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Leave fireworks to the experts this Fourth of July

 

 

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Just in time for the Fourth of July, the National Fire Protection Association released its fireworks report, which explores fire and injury dangers related to consumer fireworks. The report shows that in 2010 alone, an estimated 15,500 reported fires were started by fireworks and 8,600 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. The risk of fireworks injury is highest for children ages 5-14. Cobb Fire and Emergency Services staff encourage residents to leave fireworks to the professionals. Consumer fireworks include sparklers and firecrackers. The tip of a sparkler burns at a temperature of more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to cause third-degree burns. The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

 

(Source: CobbLine)

 

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Fun Facts: 4th of July by the Numbers

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On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.

2.5 million – In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.

Source: Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970

311.7 million – The nation’s estimated population on this July Fourth.

Source: US Census Population

 

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Eating Well at Your Fourth of July Barbecue

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It seems harmless enough. A scoop here, a nibble there, a handful of this and a few of those.

But if you’re trying to stay healthy this Fourth of July weekend, the average summer barbecue can leave you feeling less than celebratory. With an estimated 76 million Americans who say they participated in a barbecue during the last year, that’s a lot of potentially calorie-laden eating.

However, barbecues don’t have to be unhealthy. There is hope for healthy outdoor meals, especially if you watch the sauces and side dishes and stay away from the chips and dips. Simple steps can make a difference whether you’re grilling for a crowd or bringing a side dish this Independence Day.

“Swapping simple alternatives to traditional classic dishes can mean the difference between enjoying yourself all weekend long or feeling lousy after overdoing it on one day,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CDN, a nutrition expert for the national, nonprofit organization HealthyWomen.

With millions of Americans enjoying a three-day weekend and many extending vacation into the following week, Taub-Dix says moderation is key.

Here are HealthyWomen’s top five foods to avoid and suggested alternatives:

1. If you can hold it in your hand, it might stick to your hips.
Summer barbecues don’t have to be about sausage, ribs and chicken drumsticks. Go for foods that require a knife and fork. Generally speaking if your meat is considered “portable,” it’s probably not good for you! Grilling fish and lean cuts of meat like chicken breasts, pork loin and even filet mignon gives diners the delicious, smoky, char-grilled taste synonymous with cooking outdoors—just be sure to skip the heavy sauces and sugary marinades.

2. Leave the “white” out of your red, white and blue.
Side salads that are “white” from mayonnaise are best avoided. A combination of sweet and red bliss potatoes and macaroni salad made with whole-grain pasta and crunchy vegetables like shredded carrots, colorful bell peppers and fresh parsley add more color and flavor than traditional side salads. Dress with light or olive oil mayo instead of the regular, full-fat counterpart or hold the mayo altogether and substitute nonfat or low-fat Greek yogurt or a dressing of diluted vinegar, fresh herbs and a taste of honey.

3. Watch your buns.
Hamburger buns, that is. If you must serve burgers and dogs, whole-grain buns pack more nutritional punch than the overly processed and refined white-flour buns. White-flour products have been stripped of beneficial nutrients like fiber which help regulate our digestive system and keep us feeling full longer. Slip in a turkey burger or a chicken sausage and your taste buds won’t know what hit them.

4. Keep the cooler light.
Skip sugary sodas, punches and sports drinks, and be mindful of regular beer, wine and cocktails. You’ll be a healthy hero and impressive host if you take the time to make and serve unsweetened iced tea or homemade lemonade. Too plain or too tart? Add a splash of fruit juice or mint for a fresh taste. Serve white or red wine sangria with fresh fruit for a light and refreshing alternative to plain wine or to sugary mixed drinks; adding carbonated water and ice helps keep the calories down and the fresh fruit adds some nutritional benefits. And, no matter what he says, a light beer is not only lighter in calories but is often a welcomed alternative to a lager on hot, humid days. Last but not least, keep a pitcher or dispenser filled with ice water and topped with lemon slices or fresh mint. It will surely be a hit with all ages, and those who are drinking alcoholic beverages can alternate with water.

5. Spice up your dessert.
Almost everyone loves a bowl of fresh berries at barbecues, but how about grilling some fresh pineapple or other tropical fruit and serving it with a dash of nutmeg? This exotic treat is simple to make, guaranteed not to melt and will be a welcome and refreshing treat that’s easy on the waistline.
Choice is everything, says Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, RN, executive director for HealthyWomen, the nation’s leading independent health information source for women, which has been providing trusted health and wellness advice for over 20 years.

“Knowing healthy alternatives to traditional favorites is the key to staying healthy during any holiday season. If those choices are not available to you or the meal is out of your control, try small portions or a taste of everything so your entire plate equals one complete portion, not multiple portions of everything on the menu,” says Battaglino Cahill.

For more tips on living healthy, visit HealthyWomen.org.

 

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Photo of the Day – Happy Fourth of July!

 

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Happy 4th of July East Cobbers!

