Photo: David McGregor. Mimi Bryan and her 2-year-old granddaughter, Natasha Tjahja, enjoy the festivities at the Mall of Georgia's Fabulous Fourth celebration Monday.
BUFORD — Typically, 19-year-old Angelica Brunache would go to the Mall of Georgia to put in time at her part-time job at Charlotte Russe. Other times she would go there to shop.
But Monday was not a work day for her, only time to spend with her family at the Mall of Georgia’s Fabulous Fourth celebration.
Brunache goes to college in South Carolina and doesn’t get enough time to spend with her family due to the distance, so this was a good way for them to get together.
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“I’m looking forward to the family time since I’m always away at school,” Brunache said.
This was the mall’s ninth annual event and despite the temporary showers, families came decked out in the red, white and blue to celebrate Independence Day.
On entering the lot, booths with various vendors were lined up throughout the area offering food, drinks, face painting and temporary tattoos.
Farther down the lot was a Kids Zone where kids jumped around in the different bouncy house inflatables, bungee jumped or enjoyed a ride on the Bela Tori train.
Kim Holland said she heard about the event in the paper and thought her kids would enjoy the bouncy houses.
“We had five minutes of jumping before it started raining, so we were waiting it out,” Holland said. “We just wanted to come and see what kind of activities they had for the kids.”
Not only were there activities for the kids, but for adults, too.
The event featured Mall of Georgia’s Beer Garden, which was open to families but catered specifically to the 21 and older crowd.
It was decorated as a lounge where guests could enjoy a meal topped off with a cold brew from Rick Tanner’s rotisserie.
For a more relaxed atmosphere, families and friends laid their blankets on the grass at the mall’s amphitheater and enjoyed the free concerts with performances by The Woodys and the Atlanta Groove.
Others celebrated in the parking lot with their personal grills with hot dogs and hamburgers for the family to enjoy.
But the one event that most were looking forward to were the colorful displays at the end of the night, the fireworks. This is the part of the night where families get most excited.
Thirteen-year-old Enid Appiah said she was looking forward to seeing the fireworks because this was her first time seeing a big display.
“This is my first time seeing fireworks here (Mall of Georgia),” Appiah said. “My first time seeing fireworks was three years ago and it wasn’t that big, so I’m excited to see that.”
Friends Shadia Sobers and Mikhaila MIller said this was also their first time at the event. They said they mainly come to the mall for the food, but were excited to see the fireworks.
“I love seeing the fireworks,” Sobers said. “You only get one chance a year really to see fireworks. You really have to take advantage of that.”
After the fireworks, the mall showed “Little Fockers” as a part of its “Movies Under the Stars.”
Migual Rivera said he brought his kids to the event but was not sure what to expect.
“I’m glad I took my kids,” Rivera said. “Not only for the fireworks, but because they are older and can appreciate and understand what it means to celebrate the fourth.”