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Easy Piedmont Park Hike + optional walk to Atlanta Symphony Christmas Concert - just prior to our AOC Holiday Social!

The Basics:
Event Type:Urban Hike
Event Location: Gather for free street-side parking at corner adjoining 96 The Prado, in midtown Atlanta.   Urban Hike: Easy Piedmont Park Hike + optional walk to Atlanta Symphony Christmas Concert - just prior to our AOC Holiday Social!  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sun, Dec 9 2018  12:30 pm >> Sun, Dec 9 2018 2:15 pm
Registration Opens: Sat, Nov 10 2018 12:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Sun, Dec 9 2018 9:00 am
Event Duration:1 Hours 45 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D1: Easy
Distance:3 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Charlie Cottingham
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:16
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 20 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Weather's drying out fast!  Update as of Sun AM Dec 9th:  We're STILL "ON" for the Hike and our walk to the Concert.  The latest forecast for Sunday afternoon expects only a miniscule amount of remaining rain during this event! -  only about a 30% chance of rain between noon and midnight and no more than 0.02 inch total.  Cooler than normal weather is still expected (about 35 degrees and a bit breezy).  Let's each simply bundle up a bit (and carry perhaps a small umbrella) and we'll be fine!

If you have concert tickets but prefer NOT doing our 12:30 PM Piedmont Park hike you're welcome to hook up with us at 2:00 near our cars on the pedestrian corner adjoining "96 The Prado" and walk with us the remaining ~5 blocks to Symphony Hall.

"Concert Tickets" Addendum as of Dec 8th: 
It's too late to pre-order your tickets via the Symphony Group Sales office but a few seats may still remain on a "Walk-Up" basis if you check at the Box Office when we arrive after our Piedmont Park hike.

Updated Addendum about getting together at Symphony Hall:  I suggest that ALL of us AOC Concertgoers GREET ONE ANOTHER at THESE TIMES just outside Symphony Hall's 2nd-floor entrance doors (near the top of Woodruff Arts Center's interior marble staircase):
- First BEFORE the Concert at about 2:30 PM,
- Also immediately AFTER the Concert, at 4:45 PM. (Concert is slightly longer than 1st posted.)
- Then at about 4:50 PM those of us who parked on The Prado can walk together back to our cars from Symphony Hall.

IN a NUTSHELL:  This festive Holiday "double-header" event has been specially planned to immediately precede our annual AOC Holiday Social which is about a 15-minute drive northward from Symphony Hall.  Hope you can join us for an easy Piedmont Park hike, then walk together to a heartwarming Atlanta Symphony Christmas Concert (performed by the Orchestra and three Choruses as shown in the above photo).  You can make it a "triple header" by also registering to attend the Social (5:00-8:00 PM at the North River Tavern just south of Roswell).
  We'll gather for the Hike at 12:30 PM in a beautiful Atlanta midtown neighborhood just west of Piedmont Park and also just a short walk from Symphony Hall.  It has abundant free streetside parking on both sides of "The Prado" (a historic wide residential street - See Directions & GPS Info below. From there we can conveniently hike into the Park via the main entrance of the Atlanta Botanical Garden on Piedmont Ave.
After a leisurely ~3-mile Piedmont Park hike we expect to be back at our cars by about 2:00 PM. Then (for all who order their own tickets for the Concert - see Ordering details below) we'll continue our hike a short distance westward to Symphony Hall for the "Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra" Sunday matinee (3:00 PM - 4:45 PM) (Concert is slightly longer than originally posted. - Update by Charlie based on our Saturday performances.)
  As a "founding member" of the ASO Chorus I've been privileged to sing for more than 40 years in this popular annual Christmas concert, originally called "Christmas with Robert Shaw."  Through the decades numerous friends have enjoyed attending this holiday classic and agree with me that seats in the Rear Balcony, although inexpensive, have excellent acoustics as well as a fine panoramic view of our hundreds of on-stage singers and orchestra members.  My friends in ASO Group Sales are glad to offer our AOC hiking group a special $20-per-person ticket option in that uppermost seating area of Symphony Hall, with no add-on taxes or fees.  (See Ticket ordering details below.)

IMPORTANT DETAILS for ORDERING your own CONCERT TICKET(s):  Call the Atlanta Symphony Group Sales Office at 404-733-4806 (9:00 AM- 1:00 PM, M-F.  Call ASAP since the concert is likely to sell out!  Ask for Caroline and mention that you're part of ASO Chorus member Charlie Cottingham's group for the 3:00 PM Sun Dec 9th "Christmas with the ASO" matinee concert.  (Addendum on Nov 21st: If you can't reach Caroline, feel free to call the main ASO Group Sales number, 404-733-4848, and if no one answers email them at Tell them that you'd like to purchase your own ticket(s) in the Rear Balcony, Row G or higher, at the agreed group price of $20 - no extra service charges, taxes, mailing fees etc. [p.s. These SEATS are SOLD OUT as of NOV 30th, but tickets in other sections may still be available.]  Give them your credit card information, etc. and let them know whether you prefer to 1) Have your tickets emailed to you so you can print them yourself at home, or 2) Have the Symphony box office hold them for you at their "Will Call" ticket window.

