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REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

2nd Annual Holiday Season Piedmont Park Hike & optional Atlanta Symphony Christmas Concert

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: 2nd Annual Holiday Season Piedmont Park Hike & optional Atlanta Symphony Christmas Concert  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sun, Dec 8 2019  12:30 pm >> Sun, Dec 8 2019 2:15 pm
Registration Opens: Tue, Nov 19 2019 12:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Sun, Dec 8 2019 8:00 am
Event Duration:1 Hours 45 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D1: Easy
Distance:3 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Charlie Cottingham
Richard A. Zalik
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:20
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 17 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


WEATHER UPDATE as of Fri Dec 6th:  Sunday's Forecast is looking good!  We're STILL definitely "ON" both for the Hike and the optional Concert.  We can expect comfortable hiking temperatures in the low 50s, with partly sunny skies and only about a 10% chance of any rain.  If you're worried about the possibility of rain just carry a lightweight umbrella, etc. and you'll be fine.  If you've bought your  concert tickets (as directed below) but prefer NOT joining us at 12:30 PM for the Piedmont Park hike you're welcome to hook up with us at ~2:00 by our parked cars on the pedestrian corner adjoining "96 The Prado" and walk with us the remaining ~5 blocks to Symphony Hall (and/or greet us inside the Arts Center as discussed below).  - Charlie

IN a NUTSHELL:  This "double header" got great reviews last December so by popular demand we're offering it again - and thanks to my good friend and Atlanta Symphony fan Richard for co-leading with me this time!  Hope you can join us for a scenic Piedmont Park hike, then we'll walk together from the park to the heartwarming annual Atlanta Symphony Christmas Concert (performed by the Orchestra, Choruses & Soloists as shown in the above photo.  (The same "casual or dressy casual" that you wear for the hike is fine if you stay for the concert - see ticket ordering details below.).  We'll gather for the Hike at 12:30 PM in a beautiful Atlanta midtown neighborhood just 3 blocks west of Piedmont Park and also just an easy ~10-minute walk from the cars to Symphony Hall.  There's abundant free streetside parking here on both sides of "The Prado" (a historic wide residential street - See Directions & GPS Info below. From here we can conveniently hike directly into the Park via the main entrance of the Atlanta Botanical Garden on Piedmont Ave.
  After the 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 below) we'll continue our hike 10 minutes westward to Symphony Hall for the "Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra" Sunday matinee (3:00 PM - 4:45 PM).
  As a "founding member" of the ASO Chorus I've been privileged to sing for more than four decades in this popular annual Symphony Christmas concert, originally called "Christmas with Robert Shaw."  Through the years numerous friends have enjoyed attending this holiday classic and agree with me that seats in the 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 special $22 and $18 ticket options in that uppermost seating area of Symphony Hall, with no add-on fees.  (See Ticket ordering details below.)

IMPORTANT DETAILS for ORDERING your own CONCERT TICKET(s):  Act fast, because the concert is likely to be a sellout!  Call the Atlanta Symphony Group Sales Office at 404-733-4806 (9:00 AM - 1:00 PM, M - F, and if you don't reach a real person please try again at various times of day).  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 (as arranged through Robin Smith in Group Sales). Tell them that you'd like to purchase your own discounted ticket(s).
 - Recommended Sections for our AOC Group:
    - Front Balcony: Rows A thru F, at $22 each, or
    - Rear Balcony:  Rows G thru K, at $18 each.
These group-rate tickets are currently still available throught the Group Office (as of Nov 25th) with NO extra service charges, taxes or mailing fees etc. 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.
Other seating sections may also be available, if you prefer, at the following discounted group rates: Dress Circle $30, Rear Orchestra $33, Middle Orchestra $39, Middle Loge $40, Front Orchestra $49.

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
 I suggest that we AOC CONCERTGOERS GREET ONE ANOTHER at THESE TIMES just outside Symphony Hall's 2nd-floor entrance doors (inside the huge Arts Center's "Galleria atrium" by the top of the Woodruff Arts Center's interior marble staircase):
- First BEFORE the Concert at about 2:30 PM,
- Also immediately AFTER the Concert, at about 4:45 PM.
- Then at ~4:50 PM those of us who parked on The Prado can walk together back to our cars from Symphony Hall. 

ATLANTA SYMPHONY CONCERT PROGRAM (3:00 - ~4:45 PM):  ASO Director of Choruses Norman Mackenzie will conduct our Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and about 200 choristers and soloists in this ~90-minute concert of Christmas favorites both sacred and secular, including popular chorales from Handel's Messiah,  amazing instrumental and vocal solos, and several rousing audience sing-alongs.  We're proud to have on stage with the Orchestra our own multiple-Grammy-winning ASO Chorus, the fine Gwinnett Young Singers youth choir, and the renowned Tenor Soloist, Timothy Miller, who is a professor of Music at Atlanta's Morehouse College.  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. (Hikers who can't attend the concert are welcome to join us for this leg, then walk the few blocks back to your cars.)  En route to the Hall 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 last year that we begin offering this special wintertime combo! - 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)"Casual or Dressy Casual" is fine if you're staying with us for the Symphony Hall Concert.
- 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 only $22 or $18 each if ordered individually by phone through the ASO Group Sales office as discussed above (and also available in other sections of the hall until sold out, using our "Choral" group discount).

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