A holiday party ending in fireworks—a possible new city tradition that may cost over $130,000—is among the ways Sandy Springs will celebrate its 10th anniversary in December, officials said at the Oct. 20 City Council meeting.

“I know there’s a little bit of money involved, but we don’t do this every week,” said Councilman John Paulson, who is directing the city’s birthday plans. He noted that the city’s founding on Dec. 1, 2005 was a “watershed event for this whole metro Atlanta area” that sparked other cityhood movements. Paulson said city staff was directed to “go big” on birthday planning.

City communications director Sharon Kraun gave the council more details on the previously announced trio of anniversary events slated for the first week in December.

On Dec. 1, before that evening’s City Council meeting, there will be a “meet-and-greet” with city officials and behind-the-scenes tours of City Hall, including its traffic-camera center. There will also be a light dinner.

On Dec. 4, an adults-only “celebration party” will be held at Sherwood Event Hall, with tickets costing around $30. The party likely will have live entertainment and taped interviews with local residents.

On Dec. 5 is the big family-friendly community celebration that doubles as what officials hope will become an annual holiday event. The intent is to “create some sort of tradition we can build,” Kraun said.

The event, to be held at Heritage Sandy Springs, will include a tree-lighting and a menorah-lighting. Food trucks may be on the scene. There will be some type of professional entertainer as well as performances by community and school groups. “We will end with fireworks,” Kraun said.

Kraun provided cost estimates for that big event: $34,000 for various production elements; $10,000 to $20,000 for entertainers; $70,000 for various lighting and decor, including the tree and menorah; and $7,000 worth of fireworks.

“Spending money on ourselves is not a bad thing,” said Mayor Rusty Paul, describing the events as Sandy Springs residents celebrating their cityhood achievement.

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

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