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The Southern Star Music Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, takes place every spring and tops our company's list as a top festival choice for marching bands. Here you and your group can partake in adjudicated performances each festival weekend, the festival accepting several different instrumental and symphonic groups, as well as marching and jazz bands. Not only will you get a top notch performance experience alongside several different bands, but you will also be able to hit the city and see some seriously fun sights afterward, such as Six Flags, The World of Coca-Cola, and the Varsity!
Lunch at The Vortex - The Vortex Bar and Grill in Atlanta is a local staple that has gathered quite a national following as well, the place in which you will find the best burger in Atlanta. Voted such by several different local and national publications, this well-known rock-n-roll establishment has been serving the best "burgers... since 1992." The Vortex has also been popularly featured on Travel Channel’s hit TV series Man vs Food, making public the insanity that is the Quadruple Coronary Bypass Burger challenge! Start with an appetizer of mac n' cheese Changa, then move on to the tough decision of trying a classic Vortex burger, insane bypass burger, or unique themed burger (we suggest the Zombie Apocalypse, topped with pulled pork and eggs!). You can even try a staple here called the "hot southern mess," fried chicken with eggs, bacon, and gravy, or if you have a sweet tooth try their famous funnel cake fries for dessert!
World of Coca Cola - The World of Coca-Cola is the popular local attraction that doubles as Coca Cola’s company corporate headquarters. This famous soft drink enterprise opened this establishment up to the public in 2007, offering guests a state of the art historical museum with over 20-acres of space showcasing the history and evolution of the company, brand, and product. See various different entertaining exhibits, drink stations, giant iconic Coke bottles, several polar bear mascots, and even visit the 4D theater in which you can watch different Coke related films, such as the current In Search of the Secret Formula. You will also see so many interesting pieces of vintage Coke memorabilia, like an antique soda fountain dating back to the 1880s! Don’t forget to head to the five different tasting stations before you leave, each representing several different tastes across the world, such as in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
Riverside Epicenter - Welcome to the Riverside Epicenter, the community center focused on fun food and fitness. Both instrumental and choral performances take place here during the festival, with a special offered student and chaperone "fun package" that allows you access to the arcade, climbing wall, and one hour of bowling. While here you and your group can explore the theater, food court, bowling center, rock climbing wall, arcade room, cardio/weight room, NCAA gym, track, basketball court, cycling center, and spa and sauna area. Students will love this break from performing and practicing, and if they get hungry you don’t have to worry about transferring your whole group to a different eatery, just head to the food court and check out 600 Degrees Pizza, Subway, the Internet Cafe, or any of the smoothie or fro-yo establishments!
Performances - Typically with the Southern Star Music Festival the instrumental performances take place late Friday afternoon and evening into early Saturday morning. There are over seven festival weekends total available during the entire season, in which elementary performance group to senior high school groups can play and perform to receive either comments only, rating only, or the full blown competition adjudication and mini clinic. This is your chance to shine and perform 2-3 pieces, the total time needing to be under 20 minutes. This performance year, in particular, is a big deal, it being the 25th anniversary, so get plenty of rest, plenty of practice, and have plenty of fun showing off today!
Breakfast at The Flying Biscuit Cafe - The Flying Biscuit Cafe is arguably the hottest breakfast spot in Atlanta, a Southern-inspired breakfast eatery that has been serving signature biscuits and grits since 1993. This branch of "down-home eateries known for their southern spirit and all day breakfast" has over 14 different locations throughout Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida and provides guests with serious southern charm and over 20 years of hospitable service. The menu here provides all day breakfast, all day comfort food, and all day really fresh ingredients. Have we even mentioned those fluffy and flaky golden brown biscuits, of which over 5,000 are baked every week at each location? That’s a lot of flying biscuits!
We truly hope you’re hungry this morning because you are about to be bombarded with such delicious options as creamy grits, organic oat pancakes, fried green tomatoes, freshly made pimento cheese, and so much more. Try the award-winning shrimp and grits or very berry chicken salad, or perhaps just enjoy the absolutely amazing cranberry apple butter. There is also such breakfast treats as french toast with raspberry, the turkey and chicken Piedmont omelet, and the oatmeal flapjack with fresh peach compote. When you get done filling your belly head over to the onsite store to pick up your own cookbook, apple butter, sugar bowl, or "Oh My Grits" shirt.
