- Avery Newmark For the AJC
For those who attended Sweetwater 420 Festival, Shaky Beats or Shaky Knees, it was apparent that there is construction taking place in Centennial Olympic Park.
What you might not have known is that the construction is underway for the next year or two − shaking things up the rest of summer.
The Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which manages the downtown park, recently announced that after the Fourth of July fireworks show, " there will be no further public programming in 2017...[and] the park is not accepting new bookings for the next 18 months in order to complete all of the construction activities by January 2019."
In lieu of new events, the park will receive a $25 million makeover. The moratorium on events means that popular concerts like Praise in the Park will not be taking place this summer, but all will not be lost if you want to spend a summer afternoon at Centennial Olympic Park.
While the park will remain open, there won't be events hosted the park while construction is in progress
Here are the top ways you can still enjoy Centennial Olympic despite the construction cramping some of your summer plans:
The Wednesday WindDown takes place from 5:30 - 8 p.m. every Wednesday in June in the Southern Company Amphitheater. Tickets are on sale now here. The schedule includes a June 7 Prince tribute show, "Butta B-Rocka and Friends" perform on June 14, the"Xavier Lewis R&B Explosion" concert on June 21, and a grand finale show on June 28.
The park also hosts Music at Noon (which goes until 1 p.m.), every Tuesday and Thursday in June, in the Southern Company Amphitheater. If you decide to take your lunch break under the sunny skies of Centennial Park, you'll be treated to music from a variety of acts . A full performance schedule for Music at Noon is available here, and the only Tuesday or Thursday in June to forego the sounds of summer lunchtime will be June 8.
At the onset of the Rotary International convention in the Georgia World Congress Center, going on June 10-14, there will be energetic benefiting those living with polio. The 3k Walk/Run to End Polio Now begins at 7:30 a.m. June 10. Not in rotary, or not planning to attend the conference? No problem. You can purchase 3K tickets here separately from any Rotary Convention tickets, which are $20.
Blue Jeans & Bluegrass
Also a part of the Rotary convention is an event open to members or guests of members of any local rotary club called Blue Jeans & Bluegrass. The bluegrass music event will be held in Centennial Park, and here's what you'll want to know: Tickets are $50 per person, and the event runs from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, June 10. Guests are encouraged to dress casually for "an old-fashioned barn dance," to accompany the Bluegrass music performed by Grammy Award winner Ricky Skaggs and his Kentucky Thunder band. The event will also bring food trucks and beverage stations to the area.
One thing that will remain open in 2017 and beyond is the iconic Fountain of Rings, which is in fact the world's largest interactive fountain. As always, you or your kids ( or both) can run through the fountains as the rings come to life in a musically choreographed water display every day at 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. For more information on the Fountain of Rings, visit the Fountain of Rings web page.
Fourth of July
The last planned event for 2017 (and tentatively 2018) to formally be hosted in Centennial Olympic Park promises to be the largest of its kind, as the city's two biggest fireworks shows are combining into one. Lenox Square is ending its popular July 4th fireworks display after a 57-year run and instead partnering with Centennial Olympic Park, promising "a more spectacular fireworks show than ever before."
Last year, Lenox’s Fourth of July fireworks display was slated to draw more than 350,000 spectators. If even half of those thousands join the many thousands more who plan to watch the display at Centennial, then the new fireworks partnership will likely break some records.
For a full rundown of the remaining events at Centennial Olympic Park this summer, visit our AccessAtlanta’s Centennial park event page.