Lawrenceville holds 7th Prelude to the Fourth

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Sisters Lauren, 6, and Adriana Kieser, 3, had a front row seat for fireworks in Lawrenceville on Saturday night, both dressed for the occasion in red, white and blue dresses.

The duo sat with a friend, 7-year-old Lindsey Hassett, twirling glow-in-the-dark necklaces on the curb in front of the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse as the Aurora Theatre presented its concert adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" just behind them on the courthouse lawn. It was a prime spot to watch the annual Prelude to the Fourth fireworks display that ushered in the Fourth of July holiday with loud booms, sizzles and lots of sparkles and brought out hundreds of people for the annual event.

"We sort of chose it because we came a little late," the girls' grandfather, Jim Ott, laughed. "(But) it's a great spot."

The fireworks that lit up the Lawrenceville skyline behind the downtown businesses along Crogan Street on Saturday were accompanied by a live orchestral rendition of John Philip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever," its familiar march beginning shortly after the fireworks sounded off.

Lauren Kieser remembered spending July 3 last year in downtown Lawrenceville as Prelude to the Fourth has become a tradition for the Kieser family, which includes dad Dwight and mom Cathryn. Ott and his wife travel from North Carolina to attend the annual event as well as celebrate Adriana's Keiser's birthday, which falls on July 7.

Prelude to the Fourth is a Gwinnett tradition that now spans seven years. Saturday's fireworks display ushered in the Fourth of July holiday, which will be celebrated today with fireworks shows at the Mall of Georgia, Stone Mountain Park and Lake Lanier Islands Resort.