With both the 25th anniversary of the 1996 Atlanta Olympic and Paralympic Games and the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Games coming in mid- and late July, the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead is celebrating with a series of in-person and virtual activities.
Beginning July 19, the date the Atlanta Olympics opened, the center will host a special presentation in the Rountree Visual Vault featuring torches from every Olympic Games as well as a variety of artifacts and mascots from the Paralympic Games.
Those items are coming from the center’s permanent exhibition, “Atlanta ’96: Shaping an Olympic and Paralympic City,” which opened in September and is devoted to both the games themselves and their impact on the city. The venue’s website’s Olympic and Paralympic celebration hub also includes blogs, artifact highlights and more to explore.
“Ever since we opened the new exhibition … during the pandemic, we’ve been anticipating the day when we can welcome the public back in a big way to see it,” Sheffield Hale, the center’s president and CEO, said in a news release. “The opening week of the Tokyo Olympic Games is the perfect time.”
The center will also host a free virtual Author Talk July 21 at 7 p.m. by authors Randal Roark and Michael Dobbins for their recently published book, “Atlanta’s Olympic Resurgence: How the 1996 Games Revived a Struggling City.” The book was also written by Leon Eplan, former commissioner for planning and development for the Olympics, who died in April.
To kick off the Tokyo Games, the center will host an opening ceremonies watch party July 23 at 7 a.m. It will include free admission, coffee and sweet treats. A second watch party for the Tokyo Paralympic Games will take place Aug. 24.
For more information about all events or to participate in the virtual ones, visit atlantahistorycenter.com.