The Stone Mountain Park Lasershow Spectacular is an Atlanta tradition and the longest running lasershow in the world (now in its 31st year). The show features 45 minutes of dazzling fireworks, lights and laser effects all choreographed to popular music. It’s a must for any summertime trip to Atlanta.
Stone Mountain Park’s Carving
The backdrop for the show is literally a Stone Mountain. Although a geological wonder, the mountain is best known for the enormous bas-relief on its north face, depicting three figures of the Confederate States of America: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis. This is an important fact to remember. My son once overheard some folks from the Midwest discussing the carving saying “Now who is that?” “I know, Lincoln, Grant, and I don’t know the other guy, maybe Sherman?” Umm, No. There is not a southerner alive who would carve the likeness of Lincoln, Grant and especially Sherman, who burned Atlanta on his March to the Sea, on the side of anything. Southerners take their “waawrr” seriously, even today. They would not take kindly to mistaking Davis for Lincoln.
Preparing for the Stone Mountain Lasershow Spectacular
Now that you know who is carved on the mountain, let’s get back to the laser show. Locals bring coolers to picnic on the great lawn, getting there as early as 4 pm on a normal day or earlier for the 4th of July to claim a good seat. They pass the time throwing frisbees, footballs, or just rolling down the hill. As dark descends, the party kicks into high gear. The show has a lighting feature at the base of the mountain shining up like fingers of light showcasing the 825 foot mountainside. An overhead laser canopy effect immerses guests as if they are a part of the show. Additionally, a laser mirror bounces shots from all directions on the lawn to create the effect of lasers jumping over guests’ heads.
Behind the Scenes of the Lasershow Spectacular
Each year organizers begin planning the show 18 months in advance, adding something a little different each time. Some favorites always remain, including a salute to everyday heroes such as doctors, fire and rescue, and police; and a tribute to Georgia recording artists like REM, Little Richard, Ray Charles and the Indigo Girls. The characterization of The Devil Went Down to Georgia is family friendly and my children’s favorite. Each show ends with a patriotic “American Trilogy” that includes bringing the carvings on the mountain to life with lights and laser effects.
Stone Mountain Park
You can easily spend an entire day at Stone Mountain Park. I can highly recommend the Stone Mountain Marriott Conference Center. If you’re short on time, or on cash, save on admission with the Sunset Adventure Pass & Lasershow Snack Terrace. Good for admission after 4 pm, this discounted pass includes access to the Stone Mountain Park attractions from 4 p.m. until close and a convenient terrace seat, complete with popcorn and a drink.