ALBANY, GA (WALB) - With the 4th of July falling on a Monday, the city of Albany looked at this weekend as a great time to showcase what the downtown area can offer.
Monday marked the end, the finale of what began as a full weekend of events in Albany.
Potential for Downtown Albany
Downtown management and many other organizations teamed up for those events.
The Flint Riverquarium and Throneteeska Heritage Center even stayed open for the day and offered special deals.
Thousands showed up for the Reuben Studdard concert on Saturday, and Sunday night the park was full for the movie.
Kristen Caso is the special events coordinator for Albany Recreation and Parks. She is pleased with how the weekend turned out.
"I think people are really feeling positive things about downtown Albany after this weekend. People wanted a great weekend and we are going to bring it to a finale tonight," said Caso.
Caso said that this weekend proved how much potential downtown has.
Good for business
These events have attracted a lot of folks to the area.
About a dozen food trucks and stands were set up for Monday's events.
Small businesses have come out and set up for the public. Events like these are great for their businesses.
From boiled peanuts to ICEEs to food on the grill, there is quite the selection for folks who are coming out to enjoy the day.
It's not every weekend Albany hosts events like these, but these owners are excited.
Most of them arrived between 9 and 10 Monday morning to set up.
JB's Peanuts came all the way from Moultrie.
"We heard a lot about the fireworks that are going to be out here this weekend so we called and got registered in," said Murray Barfield, of JB's Peanuts.
Like the Barfields, whole families came out to set up.
They were all just hoping for a great show and an even better turnout.
The streets were full and everybody seemed to be having a good time.
The grand finale
The fireworks show has been a tradition in downtown Albany for many years.
It's been 8 years since fireworks launched from the Broad Avenue bridge.
The firework crew started work at 6 o'clock Monday morning.
Through the blasting heat, they set up close to 1,000 arrow shells and nearly 2,000 ground level fireworks that will shoot up 60 feet in the air.
They also put out a waterfall off both sides of the bridge, something people haven't seen for 8 to 9 years.
Dale Henry has been working on the firework crew for 27 years. He says he is most excited for this year's display.
"It has just got bigger and bigger and there is more and more stuff that keeps coming up. Of course with the new bridge it's going to be something to see off of this," said Dale Henry, chief of fireworks crew.
The show this year is also set to music and starts around 9:30 p.m.
The best spot to watch the fireworks will be from Ray Charles Plaza or Riverfront Park.
A great experience
The streets were quiet this morning in downtown Albany, but by dinner time, the crowds came alive.
Albany police patrolled the streets by foot, bike and car.
And as the sun started to set, people set their blankets down to get ready for the show.
Twyeesha Cole has been coming with her whole family since she was a kid.
"Ever since I was little, I've been seeing it and as I grew up I've been seeing how cool it got," said Cole.
Between beats and rhythms in veterans park, and the smell of turkey legs on a street full of food trucks, she found what she wanted.
"Just walking around the streets seeing all of the people and all of the food, I like it and I hope it will be fun tonight."
But what she was looking forward to most of all was the fireworks.
And at 9:30 p.m., the sky lit up, making a Fourth of July spectacular for all of those who attended.