Performances - Continue any performances as necessary.
Six Flags Over Georgia - One of the greatest things about the Southern Star Music Festival is that it works in direct partnership with Six Flags Over Georgia, the top theme park in the region located just 12 miles from Atlanta that provides over 100 acres of thrill rides, water rides, shows, musical performances, and tons of fun fair food. There are over 50 different attractions within the park, the newest being the 200 foot Goliath coaster speeding up to 70 mph! Your group's performance package will include a two-day pass to the park plus meal deal in which you will be able to choose lunch and/or dinner while here. Enjoy the perfect balance of playing, both your instruments and at the park, that is, all you can before the award ceremony takes place, every Saturday evening of festival weekends at the Six Flags Amphitheater.
Award Ceremony - This is the moment you and your group has been waiting for, the moment you get to see exactly how you placed during the festival and show other groups exactly how much work you have put into this performance. Head to the Southern Star Amphitheater at 7 pm to watch, and hopefully partake, in this performance award ceremony. Your group will be judged as Gold, Silver, Bronze, or Blue, and also have the chance to win different themed trophies as well as overall performance trophies. This is one musical experience you won’t soon forget, we’re sure of that!
Centennial Olympic Park - Begin your next and final morning in Atlanta at the highly popular Centennial Park, an area of the city which used to be nothing but a run-down, decrepit plot of land unsafe for recreation. Then the 1996 Olympic games happened here, changing the park and city overall. This park is today one of the most beautiful public parks in the south, with 21 acres of gorgeous Georgia greenery, inspiring Olympic history, green sustainable practices, plenty of recreation spaces, and, of course, pure Atlanta pride. Cool off in the Fountain of Rings, have a breakfast picnic under the shade trees, or go grab a locally famous Googie Burger from the futuristic hamburger stand at the far end of the park. There are several weekly fitness and recreation events, as well as even more annual festivals and family celebrations. This is the perfect way to immerse yourself into what makes Atlanta, Atlanta!
The Varsity - One of Atlanta's most popular eateries is the Varsity, the "world's largest drive-in restaurant," an establishment created first in 1928, known for their delicious chili-laden fast food favorites. The Varsity stands by its original owner, Frank Gordy's, dedication to "delicious, quality food that's fun and fast." We love the history here, as well as all the delicious foods, from the classic chili cheese dog and rings to the juicy chili and cheeseburgers. Save plenty of room for a fried peach or apple pie with a Frosted Orange, a drink in between milkshake and slushie!
Georgia Aquarium - It wouldn’t be right to come to Atlanta and not visit the Georgia Aquarium, the magnificently water-filled world that has drawn over 12 million guests to date. Within this sprawling establishment, you will see over 10 million gallons of fresh and saltwater, making this one of the top aquariums in the country. Explore such fun and educational exhibits as the immersive Sea Monsters Revealed, several different SunTrust Georgia Explorer touch pools, and Gray’s Reef, the pristine National Marine Sanctuary with Northern Right Whales within. You will also see sea dragons, Japanese spider crabs, beluga whales, African penguins, and so much more! When you work up an appetite head over to Cafe Aquaria to refuel, the eatery providing really delicious pizza, pasta, sandwiches, fresh seafood, and cheeseburgers! There is also a really fun pair of gift shops here to explore before you go!
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra - The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is the state’s finest and most prestigious musical group, a group devoted to artistic excellence and audio expression. Today this group is in its 70th season, evolving over time to always be the best choice in the state for cultural entertainment. Enjoy opera, comedy shows, rock concerts, and symphony performances at the Atlanta Symphony Hall if you want to stay in town late tonight, or perhaps just tour the hall and take a quick peek in on the wonderfully rich sounding resident Atlanta orchestra. There are several various celebrity performances with the orchestra, such as Seth McFarlane, as well as several classical renditions and exciting remakes. We know your group, in particular, will enjoy this chance to see one of the most musically talented groups in Georgia, just be sure to bring your camera!