2024 and You: The Future Starts this Week


Happy New Year from Middle Georgia Times!

As the clock struck midnight last night, we all bid farewell to 2023 and welcomed a new year full of possibilities for new beginnings and fresh starts. As we step into the next chapter of our lives, the air is charged with anticipation for the exciting events that lie ahead in the coming week. From vibrant community celebrations to cultural festivals and exhilarating performances, the first week of the new year is set to be a kaleidoscope of activities that will unite people in joy and anticipation. Join us in exploring the array of festivities and happenings that will mark the beginning of a year filled with hope, renewal, and the prospect of exciting adventures.

On Monday, January 1st, there are several events for those looking to work on improving their physical fitness in 2024.

The New Year’s Day Panera Run is an event sponsored by the Macon Tracks Running Club and will feature a group run leaving from Panera Bread in North Macon around 8 a.m. followed by a meet-up there for bagels afterward. (Panera Bread - 181 Tom Hill Sr. Boulevard)

The Play Rhythm & Rally pickleball venue will host their Grand Opening celebration on Monday. During this event, players will be able to enjoy 5 hours of pickleball for $5. The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will take place at 9:30, followed by "Skills & Drills" with Coach Cindy, beginners' demonstrations, food trucks, vendors, and more from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Then, after 2 p.m., the exciting Skill-Level Based Open Play will take place where players will face off against similarly skilled pickleball players.

Image courtesy of Rhythm & Rally

The Fringed Campion Chapter of the Georgia Native Plant Society will host a New Year’s Day Hike on Brown’s Mount starting at 10:30 a.m. Participants are asked to dress for the weather on Monday, wear appropriate footwear for hiking, and bring water, as well as a leash if you are bringing your dog along with you.

Tuesday, January 2nd will be a day that you can work on having more fun or spending quality time with your family and friends.

Rigby’s Entertainment Complex will be having a Tuesday Special where you can choose either skating or bowling for $8 a person after 4 p.m. (Rigby’s Entertainment Complex - 2001 Karl Drive, Warner Robins)

On Wednesday, January 3rd, you can start traveling more with a trip up to Zoo Atlanta.

Zoo Atlanta and Georgia Power are presenting IllumiNights at the Zoo through January 14th. There will be illuminated scenes of nature and wildlife on a mile-long pathway, hot cocoa, and plenty of photo opportunities. Tickets start at $17.00 for children 3 to 11 years of age and $20.99 for those 12 years of age and older, with discount prices for seniors and group members as well as free tickets for children 2 years old and younger. (Zoo Atlanta - 800 Cherokee Avenue SE, Atlanta)

On Thursday, January 4th, you can start dancing more with a unique event in Athens or being more charitable by helping those in need Middle Georgia community.

Another event that will take some traveling to enjoy is the WonderLights Disco Nights at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. This event will take place from January 4th through 7th and involve “light show trails” where visitors will enjoy the festive scenes while grooving to disco music. Tickets cost $15 for attendees and children 3 years old and younger get in free. (State Botanical Garden of Georgia - 2450 S. Milledge Avenue, Athens)

Macon Recovers will continue their “Macon a Difference” Winter Coat Drive on Thursday. They need gently used coats, jackets, sweaters, socks, hats, and gloves. Drop off the items at Macon Recovers to start the year off with some feel-good charity. (Macon Recovers - 595 Wimbish Road, Macon)

Image courtesy of Macon Recovers

Friday, January 5th is a great day to experience childlike wonder, art, and community in Downtown Macon, or an exciting hockey game with the family.

A LEGO Pop-Up Store! will be coming to Navy & Gray Designs in Forsyth on Friday (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Saturday (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). There will be “hundreds of LEGOs”, COBI Military Bricks, giveaways, live building demonstrations, and more. (Navy & Gray Designs - 13 N. Lee Street, Forsyth)

The First Friday of 2024 will include lots of chances to get out and enjoy art, music, and all Downtown Macon has to offer with family or friends.

- Hello Boba Cafe will be hosting a Family Game night from 6 to 9 p.m. with games like Exploding Kittens, Battleship, and Cards Against Humanity and they will have games for all age groups. (Hello Boba Cafe - 359 Third Street, Macon)

- The 567 Center for Renewal will host the opening of a new art gallery titled “Light Out of Darkness” with paintings from Marthalyn Fortson from 5 to 8 p.m. (The 567 Center for Renewal - 533 Cherry Street, Macon)

- Reboot Retrocade and Bar will host a Video Games Trivia and Cosplay event will a gaming tournament at 6 p.m., trivia starting at 9 p.m., and cosplay following trivia.

One event on Friday that is sure to please art lovers from all walks of life is Macon Arts Alliance’s exhibit The Outsider - A Solo Exhibition by Rhonda Miller. This artist’s artwork is surprising, colorful, and full of life. Miller is a self-taught artist who began making art as a way to express her emotions. Since then, she has gained many fans and collectors. Miller will speak at a special Artist Talk at 6 p.m. which is sponsored by Macon Magazine. (Macon Arts Alliance - 484 1st Street, Macon)

Rhonda Miller's artwork is evocative and unique (Image courtesy of Rhonda Miller)

The Macon Mayhem hockey team will also be facing off against the Pensacola Ice Flyers on Friday at 7 p.m. for their first home game of 2024. Tickets start at $14 on ticketmaster.com. (Macon Coliseum - 200 Coliseum Drive, Macon)

On Saturday, January 6th, you can think more about your New Year’s Resolutions as you take a walk with other Middle Georgians or enjoy some skating fun with your little ones.

Bike Walk Macon and Walk with a Doc will be hosting a New Year’s Resolution Walk at Amerson River Park starting at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday. The registration begins at 8:45 a.m. and the walk starts at 9 a.m. (Amerson River Park - 2654 Riverview Road, Macon)

Gray-8-Skate Family Entertainment Center will be hosting a Tiny Tot Skate on Saturday where children are invited to skate and play on their own riding toys on Gray-8-Skate’s skate floor. Olaf will also be there to entertain and take photos with guests. (Gray-8-Skate Family Entertainment Center - 4151 Gray Highway, Gray)

Sunday, January 7th, the last day of the first week of 2024, will be a day to show off your talent.

Go.Tink Productions presents the Macon It 2024 Talent Competition every Sunday in 2024 with a new guest judge every week, 6 minutes sets to show what you can do, and a chance to win the monthly prize that includes studio time, a podcast interview, and more. This event is for those 21 years and older. (Macon Centreplex - 200 Coliseum Drive, Macon)

We at Middle Georgia Times hope that your 2024 is filled with excitement, joy, love, and wonder and that you remember to always try to do your best and take care of your community so that it can be a better place to live for everyone.

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