Ring in 2016…close to home

Don’t want to go to downtown Atlanta? Neither do we. Here are a couple of cool, unique and local activities/events you can do instead. And don’t worry, the kids won’t be left out.

By LaTria Garnigan


Marietta Ball Drop
Dec. 31, midnight
For the first time ever, the city of Marietta will host its own ball drop in the Square. Along with the ball drop, there will be a Winter Wonderland as well with tons of family-friendly activities and an earlier ball drop especially for children.
2-7 p.m.: family activities
7 p.m.: Children’s Ball Drop
8:30-11:30 p.m.: Whiskey Gentry performs on the Bandstand in Glover Park
11:30-1 a.m.: Late Night Party (with a midnight ball drop)

The ball drop is going to be the “start of an amazing tradition for our community,” said Holly Quinlan, CEO of Cobb Travel & Tourism.

“Celebrating the beginning of a New Year with friends and family while enjoying the Square’s festive atmosphere will bring residents and visitors alike back year after year.”

Also, check out your favorite local restaurant, like Henry’s Louisiana Grill in Acworth, for a lively and exciting New Year’s Eve Party!


The Earl Smith Strand Theatre
Dec. 31, 8:30 p.m.
A Stone’s New Year’s Eve
Tickets: $35-$60
117 N. Park Square, Marietta

At the Earl Smith Strand Theatre, a Rolling Stones tribute band will host A. Stone’s New Year’s Eve to ring in the New Year. Stephen Skipper and his tribute band are back!

Ring in 2016 with one of the best rock shows in Atlanta and all of your Stones favorites. Fans will be satisfied with the pout, preen and raunchy riff they would expect, bringing the entertainment level of an over-the-top arena show up close and personal in The Strand’s 500-seat theatre.

Get a VIP ticket for a rooftop view of the New Year’s Eve ball drop after the concert.


Six Flags
Through Jan. 3
Holiday in the Park
Tickets: start at $43.99 per individual
275 Riverside Pkwy., SW, Austell

Not to be outdone, Six Flags Over Georgia also gets in the holiday spirit with its Holiday In the Park celebration, which goes through Jan. 3. Four new holiday traditions and five thrilling rides will debut this year including:

Holiday City — a new themed-section of the park in GOTHAM City featuring spectacular green and purple lights, a 25-foot Christmas tree with 200 brightly lit Batman candles, a light string Christmas tree standing 40 feet tall, and five of the park’s most popular rides including BATMAN: The Ride.

Magic of the Season — a state-of-the-art light show through a tunnel of holiday wonder, featuring 7,500 glowing LED lights and the story of holiday magic at the amusement park.

Mistletoe Mansion — featuring dozens of mistletoes strung across the midway, more than 100,000 lights and chandeliers outside the famous Monster Mansion attraction for the most beautiful outdoor holiday ball in all of Georgia.

GloHill — a new themed section of the park featuring a walk-through immersive experience through hundreds of glowing light sticks into Holiday City, where guest-favorite holiday rides await.


Celebration with friends

If you’re looking to relax at home with a few of your closest friends and avoid the crowds, a small get together will always do. Cook up your favorite festive appetizers and for a little kick, make a sweet and tangy seasonal drink to toast with at midnight.

VOGA Italia Wine has a Seasonal Spiced Sangria featuring its Italia Red Fusion wine that will be a perfect addition to any party. (Drink responsibly.)

And just for you, here’s the recipe:

Seasonal Spiced Sangria
2 bottles VOGA Red Fusion
3 cups sparkling apple cider
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup dark spiced rum
4 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
3-4 fresh figs, sliced (or 1 cup dried figs)
1-2 fresh gala apples, sliced
2-3 clementines, sliced (not peeled)
1 lemon, sliced

Slice apples and insert whole cloves directly into the fruit.

Combine all fruit slices in a glass pitcher and slowly pour in brandy, rum and VOGA Red Fusion.

Cover and chill for 2-24 hours (the longer, the better!).

Before serving, add sparkling cider and orange juice.

Stir gently and serve over ice.


Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
Dec. 31, 8 p.m.
Dancing with the Stars Live!
Tickets: $37-$122, plus applicable fees
2800 Cobb Galleria Pkwy., Atlanta

If you love the ABC hit competition show, “Dancing with the Stars,” then prepare to see them live for the first time! The ‘Dance All Night Tour’ — a new production, touring 43 cities across the U.S. — will be at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on New Year’s Eve and will bring a bigger cast than ever before including special guests.

In this production, the dancers are freed from the ballroom to bring a 90-minute action-packed live show. Audiences will watch exciting and romantic performances, from choreography never before seen on the show, to some of the most memorable numbers from Dancing with the Stars.

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