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Centennial Olympic Park ~ Atlanta GA

1996 brought the Olympics to Atlanta, and with it, massive change to the downtown Atlanta area. Centennial Olympic Park was built to commemorate that historic American event!

Centennial Olympic Park was once a run down, dilapidated area of downtown Atlanta. The Olympics were the impetus to create a beautiful area for the1996 Summer Games. As the website says:

Today, this unique 21-acre park performs a dual mission: it serves as Georgia's lasting legacy of the Centennial Olympic Games and it anchors efforts to revitalize residential and commercial development in Georgia's capital city of Atlanta.

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority has operational responsibility for Centennial Olympic Park, as well as the Georgia Dome and Georgia World Congress Center.

The Park sponsors community-wide free events, including the Fourth of July Celebration, Wednesday Wind Down concert series and Fourth Saturday Family Fun Days. The Park also hosts festivals, fundraisers and private events. These events, in addition to the normal day-to-day traffic, bring an estimated three million visitors to this urban oasis each year.

We visited in March, before the summer activities were in full swing. Spring was beginning to thaw winters barren trees, covering some with blossoms. We would love to go back and visit the park when it is lush and green in the summer or early fall.

Despite the slight chill in the air, people were crowded around the distinctive Fountain of Rings. The water would burst forth, up and down in a fascinating pattern. Families would frolic in and out of the surging water, laughing and having the time of their lives. Some fascinating facts from the website:

  • The Fountain of Rings is the world's largest interactive fountain utilizing the Olympic symbol of five interconnecting Rings.
  • Each of the five Olympic Rings is 25 feet in diameter, large enough to comfortably park two cars side-by-side within each Ring.
  • The entire fountain, from outside Ring edge to outside Ring edge, is 82.5 feet in length.
  • About 5,000 gallons of water per minute is recycled through the Fountain, enough to fill an average size swimming pool in five minutes. The entire water system is filtered once every 30-minutes.
  • Water height during normal fountain operation can reach 12 feet. During the Fountain Show, sprays can be anywhere from 15 to 30 feet tall. The computerized Fountain can be programmed with special announcements as well as a variety of water displays including low-pressure, walk-through “water curtains”, fog and misting.
  • There are 251 submersible color changing light fixtures with 4 bulbs each in clear, amber, blue and red as well as a new digital sound system including 26 three-way, weather resistant speakers with subwoofers
  • The Fountain’s 251 computer-controlled water jets (125 stream and 126 aeration), 410 fog jets, 1004 lights bulbs and miles of underground water pipes make the Fountain of Rings one of the most sophisticated fountains in the world.

Centennial Olympic Park ~ Atlanta GA

On Centennial Olympic Park Drive, across from the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Atlanta. Near World of Coca Cola and the Georgia Aquarium.

Centennial Olympic Park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.