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U.S. Quidditch Cup, based on Harry Potter books, headed to Texas in 2018

Harry Potter fans, rejoice! The U.S. Quidditch Cup is headed to the Sports Capital of Texas next year.

»RELATED: J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter turns 20 | See how to celebrate

The organization announced the news earlier this week, revealing that the event will be held April 14-15 at the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex.

>> Read more trending news

“We are honored to host the players, families and fans in Round Rock for the U.S. Quidditch Cup in April 2018,” Round Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Nancy Yawn said in a release. “How exciting that the year of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter, the Sports Capital of Texas gets to announce that the magical, competitive Quidditch national championships will be held here!”

U.S. Quidditch announced finalists for the location of the cup in May, which included Lubbock, Round Rock and Wichita Falls. The finalists were selected based on bids, which were evaluated on location of the bid, the quality of facilities, the amount of financial support and the level of community support, according to the release. Round Rock beat out the others mainly because of the ample room of its facility, it says. 

Though Round Rock has yet to start its own official team, the Austin area is home to two national championship winning teams: Texas Quidditch and Texas Cavalry. In the 2016-17 season, Texas had more teams registered with USQ than any other single state in the league, according to U.S. Quidditch. 

The Quidditch tournament, which first came to life in 2005, is a real-world adaptation of the game Harry Potter and his friends played in the popular book series. The magical sport involves two teams who “fly on brooms,” competing to score the most goals. It can be described as a cross between rugby, basketball and dodge ball.

Want to learn more about the competition? Find out about tickets and teams here

Photos: AJC Peachtree Road Race 2017

What to do in Atlanta: Atlanta festivals and Fourth of July weekend events | July 1-4

Celebrate America's independence this weekend with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race or check out one of the many festivals and fireworks displays in and around the metro area.

 FAIRS, FESTIVALS, ETC. 

The Dunwoody 4thof July Parade. Parade steps off at 9 a.m. July 4 at the intersection of Mount Vernon Road and Jett Ferry Road. www.dunwoodyga.org.

Decatur’s Pied Piper ParadeThe parade ends with a family-friendly event downtown on the square where all can settle-in and enjoy a fireworks show. Parade lineup at 5:30 p.m. July 4 at First Baptist Church of Decatur. The parade starts at 6 p.m. The concert starts at 7 p.m. and the fireworks begin after dark.   www.visitdecaturgeorgia.com.

RELATED: You’ve been warned: The worst times to drive this Fourth of July weekend

Chamblee 4th of July Celebration. Includes a bike parade, mini train rides, cornhole tournament, live music, food and fireworks. 5-10 p.m. July 4. Keswick Park, 3496 Keswick Dr, Chamblee. www.chambleega.com.

Fourth in the Park Celebration on Marietta Square. Parade begins at 10 a.m. July 4 at Roswell Street Baptist Church and travels west on Roswell Street, north on East Park Square past Glover Park and the Square, down Cherokee Street and ends at North Marietta Parkway. There will be an arts and crafts show, free concerts, games and a fireworks show. www.mariettaga.gov.

4th of July Celebration at Centennial Olympic Park. Gates open at 6 p.m. July 4. J-Fly and other bands will perform. Fireworks begin around 9:45 p.m. Free. This year, Lenox Square is partnering with the park for its 4th of July celebration. So, while Lenox will still host the AJC Peachtree Road Race, there will be no fireworks at Lenox Square. We bet the show at Centennial will be bigger than ever. Centennial Olympic Park, 265 Park Ave, West N.W., Atlanta. centennialpark.com

RELATED: July 4th in Atlanta: A county-by-county guide to when, where to watch fireworks

Celebration at Stone Mountain ParkAttractions 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Lasershow and fireworks 9:30 p.m. July 1-4. Yes, there will be a Lasershow and fireworks each night. $15 daily parking. Adventure Pass: $28.95 for adults and $26.95 for children when purchased online. Lasershow and fireworks are free. Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Dr, Stone Mountain. 770-498-5690, stonemountainpark.com.

Coca-Cola July 4th Fest at Six Flags Over Georgia10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. July 2-4. $50.99-$52.99 when purchased online. More at the gate. Clck the link below for special admission info. Six Flags Over Georgia, 275 Riverside Pkwy, Austell. 770-948-9290, www.sixflags.com/overgeorgia.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race. This is the 48th year for our city’s famous 10k, drawing thousands of participants, volunteers and spectators to Atlanta. The course runs from Buckhead to Piedmont Park, with wheelchair racers starting at 6:43 a.m. and the main start at 7:30 a.m. in waves of racers. For more info, go to ajc.com/peachtree.

Fourth of July events of note:

»RELATED: When and where to pick up your race number at AJC Peachtree Road Race Health and Fitness Expo 

97.1 The River’s Monsters of Mock Photobooth

Atlanta 4th of July Events & Festivals

Celebrate America's independence this weekend with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race or check out one of the many festivals and fireworks displays in and around the metro area.