LIKE THIS PHOTO? Your mission should you choose to accept: take some pictures and then share them with our online community. We are always looking for local photos that capture the wonder of our East Cobb world: from a birthday pic, to a photo of your backyard garden, to an image from a special event.  Send your slice-o-life photo to photos@eastcobber.com.  In the body of the email, be sure to identify who, what or where the photo was taken.

A Fourth of July Prayer

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We lift up our hearts, O God, on this day of celebration in gratitude for the gift of being Americans.We rejoice with all those who share in the great dream of freedom and dignity for all.

With flags and feasting, with family and friends,we salute those who have sacrificed that we might have the opportunity to bring to fulfillment our many God-given gifts.

As we deny all prejudice a place in our hearts,may we also clearly declare our intention to work for the time when all people, regardless of race, religion or sex, will be granted equal dignity and worth.

Come, O gracious God,who led your children Israel from slavery, keep us free from all that might hold us in bondage.

Bless our country and join our simple celebration that we may praise you, our Source of freedom, the One in whom we place our trust.

(Ed Hays, A Pligrim’s Almanac: Reflections for Each Day of the Year, p. 111)


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Food Trivia for your Fourth of July Cookout

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More than 1 in 4 – The chance that the hot dogs and pork sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa. The Hawkeye State was home to 19.0 million hogs and pigs on March 1, 2011. This estimate represents more than one-fourth of the nation’s estimated total. North Carolina (8.6 million) and Minnesota (7.6 million) were also homes to large numbers of pigs.

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

6.8 billion pounds – Total production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2010. Chances are good that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for about one-sixth of the nation’s total production. And if the beef did not come from Texas, it very well may have come from Nebraska (4.6 billion pounds) or Kansas (4.1 billion pounds).

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

6 – Number of states in which the value of broiler chicken production was $1 billion or greater between December 2009 and November 2010. There is a good chance that one of these states — Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi or Texas — is the source of your barbecued chicken.

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Over 1 in 3 – The odds that your side dish of baked beans originated from North Dakota, which produced 36 percent of the nation’s dry, edible beans in 2010. Another popular Fourth of July side dish is corn on the cob. Florida, California, Georgia, Washington and New York together accounted for 68 percent of the fresh market sweet corn produced nationally in 2010.

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

Over 7 in 10 – Of the nation’s head lettuce production in 2010 that came from California. This lettuce may end up in your salad or on your burger.

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

7 in 10 – The chances that the fresh tomatoes in your salad came from Florida or California, which combined accounted for 71 percent of U.S. fresh market tomato production last year.

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

2.5 Billion Pounds – Florida led the nation in watermelon production last year (750 million pounds). Other leading producers of this popular fruit included California, Georgia and Texas, each had an estimate of more than 600 million pounds.

Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

81 million – Number of Americans who said they have taken part in a barbecue during the previous year. It’s probably safe to assume a lot of these events took place on Independence Day.

Source: Mediamark Research & Intelligence, as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2011

 

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County offices closed July 3; libraries open; no Xpress 400 routes

Cobb County Government offices will be closed Friday, July 3, in observance of Independence Day. However, Cobb County libraries will be open for regular hours on July 3. The libraries will be closed Saturday, July 4. For more information on library hours of operation and locations, visitcobbcat.org/libraries. To view the library system’s holiday schedule, click here.

Also, Georgia Regional Transit Authority will not operate any 400 routes on Friday, July 3, therefore there will be no GRTA Xpress 400 routes service that day.

 

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Fourth of July Festivities!

Fireworks Indian Hills

Fireworks over Indian Hills

Our nation’s birthday is celebrated coast to coast with fireworks, picnics and festivals. Metro Atlanta is no different. Several cities have Fourth of July events that offer a fun time for your family. Here are some great ways to celebrate Independence Day that are just a short drive away from East Cobb:

 

ACWORTH – July 4
Concert and Fireworks sponsored by The City of Acworth and the Acworth Business Association. Live music will start at 4pm. Fireworks will begin at approximately 9:30pm. Food vendors will be on site. Free admission. Free shuttle service starting at noon available from Downtown Acworth. Located at Lake Acworth Beach at Cauble Park, 4425 Beach Street, Acworth 30101. More info: 770-917–1234 or  visit www.acworthparksandrecreation.org.

ALPHARETTA- July 4
Celebrate July 4th with family and friends at Wills Park! Entertainment and children’s activities will be   on the lawn behind Alpharetta Community Center from 6-9pm. Food vendors will be located throughout the park from 6-10pm (cash only please). Food selections include hot dogs, hamburgers, barbeque, ice cream, shaved/Italian ice, and more! Bring your lawn chairs and sit back to watch our spectacular fireworks show at dusk. Located at Wills Park, 1825 Old Milton Parkway Alpharetta. More info: 678-297-6130 or www.alpharetta.ga.us.

