ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Fourth of July fireworks celebration will return to downtown Albany for 2015.
The patriotic display is moving back to downtown after being held at the Exchange Club Fairgrounds for the last two years.
"We're excited to bring Fourth of July back downtown," said Joel Holmes, Director of Recreation and Parks.
City leaders made the announcement in the Science Museum at Thronateeska Heritage Center.
The City of Albany's 2015 Independence Day Fireworks Celebration will be held on Saturday, July 4, at the Albany Civic Center.
Vendors will be open beginning at 5:00 pm along South Front Street with live music and entertainment starting at 5:30 pm in Veteran's Amphitheater.
The fireworks show will take place at 9:30 pm from the southeast corner of the Civic Center.
The City of Albany will also have a showing of The Lego Movie at Riverfront Park on Friday, July 3.
Area restaurants are expected to have special offers on Friday as well.
While a new state law allows the use of personal fireworks, officials are asking those attending to not bring them to the city's fireworks show.
Phyllis Banks with Albany Police encouraged everyone to stay with their family or group as they spend time downtown.
"If you come as a family, we want you to leave as a family," Banks said.
In addition, she announced that every Albany Police officer will be on duty during the July 4th event, with the help of specially assigned surveillance cameras.
In 2012, a number of fights broke out in the Turtle Park area where many people gathered to watch the fireworks show.
Police said it became a safety and crowd control issue, and police officers made the decision to suspend the fireworks.
About 10:45 p.m. that night, police cleared the area after unattended youth ran around and started fights and confrontations. A few minutes later, the fireworks show did resume, although few people were there to see the end of it
APD had 85 officers assigned to the 2012 event. There was no gunfire and there was no indication that gangs were involved.
Former Albany Police Chief John Proctor blamed the problems on juveniles who were downtown without any adult supervision.
Before all that trouble, vendors and families gathered for what they expected to be a fun and safe celebration of our nation's independence.