 FAIRS, FESTIVALS, ETC. 

The Dunwoody 4thof July Parade. Parade steps off at 9 a.m. July 4 at the intersection of Mount Vernon Road and Jett Ferry Road. www.dunwoodyga.org.

Decatur’s Pied Piper Parade. The parade ends with a family-friendly event downtown on the square where all can settle-in and enjoy a fireworks show. Parade lineup at 5:30 p.m. July 4 at First Baptist Church of Decatur. The parade starts at 6 p.m. The concert starts at 7 p.m. and the fireworks begin after dark.   www.visitdecaturgeorgia.com.

Chamblee 4th of July Celebration. Includes a bike parade, mini train rides, cornhole tournament, live music, food and fireworks. 5-10 p.m. July 4. Keswick Park, 3496 Keswick Dr, Chamblee. www.chambleega.com.

Fourth in the Park Celebration on Marietta Square. Parade begins at 10 a.m. July 4 at Roswell Street Baptist Church and travels west on Roswell Street, north on East Park Square past Glover Park and the Square, down Cherokee Street and ends at North Marietta Parkway. There will be an arts and crafts show, free concerts, games and a fireworks show. www.mariettaga.gov.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race. This is the 48th year for our city’s famous 10k, drawing thousands of participants, volunteers and spectators to Atlanta. The course runs from Buckhead to Piedmont Park, with wheelchair racers starting at 6:43 a.m. and the main start at 7:30 a.m. in waves of racers. For more info, go to ajc.com/peachtree.

FIREWORKS

Atlanta Braves and Gwinnett Braves fireworks. The Atlanta Braves will have fireworks at SunTrust Park Tuesday, July 4 following the game with the Houston Astros. The Gwinnett Braves will have fireworks at Coolray Field on July 4 following their game against the Norfolk Tides.

Lenox Square. This year, Lenox Square is partnering with Centennial Olympic Park for its 4th of July celebration. So, while Lenox will still host the AJC Peachtree Road Race, there will be no fireworks at Lenox Square. Lenox Square, 3393 Peachtree Rd. N.E., Atlanta. 404-233-6767, simon.com/mall/lenox-square

Star-Spangled Fourth at Mall of Georgia5 p.m. July 4. Free. Mall of Georgia, 3333 Buford Dr, N.E., Buford. 770-271-9458, simon.com/mall/mall-of-georgia.

Barrington Hall’s 3rd annual “BBQ & Bluegrass.” 10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 4. Free. Barbecue, beverages and desserts will be available for purchase. Barrington Hall, 535 Barrington Drive, Roswell, 770-640-3855, www.roswellgov.com.

Annual Roswell Fireworks Extravaganza. 5:30 p.m.-around 10 p.m. Kids zone, food trucks, live music and fireworks around 9:30 p.m. Front lawn of Roswell High School. 11595 King Road, Roswell. www.roswellgov.com.

Alpharetta 4th of July Fireworks: 6-9:30 p.m. Lots of stuff for kids to do, food, music, and fireworks around 9-9:30 p.m. Wills Park, 1825 Old Milton Parkway,  Alpharetta, 678-297-6130. www.awesomealpharetta.com.

Sparkle in the Park, Lilburn. 5:30 p.m - 10 p.m. Fireworks begin at around 9:30 p.m. July 4.  Lilburn City Park, 76 Main St., Lilburn. www.cityoflilburn.com.

July 4th Celebration on the Lawn. 7-10 p.m. July 4. Town Square, 4488 Pineview Drive, Powder Springs. www.cityofpowdersprings.org.

Red, White & Brew. 6:30-10 p.m.  July 1. $65 for non-members. $50 for members. Tickets include, beer, BBQ, aquarium admission and music. Oceans Ballroom, Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker St N.W., Atlanta. www.georgiaaquarium.org.

4th of July Fireworks Hike. 8-10:30 p.m. July 2. $20; $5 parking. Watch Stone Mountain’s fireworks from the top of Panola Mountain (Stone Mountain will have a fireworks show each night July 1-4). Panola Mountain State Park, 2600 Ga. 155 S.W., Stockbridge. 770-389-7801, gastateparks.org/info/panolamt.

July 4th Beach Party Callaway Gardens. July 1-4. The FSU Flying High Circus will perform at 3:30 p.m. Live music starts at 5 p.m. July 1-3, 6 p.m. on July 4. No fireworks on July 2-3.  Fireworks will take place at 9:30 p.m. Day admission is $25-30 for those ages 13 and older, $15 for children ages 6-12 and free for children 5 and younger. Callaway Gardens, US Highway 27, Pine Mountain. 1-800-Callaway, www.callawaygardens.com.

