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Starlight fireworks event scheduled for late August

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UNG's Starlight Celebration is scheduled for Aug. 24 on the Gainesville Campus.

Featuring a mixture of music and family fun capped by a dazzling pyrotechnic display, the 21st annual Starlight Celebration is set for Aug. 24 on the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Gainesville Campus.

The event, scheduled to coincide with the beginning of the university's 2019-20 school year, will be held at the G.W. Bailey Amphitheater at 3820 Mundy Mill Road in Oakwood, Georgia.

"This is a great event to celebrate the beginning of our new academic year and bring students, alumni, faculty and staff, and the community together all at one place," said Dr. Richard Oates, vice president of UNG's Gainesville Campus.

The event generally draws between 3,000 and 4,000 attendees. Oates said a recent survey showed more than 13,000 UNG alumni live within 25 miles of the Gainesville Campus. He hopes many of them will take this as a chance to reconnect with the university.

Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 24 for the event full of performances from UNG students, with fireworks at dark. The rain date is Sept. 7. UNG students, alumni, faculty and staff, and community members are welcome.

Starlight will feature performances from UNG's Low Brass Collective, Jazz Ensemble and Gainesville Theatre Alliance. The Patriot Choir will perform the national anthem, with the Color Guard presenting the colors. Clay Christy with Brick House DJs will be the event DJ.

UNG cheerleaders, student-athletes and Nigel the Nighthawk mascot will be on hand, as well.

Face-painting, inflatables, a play tent, and glow items will be part of the festivities. The UNG bookstore will sell merchandise, as well.

Jack's Applewood Smoked BBQ and Frozen Frenzee sweets will be for sale. Picnics are welcome.

Oates, who attended the event multiple times with his family before working on the Gainesville Campus, enjoys the atmosphere of Starlight.

"We felt it was a nice family environment," Oates said. "That's the staying power this event has had over the years. It is a warm and welcoming and fun environment."

The event is free, but parking costs $10 per car or $20 per bus, van or larger vehicle. UNG students can enter for free with a valid UNG student ID card. Oates said money from the event will help offset student financial needs.

For the safety of guests, the following items are prohibited at Starlight: walk-ins, pets (other than service animals), sparklers or outside fireworks, grills or any open flames, political signage, advertisements, or unlawful weapons.

Additionally, everyone is encouraged to use #UNGstarlight when sharing their photos of family, friends and fireworks during and after the event.

For more information about Starlight, visit the Starlight Celebration event page online.

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