The Centennial Olympic Park is a 22-acre green space owned and operated by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority. The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games built the park alongside the Fountain of Rings, which has become one of the most recognized and photographed landmarks in Georgia. The nine-hectare site remains one of the city’s main public meeting spaces.
What to Do at Centennial Olympic Park
The park’s main icon, the Fountain of Rings, provides hours of entertainment for children and viewing pleasure for adults. The computer-controlled fountain with lights and jets of water displaying the Olympic logo is synchronized with music played from speakers in light towers surrounding the fountain. The splash pad, available for concert-goers and joggers during the summer months, consists of 251 jets that shoot between 12 to 35 feet in the air and create unique water sculptures.
Related Post: Famous Atlanta Restaurants: 10 Iconic Places to Eat
Symbolism at the Park
Flags from previous Olympic host countries surround the fountain area. Eight 65-foot tall light towers, resembling Greek columns, line the park as well. Several sculpture pieces are scattered through the park, including a statue of Pierre de Coubertin, father of the modern Olympic movement. There is also a small amphitheater at the southern end of the park.
Food and Drink
This world-class attraction is in the heart of downtown Atlanta. In addition, it is located near some of the city’s most elegant hotels, restaurants, and bars.
Related Post: 15 Absolutely Free Things to Do in Atlanta
The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games paved the Centennial Plaza with over 500,000 engraved bricks creating paths and walkways throughout the park. In addition, in 2016 a second brick campaign commemorated the park’s 20th anniversary.
1996 Atlanta Bombing
In July 1996, during the Summer Olympics, the Centennial Olympic Park made history with a nail-laden pipe bomb explosion. This domestic terrorist attack killed one person and injured 111 others. Richard Jewell, a security guard at the scene, was investigated for the crime. However, he was later cleared due to a lack of evidence. Police caught the true culprit Eric Rudolph five years later.
Related Post: 25 of the Top Things to Do in Atlanta
Hours and Cost
Centennial Park is free to visit and open to the public from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. In addition, the park has fountain shows year-round, four times a day at 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Related Post: Current Events and Festivals in Atlanta