When you watch fireworks explode on the Fourth of July, thank John Adams.
Adams, a future U.S. president, was a member of the Committee of Five who drafted the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
In a letter to his wife Abigail, Adams wrote that the date the nation declared its independence from England "ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."
Just a year later, when America's independence was far from certain, Fourth of July celebrations took place across the nation with cannons being fired and fireworks shows, the latter a tradition that has continued to today.
Locally, the city of Varnell and the Highland Forest subdivision start things off on Wednesday.
"We are co-sponsoring the Highland Forest fireworks show," said Varnell City Manager Mike Brown. "It's mainly for Highland Forest residents but because we are co-sponsoring it, Varnell residents can go to."
Brown says the fireworks will start around 9:30 p.m.
"But you probably need to get there early to get a spot," he said. "They can come to the Highland Forest tennis courts, near the lake, or by the pool area."
Varnell is also co-sponsoring fireworks with the town of Cohutta on the Fourth of July. The fireworks will cap off a day of celebration in downtown Cohutta and the town park.
"Everything starts at 4 p.m.," said Cohutta Mayor Ron Shinnick. "We are going to have face painting. We'll have antique cars and tractors, hayrides. We'll have the original Cohutta fire truck that they put into service in the 1960s on display."
The town will provide free watermelon and water, and a local church will provide free popcorn.
"We'll also have food vendors, with a whole variety of food items from barbecue ribs to hamburgers and hot dogs and barbecue sandwiches," Shinnick said. "They'll also have ice cream and other desserts."
The Buckner Brothers, a popular local band, will perform at 5 p.m. The fireworks will start around 9:30 p.m.
"Everyone is invited. It's going to be a real family atmosphere. You just need to bring a chair or a blanket to sit on," Shinnick said.
The city of Dalton will also host a Fourth of July celebration at Heritage Point Park.
"You don't need to be a Dalton resident to come out," said Mayor Dennis Mock. "This is a countywide or even regional event."
The day starts at 10 a.m. with an old-timers softball game and a one-pitch softball tournament.
At 3 p.m., at the Rotary Pavilion, the cornhole tournament starts, and registration will be held for all the other contests.
At 4 p.m., the Little Miss Rec and Junior Miss Rec contests will be held at the Rotary Pavilion and the disc golf tournament starts at the disc golf course.
At 5 p.m., the Krystal eating and donut eating contests start.
At 6:30 p.m., an evening of professional wrestling starts at the east amphitheater. There will be eight matches on the card.
And finally, at around 9:45 p.m., the fireworks will begin. Officials say they will last about 30 minutes.