MORE ATTRACTIONS

Stars and Stripes Fest, Covington

Independence Day Celebration, Peachtree City

Dahlonega’s 4th of July Celebration

Duluth Celebrates America, July 3

Dan Baird formerly of the GA Satellites talks about RatAid 2017

RatAid 2017 is an 18 and older show at Smith’s Olde Bar Saturday, May 20, 7:30pm, starring Dan Baird (former lead singer of The Georgia Satellites.) 

All the proceeds from the evening benefit MusiCares

Kaedy spoke with her old friend Dan about the show.

Get your tickets here.

Cinco de Mayo: Five things you didn’t know

Cinco de Mayo is upon us. Many will be celebrating the holiday with margaritas and Mexican food.

>> Read more trending news  

Here are five facts about the Mexican holiday that you can use to impress your friends:

1) Despite a common misconception, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day. The holiday celebrates the  Battle of Puebla , where, against all odds, the Mexicans made a stand against an invading French army in 1862.

2) Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the United States than it is in Mexico, with the exception of the city of Puebla. Mexico holds more of a celebration on its  Independence Day, September 16, than it does on Cinco de Mayo.

3) The holiday means big business for the avocado industry. The  California Avocado Commission says that Americans consume around 81 million avocados during Cinco de Mayo.

4) Chandler, Arizona, has a unique way of celebrating Cinco de Mayo. It hosts a Chihuahua race every year.

>>  Quiz: How much do you know about Cinco de Mayo?

5) The 2010 U.S. Census estimates that about 31.8 million U.S. residents are of Mexican origin. The largest concentration of Mexican-Americans is in Los Angeles, the city that holds the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the U.S.

Solar eclipse stamp changes from eclipsed sun to full moon

To commemorate the total solar eclipse over the US in August, the U.S. Postal Service is releasing a landmark stamp that does something no other stamp can.

The Total Solar Eclipse Forever stamp, which will be issued June 20, changes when you touch it from an image of the eclipsed sun to one of the full moon.

>> Read more trending news

On August 21, the moon will slip between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow that will create the first full solar eclipse over the U.S. in 38 years.

In a swath of the country from South Carolina to Oregon, darkness will reign in the middle of the day for a full two minutes and 40 seconds, beginning at 1:25 p.m. in the Eastern time zone.

>> Related: Time running out to get reservations for the total solar eclipse in US

The solar eclipse stamp image is a photograph taken by astrophysicist Fred Espenak, aka Mr. Eclipse, of Portal, AZ, that shows a total solar eclipse seen from Jalu, Libya, on March 29, 2006.

Thermochromic ink makes the stamp work. Using the heat of your finger, the image will reveal an underlying image of the moon, which Espenak also took. The image reverts back to the eclipse once it cools.

>> Related: Rare total solar eclipse visible from America in August 

Thermochromic inks are vulnerable to UV light and should be kept out of direct sunlight as much as possible to preserve this special effect. To help ensure longevity, the Postal Service will be offering a special envelope to hold and protect the stamp pane for a nominal fee.

The back of the stamp will have a map of the eclipse path.

Read more here. 

What You Need to Know For the Show

WHAT: Billy Joel 

Friday, April 28 

Doors: 6:30 p.m.* 

Show time: 8 p.m.* 

* Doors and show time subject to change 

 

WHERE: SunTrust Park 

755 Battery Ave. 

Atlanta, GA 30339 

TICKETS: 

• A limited number of tickets are still available and can be purchased here. 

• Fans who chose to print tickets at home will have information in their confirmation email that allows them to print their tickets. Tickets must be printed prior to arriving at SunTrust Park. 

o Tickets will not be reprinted at the Ticket Office. 

• Will call: Tickets left at will call can be picked up beginning at 9:30am on Friday

 

PARKING: 

• Attendees must purchase parking in advance. Parking for the Billy Joel concert in Braves-managed lots is permit-only. To pre-purchase parking, click here

• Braves-controlled parking lots have different opening times for the Billy Joel concert. Fans can check Braves.com/BillyJoel to find the opening time for your respective parking lot. 

• Guests are encouraged to use the Waze app to navigate directly to their Braves-controlled parking lot. 

 

The Battery Atlanta 

• Fans can visit The Battery Atlanta before or after the Billy Joel concert. Fans interested in visiting The Battery Atlanta prior to the concert can park in the Battery Red Deck on a first-come, first-served basis for free for up to four hours (before 2 p.m.) and up to two hours (after 2 p.m.). 

• Visitors who park longer than two hours will be charged up to $50, but can receive validation by spending a minimum of $50 among tenants at The Battery Atlanta. 

 

Tailgating 

• Tailgating is only permitted in the following Braves-controlled parking lots: Braves North 29 and Braves West 85. 

Michelle Malone talks about reuniting with her band

Atlanta gem Michelle Malone is reuniting with her band from nearly 30 years ago, Michelle Malone and Drag the River, for a big show at The Vista Room this Saturday night, 4/15/17 .

Hear her catch up with Kaedy Kiely before they go on facebook live to finish the interview!

Tickets available at freshtix.com

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