Atlanta football is as much a part of holidays as family, presents and pumpkin pie. Atlanta has two of the top college football games in the country — The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the Celebration Bowl — that bring family and friends to cheer on their favorite teams. Both bowl games have storied histories and have provided fans with some fantastic holiday games over the years.
The Celebration Bowls pits the winners of the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference — both historically black colleges and universities — against each other at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. A large part of the fun is that the bowl showcases the heritage, legacy, pageantry and tradition of historically black colleges and universities. The game takes place Dec. 21 with a noon kick-off. If you can’t make it to the game, don’t worry, you can watch it on ABC.
Not surprisingly, there are lots of activities centered around the game. There are news conferences, an NFL breakfast and career panel, a SunTrust financial literacy education program and a team visit to Hughes Spalding Children’s Hospital, which is part of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta network. The bowl partners with 100 Black Men of Atlanta to hold community events, including a gospel night and robotics competition, all designed to help build a strong African-American community focused on education, enrichment and empowerment. Another highlight is the Fan Zone that starts at 8:30 at International Plaza where tailgating, get-togethers and overall partying will take place before the kick-off.
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, created in 2008, is one of the most popular bowl games. In fact, it’s already a sell-out, the first of the New Year’s Six bowl games to sell through all its individual game tickets. This is the bowl’s second-earliest sellout in its history. The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will host either the No. 1 vs. No. 4 or the No. 2 vs. No. 3 teams in the country as assigned by the College Football Playoff selection committee and will be nationally telecast by ESPN.
Not only does the bowl game, which takes place Dec. 28, create excitement due to the top teams that come to battle, but the event has spawned several other fun events such as the Chick-fil-A parade. The parade, which also takes place on Dec. 28, brings a lot of pomp and circumstance to downtown Atlanta with floats, classic cars, cheerleaders, mascots and marching bands walking down Peachtree Street to the Georgia World Congress Center where FanFest will start. Depending on the game’s kick-off time, the parade will start at either 9 a.m. or 4 p.m. FanFest is a fan’s dream with food, activities, interactive games, official merchandise and giveaways.
If you want to kick-off the weekend with an extra night of fun, visit the world’s largest aquarium, which is hosting Fan Night at the Georgia Aquarium on Dec. 27. Not only will visitors get to admire tens of thousands of exotic and local marine life while mingling with other football fans, but the team’s cheerleaders and mascots will lead a pep rally at 6:30 p.m.