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Centennial Olympic Park

Centennial Olympic Park

History

Centennial Olympic Park is a 22 – acre public park that is located in downtown Atlanta. It’s operated by the Georgia World Congress Center authority. It was built by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games as part of the improvements for the 1996 Summer Olympics. 

Centennial Olympic Park started out as a group of vacant lots and abandoned industrial buildings. ACOG’s chief executive, Billy Payne, saw it as a great spot where visitors and spectators during the 1996 Summer Olympics could be. 

Phase I was completed right in time for the 1996 Summer Olympics. During the Olympics the park was used for a number of events and exhibits. Phase II took place right after the Olympics were finished and was completed a year later. 

Unfortunately, due to a bombing, the park had to close down for more renovations until 1998. More security was hired and policies included a bag search at all sporting events to make sure something like that didn’t happen again. 

Location

The park is surrounded by a lot of major landmarks in Atlanta. 

The Georgia World Congress Center

College Football Hall of Fame

State Farm Arena

CNN Center

Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Georgia Aquarium

National Center for Civil and Human Rights

World of Coca-Cola

Features

One of the key features of the park is the Fountain of Rings. This is an interactive fountain which features computer-controlled lights and jets of water that are synchronized with music. It also serves as a really fun splash pad that children love and invites anyone passing by to cool off in. Other areas that have adopted it’s concept are Dundas Square in Toronto and The Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

The fountain is surrounded by flags that represent the hosts of the Summer Olympics preceding the 1996 games. There are also eight light towers that look like Greek market columns. 

Every single day, three times per day, the fountain has a show. They play at 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 6:30pm, and 9:30pm.

West Lawn Promenade is an additional space for visitors to enjoy which features lots of green space and a new medal podium. This was completed in June of 2018

Southern Company Amphitheater gives the park additional flexibility and options to host more outdoor music, experiences, activities, and events. This was completed March 2019.

Unity Plaza is a new water feature and permanent home for the Androgyne Planet sculpture. It represents the Game’s continuity and spirit of international unity. This was Completed May of 2019.

Paralympic Plaza is a new greenspace that honors the 3000+ athletes who participated in the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games. This was completed in April 2019

Music and Events

The music that comes from Centennial Olympic Park has been the source for live music downtown. The park has a free concert series at lunch that features all kinds of different genres of music played by local artists. 

In addition to the weekly music series, Centennial Olympic Park hosts large, popular annual festivals and popular events including Shaky Knees Music Festival, 4th of July Celebration, the Sweetwater420 Festival, Holiday in Lights and Ice Skating Rink, and many more. 

Whatever your taste is when it comes to music and fun, you’re sure to find something that you’ll love in Centennial Olympic Park.

Next article: Have a Blast at Six Flags Over Georgia

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