to a whole new level.  Originating in Athens, Georgia, and credited in part for creating the festival, the Packway Handle Band will take the stage at 10 p.m. and blow the whole family away. Their performance won't leave you confused as to why they've been named "Athens’ Best Bluegrass Band" in the readers’ choice Flagpole Magazine Music Awards three years in a row. Other unique bands performing include Adam Klein and The Wild Fires, whose hits reached the Top 5 of Americana charts, Asheville, NC's The Honeycutters, Jimmy Martin-inspired BorderHop Trio, 2012 Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition winner Bluebilly Grit, the dance-evoking String Theory, and the energetic and progressive High Strung String Band. Not much could beat this line-up for an Independence Day celebration! Tickets are $20 in advance and $25/$15 with UGA ID at the door, and all ages are welcome! If you're looking for a place to stay, the neighboring Foundry Park Inn has great special offers, including deluxe guestroom accommodations and your choice of add-on packages and a separate special room rate for UGA students and parents.  They're definitely worth a look!

For those craving traditional Independence Day activities like inflatables, face painting, fireworks, and a parade, the Star Spangled Classic is the perfect way to celebrate! Beginning at 6 p.m., families and friends of all ages will fill Bishop Park to enjoy the free live music, games, food, and kids inflatables. Fireworks will start at dark (around 9:30 p.m.)! Returning for the second year, the Kids Patriot Parade at 7 p.m. will show off bicycles, tricycles, and other non-motorized modes of transportation decorated by kids ages 10 and younger. The parade is free to enter, but you must register on location beginning at 6 p.m. Prizes will be given to the most creative decorators! The Star Spangled Classic is the perfect (and free!) Fourth of July bash for the young, old, and everyone in between! 

You can stop stressing about holiday plans, because the The Classic City American Music Festival and the Star Spangled Classic have got you covered here in Athens, Georgia! While you're at it, check out all of the activities on July 4th weekend, and make the celebration of the United States of America's 237th year of independence the best one yet!