DUNWOODY– July 4
Annual Dunwoody Salutes America Fourth of July Parade hosted by the Dunwoody Homeowners Association and the Dunwoody Crier Newspaper. Begins at 9am at the Mount Vernon Shopping Center. Features marching bands, local personalities, and floats. Festival with live  entertainment, activities, children’s area, and Dunwoody United Methodist Boy Scout barbeque follows at Dunwoody Village: 5483 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. This year’s theme: Celebrating our Beginnings. More info: 770-354-7653 or www.dunwoodyga.org

EAST COBB – July 3
Indian Hills Country Club (IHCC) hosts a Membership Appreciation Day which features fireworks at  dusk. IHCC allows the community to come by and grab a seat on the lawn and enjoy the fireworks  extravaganza. Indian Hills Country Club, 4001 Clubland Drive, Marietta/East Cobb.

Please note: For the safety of members, guests, and community, Indian Hills Country Club is enforcing a strict policy of no personal fireworks. Anyone shooting off personal fireworks will be escorted off the property by Cobb County police who will be on duty Friday night. 

KENNESAW – July 3
Salute to America, a pre-Independence Day celebration, will feature high-energy, live music performances and family entertainment from 6-10pm. From the United States Air Force Band of the West’s high-energy Concert Band to the sounds of Departure, the most respected Journey tribute band in the nation, audiences will be treated to two stages of live music, festive street entertainment, food vendors, and kid’s activities. The evening will be capped off with a brilliant fireworks finale at 9:30pm. Fireworks will begin at 9:30pm. Free admission. Blankets, chairs and coolers allowed. Tables for 6 available for rent at $75. Food and beverages for sale. No alcohol. Concert begins at 7:30pm at The Depot, 2828 Cherokee Street, Kennesaw. More info: 770-422-9714 or www.kennesawjuly3.com.

MARIETTA – July 4
Fourth in the Park celebration presented by Marietta Parks and Recreation. Marietta Freedom Parade starts 10am at Roswell Street Baptist Church, 774 Roswell Street SE, Marietta, and ends at North Marietta Parkway. Followed by concerts, museum tours, arts and crafts show, food, carnival games, and fireworks finale at 9:30pm in Glover Park/Marietta Square. More info: 770-794-5601 or www.mariettaga.gov.

POWDER SPRINGS – July 4
20th Annual Independence Day Celebration. Bring your chairs and blankets, relax, eat mouth-watering delights while enjoying entertainment on the big stage, let the kids play on a variety of interactive  inflatable activities, then get ready for a tremendous patriotic program delivered by Mayor Pat Vaughn and finally end with a phenomenal fireworks show! Celebrate from 4-10pm. Powder Springs Town Square, 4484 Marietta Street, Powder Springs. More info: 770-423-1330 or www.cityofpowdersprings.org.

ROSWELL – July 4
16th Annual Fireworks Extravaganza presented by City of Roswell. Live entertainment, children’s  carnival, and food. Bring a picnic, lawn chairs and blankets. Band performances at 6pm and 7:30pm. Fireworks begin at dark. Sweet Apple Elementary School, 12025 Etris Road, Roswell. More info: 770-641-3705 or www.roswellgov.com.

WOODSTOCK –July 4
Stars and Strikes July 4th Spectacular begins at 10am with a parade that starts and ends at Woodstock Elementary School, 230 Rope Mill Road, Woodstock. Food vendors, children’s activities, musical  entertainment, and crafts until 3pm at The Park at City Center, 101 Arnold Mill Road, downtown Woodstock. Fireworks begin at dusk behind the Target Shopping Center at Hwy 92 and I-575. More info: www.woodstockparksandrec.com.

 

How does your family celebrate the Fourth of July? Comment below or visit our Facebook page and share with your neighbors. 

Kick-off your 4th with Indian Hills Fireworks on Friday!

Start your weekend off with a bang when fireworks light the sky over Indian Hills and East Cobb on Friday, July 3!

Indian Hills Country Club (IHCC) hosts a Membership Appreciation Day which features fireworks at  dusk. IHCC invites the community to come by and grab a seat on the lawn and enjoy the fireworks  extravaganza. Indian Hills Country Club is located at 4001 Clubland Drive in Marietta/East Cobb.

Please note: For the safety of members, guests, and community, Indian Hills Country Club is enforcing a strict policy of no personal fireworks. Anyone shooting off personal fireworks will be escorted off the property by Cobb County police who will be on duty Friday night. 

 

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Marietta Freedom Parade is Saturday

 

The Marietta Freedom Parade will be held Saturday, July 4, starting at 10 a.m. Roswell Street west of Cobb Parkway will be closed for the parade from 9:30 a.m. until about 12:15 p.m. North, South, East and West Park Square around Marietta Square will be closed the entire day for the festival. The event will include free concerts, an arts and crafts show, carnival games and a fireworks show that begins at dark.

CobbTV, our county government access channel, will broadcast the parade multiple times during the holiday weekend, starting at 3 p.m., July 4. The next viewing will be 3 p.m.Sunday, July 5, followed by noon and 7 p.m. on Monday, July 6. The final showing will be 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 7.

 

 

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