I don’t think any of us will be sorry to see 2016 go, will we? The cultural carnage alone has been tremendous. This year we lost the rightful heir to the Rebel Alliance, Princess Leia (actress Carrie Fisher) and a day later, her mother Debbie Reynolds. It’s been like one long year of mourning for so many of our most beloved iconic musicians (Prince y’all!), actors, musicians, and artists: David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Harper Lee, Merle Haggard, Alan Rickman, Muhammed Ali, Elie Wiesel, Gene Wilder, The Lady Chablis, Leonard Cohen, Gwen Ifill, Zsa Zsa Gabor and George Michael. And that, my friends, is only a partial list.

Needless to say, few of us will shed any tears when 2016 itself finally fades to black – and here in our fair city, the transition will be celebrated in true Macon style. When the clock strikes midnight in downtown Macon, it will officially become The Night They Dropped the Mic in Georgia, and I, for one, may go full-on Julia Sugarbaker when that precious moment occurs.

The festivities begin at 7 p.m., with events staged on First Street and Cotton Avenue between Poplar and Cherry Streets. Free and open to the public, the family-friendly New Year’s Eve community party will include bounce houses and other kid-friendly attractions as well as live music. Micah Moore, Johnny Hollingshed, Bearcats, CMD Styles and Friends, and Macon’s favorite Voice contestant, Maggie Renfroe will appear as the headliner.

New Year's Eve 2016

Event sponsors Georgia Artisan, Just Tap’d, Macon Productions and Teeger Entertainment are pooling their resources to mount a 40-foot crane on Cotton Avenue that will be used to drop the mic at midnight. And if you’re thinking of making New Year’s resolutions, event planners have devised an awesome way to keep you honest about sticking to them. Resolution boards and chalk will be provided to pencil in your 2017 intentions, and the boards (which spell out “MACON”) will be displayed downtown as a public art installation after the revelry ends.

Once the party’s over, if you’ve had one too many brews at Just Tap’d, or elsewhere, put your keys in your pocket and call the Coroner’s Office. Tipplers can call 478) 256-6716, (478) 256-2136, or (478) 320-7235 from midnight to 5 a.m. for a safe, free ride home.

Other New Year’s Eve events in Macon include:

  • Rockin' New Years Eve at The Library Ballroom: Presented by: Widner & Associates, Inc., Pi-Tech, Inc., The Fuller Center for Housing, Macon, GA, Tradebank International and Greg's Georgia Gardens, the formal gala includes music by popular musical act, A2Z.
  • New Year’s Eve Big Bash: A fundraiser for ARC, the BYOB party will be held in the restored Macon Terminal Station in downtown.
  • “The Godfather of 80s cover bands,” Echospeed at The Hummingbird Stage & Taproom.