If you're like me, then you consider the 4th of July weekend to be easily the best weekend of the entire summer. Friends get together to grill hamburgers and hot dogs, eat sticky watermelon slices and rapidly-melting homemade ice cream, and pull up lawn chairs and blankets to watch the fireworks light up the night sky. Although Athens had to cancel their Star-Spangled Classic fireworks show this year, there are still plenty of options for some 4th of July fun this weekend!

1) If you want to get in the mood for the 4th with a mixture of bluegrass, americana and folk music, head on over to The Melting Point on Sunday for the Classic City 4th of July American Music Festival. With over 10 acts on both indoor and outdoor stages beginning at 2 p.m., there will be music that celebrates America's roots all night long. With notable acts such as Ken Will Morton, Seven Handle Circus and Art Rosenbaum, this family-friendly event will be sure to entertain both the young and old.

Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 at the door, but children 12 and under get in free! The show will begin, rain or shine, on Sunday, July 3rd, at 2 p.m. and will last through midnight. Special hotel room rates for festival attendees are available at the Foundry Park Inn & Spa. To buy tickets or for more information, look here!

2) Another option for celebrating America's independence with music will be at the Classic City Band Concert at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia on Sunday, July 3rd. The Classic City Band was formed in 1976 with the intent to preserve the rich culture and heritage of the American Concert Band, and is the oldest continuously functioning community band in all of Georgia. The Classic City Band gives free concerts throughout the year in Athens and local communities, and their annual concert at the State Botanical Garden has been popular for many years and always draws a full house.

The concert will feature lively, patriotic music and will be held in the Garden's Visitor Center & Conservatory. Concertgoers will enjoy air conditioning as well as a large, beautiful garden during the performance. The concert will begin at 3 p.m. and is free to all guests. Learn more about the State Botanical Garden of Georgia here.

3) To learn more about the life of Lamar Dodd, one of Georgia's most influential artists, be sure to visit the Georgia Museum of Art for the Lamar Dodd: Paintings and Drawings exhibition. Dodd was responsible for revitalizing the art department of the University of Georgia in 1937, and is regarded as the "godfather" of the Georgia Museum of Art.

Born and raised in LaGrange, Dodd's work featured the southern landscapes, history, and people of the South. The exhibition will feature 100 of Dodd's images, some juxtaposed with related watercolors and paintings.

The exhibition is free and open to the general public. More information about the Georgia Museum of Art and gallery hours can be found at their website here.

For more ideas on what to do this weekend, or to look ahead to next week, check out our event calendar!