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#BeDowntown for These Weekend Events: June 24-26

June 24, 2016

Before you prepare your grill for Fourth of July weekend, check out our calendar highlights for another weekend Downtown.

 

Dump the Pump for Date Night

Have a night on the town while the car stays at home, thanks to Downtown's remarkable concentration of transportation options. Hop on the Streetcar and head to the Edgewood at Hilliard stop, where some of Atlanta’s best nightlife, from Sister Louisa’s to Joystick Gamebar to the Sound Table, lives. Give the brand new Relay Bike Share program a try by taking an evening bike ride around the neighborhood. Ride a MARTA train or bus and explore a new neighborhood. The possibilities are endless!

Slide the City Atlanta, Centennial Park District

Just in time for June temperature spikes, what better than a giant green slip 'n slide to take over a few Atlanta streets? This traveling event will land in the city Saturday and set up shop for a full day of sliding and block party events. If you haven't already purchased a wrist band to slide, snag one before ticket sales close! Even if you aren't sliding, the Centennial Park District is packed with attractions, restaurants and businesses--you can easily make a day of it.

Banda MS de Sergio Lizarraga Concert, Philips Arena

Nominated for six Latin Billboard Music Awards, this regional Mexican group will play its first Philips performance--the first regional Mexican group to ever play in Philips--on Saturday night. Philips is easily accessible via MARTA, so you won't have to worry about parking. To sample the type of music Banda MS plays, listen to their hit single "Que Bendicion" here.

Braves vs Mets Game, Turner Field

The Atlanta Braves take on the New York Mets on Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. This game will feature a plethora of programming. Fathers are encouraged to bring their daughters to celebrate Father-Daughter night, and Georgia Tech students and alums can also come out to celebrate Georgia Tech night. The evening will be capped off with a post-game concert featuring Flo Rida, presented by Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines.

A Love, Unconditional, the Center for Civil and Human Rights

Join the Center for Civil and Human Rights as they examine Dr. Martin Luther King’s view of absolute love of humanity through their exclusive “Voice to the Voiceless: The Morehouse College, Martin Luther King Collection.” This exhibit examines Dr. King’s works as well as his philosophies and influences on love. At 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, participate in a discussion lead by Dr. Vicki Crawford of Morehouse College on how unconditional love can serve as a catalyst for the establishment of a “Beloved Community” in today’s time. Three experts in their fields will discuss best ways to honor our differences in race, class, gender, sexual orientation and religious beliefs. 


 

#BeDowntown for Father's Day Weekend

June 17, 2016

This weekend, take the family Downtown to celebrate Dad, where there is plenty to see, do and eat:

Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band Benefit Concert, Pemberton Place

Yes: Gary Sinise, as in the actor who played Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump. He and his band will perform a benefit concert at Pemberton Place, right between the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coke, on Saturday evening. Veterans and family of veterans are eligible to receive complimentary tickets, thanks to generous grant funds from The Marcus Foundation and The Home Depot. Concert tickets are a separate purchase from admission tickets to either attraction. To read the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s recent Q & A with Sinise, go here.

Father’s Day Specials at Centennial Park District Attractions

The Centennial Park District is packed with some of Atlanta’s best attractions, and many of them are offering specials to celebrate fathers. The Georgia Aquarium will host an Oceans and Autos Car Show that visitors can check out for an additional $10 fee to their admission. On Father’s Day, Dad gets half off at the Aquarium with the purchase of one full price ticket, and if he’s a football fan, head to the College Football Hall of Fame, where he’ll get in for free with the purchase of one full price ticket (both deals are only offered on June 19). Don't miss Meet the Holidays: Father’s Day programming at the Children's Museum on Saturday and Sunday, either.

Malts & Vaults of Oakland: Where Beer Meets History, Oakland Cemetery

This is the perfect event for the history- and beer-loving fathers. Oakland’s tour guides will lead visitors through a fascinating cemetery tour that illuminates Atlanta’s long, sometimes convoluted history with beer brewing. Following the tour, adults will be able to sample local brews, thanks to My Friend’s Growler Shop, and everyone will be able to get their beer and Prohibition history books signed by authors Ron Smith and Mary Boyle. This is a ticketed event, so be sure to get yours before they sell out.

