There may not be a skating rink or a New Year’s Eve celebration on Marietta Square this winter, but there will be new holiday sights, including a familiar face to fans of Atlanta director Tyler Perry.
Actor Palmer Williams Jr., whose credits include landlord Floyd in Perry’s “House of Payne,” will star as Ebeneezer Scrooge in a scene from “A Christmas Carol” presented by Marietta’s New Theater in the Square.
Stephanie Coston, director of the Marietta Branding Project, which puts on the annual Winter Wonderland, said the removal of the skating rink will allow for that and other pop-up performances in Glover Park.
“Our goal is to offer a premier unique experience, allowing families and couples to build lifelong memories together in Glover Park and on the Marietta Square,” Coston said in a statement.
Coston said more events will be posted soon on the Winter Wonderland website, www.winterwonderlandmarietta.com.
Speaking before the city’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Committee Wednesday, Coston said the rink was not as popular last year as it had been in previous years. According to the Branding Project, there could be 17 similar
rinks in the metro Atlanta area this year.
The city later confirmed its intention to cancel the New Year’s Eve celebration because of harsh weather the last two years. Judging by the Facebook reactions on the MDJ’s initial story on the decision to scrap the rink, sadness was the top response, followed closely by anger.
“Oh I’m so sorry to hear that decision,” wrote one Facebook user Carla Bradley. “It was a wonderful addition to the Square during the winter season. So festive & fun. Disappointed.”
Bradly signed off with a frown emoji.
But another sizable group expressed excitement to see new attractions at the yearly event.
“Glad folks enjoyed it, but I always thought it was an eye-sore,” wrote Facebook user Marcia Kathleen Smith.
Other new sights this year will include a VIP meet and greet with Santa Claus. For $150, families can hang out with old Kris Kringle in his pad on Marietta Square for Christmas stories, crafts, photos and milk and cookies.
That event runs Dec. 11 and 12, and as of Sunday afternoon, only five slots remain.
Other new events announced for this year include an additional First Friday Winter Wonderland Art Walk and a last-minute
shopping Artisan Market, candlelight shopping, a Tuba Christmas, Story time in the Park, Santa letter writing days at Zaxby’s and Chick-fil-A and enhancements to the decorations and Reindeer Games in Glover Park.
The traditional, shorter Santa sessions will also be available as usual on select dates between Nov. 30 and Dec. 23.
Booking for Santa photo shoots is open now at the Winter Wonderland website.