ATLANTA — Atlanta's New Year's Eve celebrations will have to do without the Peach Drop for another year. The over 30-year-old tradition has been cancelled, according to organizers.
Hosted by Atlanta's Ryan Cameron, the Peach Drop was initially set to feature performances from Grammy award-winning singer Ashanti, Atlanta-based hip-hop group Goodie Mob and rapper Blanco Brown.
While the stage was set to open at 6 p.m. Dec. 31 and wrap at midnight, Underground Atlanta called off the event entirely after citing COVID-19 safety concerns.
"Due to the rising number of Covid cases, the City is canceling the Peach Drop at Underground," the venue said in a social media post. "While we are saddened to miss this year's party and musical acts, we are very excited to bring the Peach Drop back next year and better than ever. Stay healthy everyone!"
The Atlanta mayor later issued a press release, announcing the decision.
“In consultation with public health officials, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel the Peach Drop,” Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a press release. “As positive COVID-19 cases rise, I encourage everyone to be safe, get vaccinated and follow CDC guidelines."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, both the Fulton and DeKalb counties remain areas of high transmission for COVID-19.
This is not the first time the New Year's Eve tradition has been booted. The Peach Drop was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, following a 2019 cancellation by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms after she cited a need to re-evaluate planning efforts for the event.
Historically, the Peach Drop has drawn in crowds of 60,000.