Several arrested when fight breaks out at downtown fireworks celebration

By: Jovita Moore , Nefertiti Jaquez , Aaron Diamant

Updated:

ATLANTA - Thousands attended the Georgia Salutes America celebration and fireworks show on the Fourth of July, and several were arrested as the show ended. 

Police said the fight happened outside Centennial Olympic Park on Andrew Young International Boulevard, but that didn't ruin attendees time at the event. 

The gates for Georgia Salutes America fireworks opened late after a weather delay. The gates were originally supposed to open at 6 p.m., but were pushed back to 6:30 p.m.  

People waited in line through the rain hoping to get a great spot for the celebration.

Organizers said there were about 35,000 to 40,000 people at the event.

Channel 2's Nefertiti Jaquez spoke to many people in line who said the rain will not dampen their Fourth of July. 

"It changed really quickly, but we are all excited about the Fourth of July, so we don't care if it's raining," attendee Brandy Jackson said. "We are not moving from this spot. We want to enjoy the fireworks." 

The fireworks show started at 9:45 p.m. 


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Channel 2's Aaron Diamant reported earlier Tuesday that there were lots of barricades in place for the firework show.

Police were doing that in response to a recent rash of terrorist attacks in Europe that used vehicles as weapons. 

Earlier, Channel 2 Action News was inside Atlanta Police Department's joint operations center, where a small army of state, federal and local law enforcement officers executed a plan they've been working on for months.

While they were hoping for the best, they wanted to prepare for the worst. They say they were ready to respond to a long list of scenarios, no matter how unlikely.

WSB-TV's Georgia Salutes America included a mix of musical entertainment and a special tribute to the men and women who serve in the armed forces.

Channel 2's Jovita Moore, anchor of Channel 2 Action News at 5, 6, and 11 p.m., and Channel 2's sports director Zach Klein hosted this special event.

The program featured performances by Grammy Award winning artist Bobby Brown, along with JFly and Friends.

Dance music star CeCe Peniston also took the stage to help celebrate freedom.

The evening ended with Centennial Olympic Park's Fireworks Spectacular, Georgia's best fireworks display synchronized to a special selection of patriotic and popular music.

“Channel 2 has been celebrating the country’s independence with Georgia since 1960,” said Tim McVay, Vice President and General Manager of Channel 2 WSB-TV. “We are proud to celebrate America’s independence and freedom on this special day." 


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