Twenty years ago, the City of Atlanta was feverishly preparing to welcome the world to the Centennial Olympic Games.
While it may be hard for many in the city to believe, time flies when you’re having fun... and Atlanta’s enjoyed a lot of fun since the games came and went, with the metro area population gaining nearly 2 million people since then.
While many of the Olympic venues from the games will soon be a memory (the Olympic Stadium, for the most part, and the Georgia Dome among them), one piece of the Olympics continues to play a major role in Atlanta.
Centennial Olympic Park — the lasting legacy of the games, which has since spawned the largest cultural hub in Atlanta and has become Atlanta’s front door to the world — has been nothing short of a transformative force in downtown.
Before work gets underway to expand and update the park in the coming year, Atlantans will have the chance to party like it’s 1996, in celebration of the games that changed Atlanta.
On Saturday, July 16, the park will be hosting a major celebration featuring music, food trucks, appearances by Olympians (including Carl Lewis, Janet Evans, and Amy Van Dyken), and an address from city and state dignitaries. The whole shebang will be capped off by fireworks, because nothing says "happy anniversary" like pyrotechnics against the downtown skyline.
If July 4 in the park was any indication, expect a major crowd — and horrendous traffic — to fill downtown to celebrate.
- Relive the Dream on July 16 as Centennial Olympic Park Celebrates 20 Years of Olympic Legacy [Centennial Olympic Park]
- Downtown's Nucleus, Centennial, Wasn't Always a Park [Curbed]