Independence Day is still weeks away but the City of Albany is already making plans to ensure the annual celebration goes off with a bang.
City officials announced Fourth of July weekend plans Thursday morning.
The city will be hosting two days of events.
All events will be free admission.
The festivities begin with a downtown block party.
The city partnered with radio station WJIZ for a block party at 6 pm on Sunday, July 2nd on Front Street.
The block party will include food and entertainment for the whole family. The night will also feature an outdoor movie screening of "Storks" at sunset.
The Fourth of July concert and fireworks show on Tuesday, July 4th will be the main event.
Albany's own JChosen, a recent contestant on The Voice, will host the concert.
Other acts include country artist Aubrie Sellers and R&B singer Ro James.
This year the stage will be set just below the welcome center along the Riverwalk.
The entire celebration is sponsored by the recreation department.
This year's event is costing close to $25,000 dollars.
The concert will start at 5 p.m. Organizers assure the music will be family friendly.
At the same time, the vendors will open on Front Street. There will be dozens of vendors with food and drinks.
Organizers said fireworks will be bigger and better than ever this year.
The firework display will be shot off from the Broad Avenue Bridge for the second consecutive year.
Dale Henry has been running the firework show for the past 28 years.
"It will be a constant. For 25 to 30 minutes you will see a constant in air," Henry explained. "There is no pausing. It will just be constant and keep going."
He also said this year's show will include special light display.
Planners encourage people to bring blankets and lawn chairs for the concert and fireworks show.
Albany Police want to make sure everybody stays safe. They expect downtown Albany to be flooded with people starting at 5 p.m.
Police and fire officials will be out on the streets again this year.
Parking will be free at the Albany Civic Center. Police want you to use the Riverwalk to walk from Civic Center parking to Riverfront Park.
Police said you can bring coolers with waters and sodas, but alcohol won't be allowed.
"If you want to partake in alcoholic beverages do not bring them. We are going to have a zero tolerance approach. If you have alcohol there you will be charged and there is a very good possibility that you will be excused from the festivities," said Lt. William Dowdell.
Downtown businesses will be open on the 4th of July too.
Event goers will be able to get joint tickets for the Flint Riverquarium and the Thronateeska Heritage Center during Fourth of July weekend.
For $8.00, you can visit both the Riverquarium and Thronateeska.
The Riverquarium will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thronateeska will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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