Please state in your AOC Event Registration Notes if you plan to order a Ticket (and walk with us to the Concert just after our Piedmont Park hike).  Thanks! -Charlie

ATLANTA SYMPHONY CONCERT PROGRAM (3:00 - 4:45 PM):  ASO Director of Choruses Norman Mackenzie will conduct our Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and more than 250 choristers and soloists in this ~90-minute concert of about 25 Christmas favorites both sacred and secular, including popular chorales from Handel's Messiah and several rousing audience sing-alongs.  We're proud to have each year on stage with the Orchestra our own multiple-Grammy-winning ASO Chorus, the renowned Morehouse College Glee Club and the fine Gwinnett Young Singers children's choir.  Click here for the ASO's official concert webpage:

HIKING DETAILS:  During our ~90-minute leisurely paced Piedmont Park hike we'll enjoy exploring a bit of its "wilder side" via scenic trails and boardwalks through its lesser-known wooded areas.  These will include the "Six Springs Wetlands" and some of the lovely pathways that pass through the Atlanta Botanical Garden.  By about 2:00 PM we expect to arrive back at our cars.  We concertgoers will then continue our hike to Symphony Hall (and those who don't intend to do the concert are welcome to join us - then return the few blocks to your cars).  En route we may walk through a portion of Winn Park which adjoins our parking & gathering spot on "The Prado."

PIEDMONT PARK:  Now more than 125 years old, it became world famous in 1895 as the site of Atlanta's "Cotton States & International Exposition."  Volunteers who work with the Piedmont Park Conservancy deserve much of the credit for the Park's expansion projects since 2009 and esp. for helping to maintain its fine network of hiking paths and trails.  The Atlanta Botanical Garden was opened to the public in the NW corner of the Park in the late 1970s.  Continuing to expand and thrive in recent years the Garden has greatly benefited the Park's popularity and reputation.  Its "Chihuly in the Garden" outdoor glass art displays, giant topiary sculptures and big-name "concerts in the park" are especially popular.
For more Piedmont Park info click .
For a
Park Map that shows its network of trails, etc. click:

p.s. Thanks to my friend, AOC past president Clay White for suggesting that we offer this special wintertime combo!  Clay and his girlfriend Elvi have become fans of our similar AOC summertime Piedmont Park "hiking + optional classical music" outings since we began offering them several summers ago.  - Charlie

Required Items to Bring:

- Wear lightweight comfortable Clothing and Walking Shoes (appropriate for the weather, and bring an umbrella or other "weather gear"
 if rain, etc. is in the forecast)"Dressy casual" is fine if you're staying with us for the matinee Concert in Symphony Hall.
- Hydrate prior to the event and consider bringing a little Water to drink during the hike.

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

- Camera (or Smartphone, etc.) for taking photos
- Compact Binoculars for the optional concert if you have a pair, for closer-up views of the musicians & soloists,
 instruments, etc.


How to Get There:
Event Directions:

DIRECTIONS to our free PARKING & GATHERING SPOT on pedestrian corner adjoining "96 THE PRADO":  (For a zoomable map or satellite of this spot and its vicinity click the square Blue & Green "EVENT LOCATION" icon near the top of this article.)

GPS and users:   You can enter as your destination the following street address that adjoins our gathering spot:  96 The Prado, Atlanta, GA 30309

Driving Directions from Symphony Hall + Parking Advice:
(Symphony Hall is located in the SE corner of the huge Woodruff Arts Center building at 1280 Peachtree St, Atlanta, GA 30309, just N of the intersection of Peachtree Street and 15th Street. )
To drive to our above Gathering/ Parking spot from Symphony Hall:
1.  From the Peachtree Street/ 15th Street corner beside Symphony Hall's "Main Entrance Plaza" drive eastward on 15th Street just one block to Peachtree Circle.

2.  Bear leftward onto Peachtree Circle and go just 0.1 mile to Westminster Drive (just past wooded "Winn Park" on your right).
3.  Turn Right onto Westminster Drive and go 0.3 mile to The Prado (a wide residential street) where we'll gather in the small "pedestrian triangle" at that corner, close to the home whose address is "96 The Prado" (for GPS purposes).  There's normally plenty of free street-side parking there up and down both sides of The Prado.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cost Includes:

Free entrance into Piedmont Park and free streetside parking near corner of nearby Westminster Dr and The Prado.  Optional Atlanta Symphony Christmas concert tickets are $20 each if ordered individually by phone through the ASO Group Sales office as discussed above.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.