Atlanta is the capital of Georgia state, but when it comes to New Years Eve they like to see themselves as being the capital of the whole deep south of the United States, with an enormous street party and fireworks display bringing locals out in large numbers as well as crowds of visitors from smaller towns in the area and the surrounding countryside regions.
The Peach Drop party provides a focal point for the Atlanta NYE celebrations, putting a peculiarly Atlantan twist on the more traditional ball drop you see in Times Square. The Peach Drop has bveen taking place each year since 1989 and the peach itself is made out of fibreglass and foam and weights in at over 800 pounds. It takes 58 seconds for the giant peach (nod to Roald Dahl here I think...) to descend the light-clustered 136 foot tower.
Atlanta's Peach Drop event serves as the central point for the more than 100,000 revelers who join in the family-friendly festival. The event includes carnival rides, vendors, live music, and its namesake Peach Drop (a play on the Times Square iconic ball drop), all in the name of the countdown to the new year. The event is held at downtown's Underground Atlanta and the surrounding Kenny's Alley area. lasting right up until 4am on new year's day morning.
We'll provide the full lineup for the Peach Drop as soon as we have it - they left it a little late last year so hopefully the announcement will be a bit more timely this year!
To hunt out the best fireworks displays vantage points making yourself familiar with the Atlanta cityscape is a big advantage. Atlanta's tallest skyscraper, the Bank of America Plaza, is the 52nd-tallest building in the world and is actually the 9th tallest building in the United States (you can pick it out easily enough in the picture above)
For live music, New Jersey band Railroad Earth have announced they will be in Atlanta for the 2014-2015 celebrations, playing for 3 nights at the city's Variety Playhouse. Tickets for these concerts are available online here.
Umphrey's McGee will also be in Atlanta this new year, performing live for a total of 5 nights at the iconic venue The Tabernacle. There are some decent VIP packages available for this event that include reasonably priced hotel stays - ticket details and online sales here.
Another top live performer in town this year is Gregg Allman, who will be playing a New Year's Show at Atlanta's Symphony Hall - secure your tickets here.
For spending some time in and around the city over the holiday period, recommended places to visit include the High Museum of Art, the Woodruff Arts Center, The Museum of Design Atlanta, commonly abbreviated to MODA and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.
For an event of a slightly more cultural feel, the ASO (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra) will be performing live at the Symphony Hall. This is always a very popular event with Atlantans on new year's eve so is likely to sell out fast - tickets details to follow.
New Year's Eve in Atlanta also see football fans well catered for, with the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl taking place at the Georgia Dome. The match this year gets underway at 12.30pm and is being shown live on ESPN.
The weather at the end of December is somewhat unpredictable, with anything from clear skies and warm sunshine to snow storms possible, but if it remains clement then there are some outdoor attractions worthy of the name - the Atlanta Botanical Garden features the Kendeda Canopy Walk, and the Atlanta Zoo remains enduringly popular, not least for the resident giant pandas.
When it comes to eating out then Atlanta elevates southern cuisine almost to an art form, but there is much more to the city's dining establishments than catfish and grits. Varuni Napoli and Don Quixote are top Italian choices, while Daddy D'z BBQ Joynt is a local instution. See the full range of Atlanta's many restaurants here.
Places to watch live online:
There is a wide selection of parties at the hotels and restaurants of the city - highlights worth looking out for include NYE at the ATL, a black tie event held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, The Possum Drop New Years Eve Celebration at Possum Pickin in downtown. Other hotels with a luxury touch are the Mandarin Oriental, Wingate by Wyndham, Four Seasons, The St Regis and the InterContinental Buckhead. For all accommodation options in Atlanta over the holiday period and to check availability you can book local hotels here.
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