Centennial Olympic Park is located in downtown Atlanta, across the road from the Georgia Aquarium. After it was determined to hold the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, 21 acres of rundown land in Dekalb County was converted into beautiful landscape and amenities to commemorate the occasion. After realizing the great success of the park, Atlanta decided to expand it in 1998. The $75 million project was paid for entirely by private donations. One method of raising money; 486,000 Commemorative Bricks were sold and engraved with personal messages, used for the construction of the park, for all the world to read.
Over 3 million people a year visit what is known to be the world’s largest downtown park constructed in the last 25 years. Centennial Olympic Park offers free family fun and events almost every day of the week. Perhaps it’s most appealing feature, and the symbol of it’s name, is The Fountain of Rings. The Fountain of Rings is the most recognizable and photographed landmark in Georgia. It consists of 5 intertwined Olympic rings; each one measuring 25 feet in diameter with an overall length of 82.5 feet. Set within the rings; 251 computer controlled water jets spray, mist, fog or create a curtain of water that reaches up to 12 feet high. Children and adults of all ages can spend hours playing in the water, always free, simply having fun.
Weather you are just passing through or plan to stay a while, chances are, Centennial Olympic Park can accommodate you. The Music at Noon program is available, from April to October, every Tuesdays and Thursdays only, from noon to 1pm. A perfect, relaxing lunch break, weather you are only passing through or need a break from the local office. Bring your lunch, sit on the lawn and listen to local artist sing Jazz, Pop , R&B and others. Perhaps even using it as a much needed “kid-free” lunch date with the love of your life. Did I mention it is free?
Maybe you are more of an evening person. Every Wednesday afternoon, from April to September, from 5:30 to 8pm, Centennial Olympic Park is the host of Atlanta’s longest running free concert in the park’s Southern Company Amphitheater. Bring your low-back lawn chair and a picnic or dine on food and beverages from one of the park’s many vendors, while enjoying local and national touring music artists. Coolers and backpacks with snacks and personal belongings are welcome, however due to the park’s commitment to keeping every one of their guests safe, these items are subject to security check. I don’t know about you but that makes me feel much safer. And if you are truly from the south, it is hard for some people to enjoy good music without a cocktail; you can not bring your own alcohol into the park but you can buy it on site.
Centennial Olympic park offers many other events all year round, but perhaps the most breathtaking; The Fountain of Rings Show. The rings 251 water jets spray water up to 30 feet high, pulsating, appearing to dance to music, including The Circle of Life, from The Lion King and Twist and Shout, by The Beetles, just to name a few. The water is lit by 1004 light bulbs, in many different colors that display pictures and movement, coming to life by music. It is considered to be the most sophisticated fountain in the world with shows 4 times a day, every day, at 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 6:30pm, and 9pm. And yes, it’s all free.
For more information, including times and events, go to www.centennialpark.com