Father’s Day Specials in the Downtown Dining District

It wouldn’t be a holiday without a special meal, right? Whatever Dad’s got an appetite for, one of Downtown’s many restaurants will make sure he's covered. From Morton’s the Steakhouse and Ted’s Montana Grill, to Ray’s in the City and Legal Sea Foods, to Fire of Brazil and BLT Steak, it will be easy to fill up on a great meal, complete with quality family time. This is a great way to sample Downtown restaurants as CAP gears up for Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week, coming July 23-31.

Father’s Day Celebration at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site

All are invited to attend a special celebration of fathers at the site of one of the most beloved father-son relationships in American history. Families can enjoy junior ranger activities, games, a scavenger hunt, free family pictures for guests who bring a father and performances of famous Dr. King speeches. The King Birth Home will have an Open House during the event, too. This event is in support of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church's competition for preservation funding, so even if you can't make it out for Sunday's event, continue to cast votes for Dr. King's home church until July 5 at voteyourpark.org/historicmlk


 

The Coca-Cola Company Encourages Alternative Commutes for Atlanta Employees

June 16, 2016

Central Atlanta Progress deeply values its relationship with the Coca-Cola Company, an organization that has served as a longtime CAP member. As our organization works to provide alternative transportation options to Downtown commuters, the Coca-Cola Company also serves as a vital transportation management association (TMA) partner. We recently sat down with Coke employees to get a full picture of the strides the company is taking to set an employer standard for alternative commute options.

When you discuss commute options with Eric Ganther and Thomas Hamed, transportation experts in the Coca-Cola Company’s Global Workplace Strategy and Operations Division, you may not expect for the conversation to include talk of love.

But Ganther believes it’s what drives people to change the story of a city. “It’s really a love thing,” he said. “If you love your city, it can succeed.”

At the Coca-Cola Company, Ganther and Hamed work on alternative commute initiatives for employees, and in a workplace where the employee median age is approximately 46 years old, based in a city where car is king, it’s no small feat to convince employees to reconsider their commute options.

“Atlantans drive to the bathroom,” Ganther joked. “That’s the city we built. There are lots of us now, and there are going to more. We are working to encourage people to consider something else.”

Coke has made what Ganther calls a “visible commitment” to alternative commute options, and he means it quite literally. The Red Bus, he notes, is a key facet of the initiative. A small, red Coca-Cola branded shuttle bus that operates on a route between Coke’s main Atlanta campuses and nearby transit stops, decreases midday commutes by about 800 trips a day. For those able to reach the North Springs MARTA station and catch a Red Bus at the Peachtree Center MARTA station, they can avoid a highly unpredictable and sluggish Georgia 400 commute and reach work in about 40 minutes.

Further, thanks to a commuter benefits program, Coca-Cola employees are eligible for MARTA and regional bus service subsidies, as well as a rideshare program through the Ride carpooling app. For employees who drive electric vehicles, they can plug in for free at one of Coke’s 95 charging stations and power back up for the commute home.

Coke has made a “visible commitment” to encouraging cycling, too. The installation of showers and locker rooms are a plus, yes, but the Chairman relinquishing his parking space for bike parking sent an even louder message. “He believes it’s the right thing to do,” said Ganther.

The commuters willing to cycle to work, Hamed noted, tend to skew younger than other commuter groups, but, overall, the challenge to change commuter behavior is a process of “peeling away the resistances,” as Ganther describes it, no matter what age. The truth is that some commute options, like MARTA or the Xpress bus, simply don’t reach certain towns, making driving a must. For others, the answer to a non-car commute is simply “No.”

“Other people are curious,” Ganther said, “and we like curious people. Curiosity makes for a good employee. Curious people are willing to try new things.”

A worldwide company with Atlanta as its home, Coca-Cola’s various efforts to support this spirit of curiosity neatly dovetail with its global sustainability initiatives. “Coca-Cola supports being climate-friendly and wants to be part of the solution,” Ganther said. “To the extent that Coca-Cola can take steps to encourage people to do differently, we consider it our duty. We’re putting our money where our mouth is.”

As a major Atlanta employer, Ganther believes there’s any opportunity to partner with and learn from other organizations involved in commute option programs, including CAP. Together, he believes there’s a unique opportunity to improve the city.

“We can change Atlanta’s story from a sprawling nightmare to a place where forward-thinking people can share the road with each other,” he said. “At our job, we work to help people find another way.”


