New Year’s Eve: Peach Drop, Peach Bowl Parade and other last-minute ways to celebrate in Atlanta

Daesum Butler, of Whitesburg, wears her New Year glasses at Underground Atlanta during Peach Drop 2016 on Thursday, December 31, 2015. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Daesum Butler, of Whitesburg, wears her New Year glasses at Underground Atlanta during Peach Drop 2016 on Thursday, December 31, 2015. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Don’t start 2017 with costly activities that are going to destroy your budget. There are a few free or cheap ways to celebrate the New Year in metro Atlanta without compromising on the fun.

Our list also doubles as the perfect New Year’s Eve guide for procrastinators, too. None of the items on our list require a ticket, so they’re perfect for anyone who forgot to make reservations in advance.

Here are six things to do on New Year’s Eve:

New Year’s Eve drops

Peach Drop

Join family, friends and thousands of metro Atlanta residents and visitors to watch as an 800-pound peach is dropped in downtown Atlanta.

A pending sale of Underground Atlanta may take place early in the new year, but it won’t affect the New Year’s Eve celebration, which is held annually at the development.

AJC’s Melissa Ruggieri reports that Ne-Yo and Collective Soul will perform before the giant peach is dropped at midnight. Entrances to the stage area will be off of Peachtree Street, Marietta Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Underground Atlanta will open at 5 p.m.

7 p.m.. Dec. 31. Free. Underground Atlanta, 50 Upper Alabama St., Atlanta. 

Marietta Ball Drop

If you’re looking for a New Year’s Eve drop with an element of surprise, head to the Marietta Square. The day-long celebration will include carnival games, an escape room-style competition, live music and more.

Write your 2017 dreams and goals on a giant Resolution Wall or watch the Ice Warriors Ice Sculpture competition before finding out what the surprise drop will be at midnight. Last year’s inaugural New Year’s Eve celebration involved a gymnast being “dropped” (or lowered) from a cube that was designed by Kennesaw State University.

2 p.m. Dec. 31. Free. Marietta Square, 4 Depot St., Marietta. Mariettacalendar.com

Duluth Ball Drop

Ring in 2017 with a firework show and the rise of Duluth’s icon outside of City Hall. Before the midnight celebration, bounce on inflatables or take a trip down a giant snow slide. Georgia native and country singer Craig Campbell will also perform at the family-friendly event.

7 p.m. Dec. 31. Free. City Hall, 3167 Main St., Duluth. Facebook.com.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Parade

Tickets to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl have long been sold-out, but the parade before the big game is a great way to celebrate New Year’s Eve as a family. The festivities will kick off at Peachtree Street and feature mascots, marching bands, cheerleaders, floats, classic cars and more. The free parade is an Atlanta tradition and a fun way to celebrate the end of 2016 with loved ones who won’t be awake at midnight.

9 a.m. Dec. 31. Free Baker Street and Peachtree Street. Chick-fil-apeachbowl.com.

Edgewood bars

Bar hop on Edgewood for a casual New Year’s Eve celebration. Enjoy a plate of Noni’s garlic fries before heading to Mother for a cover charge that won’t exceed $10. Ring in the New Year at the bar with a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, or enjoy free champagne shooters and a game of ping pong at Sister Louisa’s Church of The Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium.

Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall

Ladybird’s third annual New Year’s Eve Do Nuthin’ celebration is a great, hassle-free way to get together with friends to celebrate the end of 2016.

The restaurant will be open during its regular hours (11 a.m.-midnight) and will feature a special late-night menu and a complimentary “champagne of beers” toast.

Dec. 31. No cover. Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall, 684 John Wesley Dobbs Ave., Atlanta. ladybirdatlanta.com.


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