 

#BeDowntown for These Weekend Events: June 10-12

June 10, 2016

No two weekends in Downtown look the same. Check out what's new and fresh on the calendar as summer in Atlanta heats up:

1. Atlanta Cycling Festival, Citywide

The third year of this week-long festival kicks off on Saturday, and weekend programming includes bike tours, bike rides, kid-friendly bike classes and more. The Big Opening Party will take place on Saturday at 7:00 p.m., and don't expect your typical party venue: the festival will be repurposing the top two floors of the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center parking deck. Expect to see the festival at Sunday's Atlanta Streets Alive event, too.

2. XOXO: An Exhibit About Love & Forgiveness, The Children's Museum

A great fit for anyone who loved Disney Pixar's Inside Out, this new exhibit will provide everyone in the family with an opportunity to explore the diversity of human emotions. What makes us sad? What makes us happy? Silly? Angry? Discover and explore at the museum. This exhibit runs through September 4. Additionally, on Saturday it's Fulton County Day at the museum, where a Fulton County resident can purchase a ticket and receive an additional free ticket for a guest. Sunday programming will include Eat a Georgia Rainbow and Meet the Holidays: Dragon Boat Festival activities.

3. Juneteenth at Oakland Cemetery

Originating in Texas in 1865, Juneteenth commemorates the abolishment of slavery in the Confederate South at the end of the Civil War. Observed nationwide, Atlantans can celebrate it Downtown by visiting the beautiful Oakland cemetery for free programming from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., including a scavenger hunt for children, guided tours of the African American grounds, and an update on the Historic Oakland Foundation's restoration project of that unique area of the cemetery. 

4. Atlanta Streets Alive Peachtree, from Downtown to Midtown

A beloved (and free!) community event, this Atlanta Streets Alive will return to Peachtree Street, which will be closed to vehicular traffic from Edgewood Avenue to 17th Street from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Come by bike, transit, or foot (the Atlanta Streetcar will not be in service for this event), and enjoy blocks of activities, vendors, and fun as you experience Atlanta from a whole new perspective. Programming in Woodruff Park will include chess tournaments, Soccer in the Streets pickup games, music and more. 

5. Brats and Beer at Der Biergarten

Calling all soccer and beer lovers! Perch on Der Biergarten's patio at 3:00 p.m. to catch the Germany vs. Ukraine UEFA Euro Cup game. Der Biergarten will be serving cold brews ($9 liters) and freshly-grilled brats ($6), perfect for a hot June day in Atlanta. Attend and enter for the chance to win a trip to Germany, and be sure to follow Der Biergarten on social media for news about upcoming UEFA watch games.


 

Be Downtown for These Weekend Events: June 3-5

June 3, 2016

Rain or shine, it's always nice to have a reprieve from the June heat. Step inside and enjoy these programs coming to Downtown this weekend.

1. Jazzitude Series at the Rialto

Nothing says "Friday date night" quite like jazz. Consult our dining map for dinner and post-jazz libation options, then head to the Rialto for a performance that features Kirk Whalum on the saxophone and vocalist Toni Redd at the mic. The Rialto is right along the Streetcar route, meaning you don't have to sweat about parking, either.

2. The Merchant of Venice opening night, the New American Shakespeare Tavern

Speaking of date nights, spend a night at the theater watching one of the Bard's best (in the wake of the 400th celebration of his death day, no less). If you haven't been to the Shakespeare Tavern before, you're in for a treat--it's a dinner theater space where you can indeed eat, drink and be merry. Merchant runs through June 19.

3. American Taekwondo United National Championship, Georgia World Congress Center

The Congress center hosts unique Atlanta events and conventions every year, and this weekend, the Taekwondo National Championship will take place Friday and Saturday. General admission tickets cost $12. Come to watch exciting matches from competitors ranging in age from 12 to 32.

4. Atlanta Kidney Walk, Turner Field

For philanthropic fun and wellness, register for Saturday morning's Atlanta Kidney Walk. A project of the National Kidney Foundation, these community walks raise both awareness about kidney diseases and funds for projects implemented to combat illness and support patients. Expand your walk by taking MARTA to the Georgia State station and walking to Turner Field.

5. Saturday Programming at the Children's Museum of Atlanta

The Children's Museum is fun any day of the week, but this Saturday will include the Mayor's Summer Reading Program Kickoff and a Super Spectacular Science Show, both of which feature activities for kids of all ages. School may be out, but summer fun can definitely still be educational.


 

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