Outdoor gathering limit in Atlanta rising to 10,000, events getting back in action

ATLANTA — People in Atlanta can soon start gathering again for all kinds of outdoor events.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an executive order Tuesday increasing the capacity for large outdoor events to 9,999. Permits for gatherings of over 10,000 people will still be denied. The full Atlanta City Council will vote on approving the order Monday.

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That number still does not come close to the number of people expected for some big summer events.

Piedmont Park is the home to the Peachtree Road Race in July, Atlanta Dogwood Festival now set for August and Music Midtown in September.

“Now that I’m vaccinated, I feel fine going,” park visitor Audrey Morrow told Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach.

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Sisters Morgan and Makayla Wynn have been to Music Midtown and both are fully vaccinated.

“I would definitely be open to attending…just as long as there are some precautionary measures in place,” said Morgan Wynn.

Atlanta Dogwood Festival Board Chair Toy Rollins told Gehlbach that they are now working to amend their application for the event that had to be moved to August. He says they will work with the city to keep the festival that can draw tens of thousands to the park and will follow all guidelines.

“Just one of those areas that’s perfect for us as an outdoor festival, a lot of space and acreage that works to our benefit…[we want to] make sure we have all the processes, protocols, procedures and safety measures in place to ensure that it all happens the way it is supposed to,” said Rollins.

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Most park visitors Gehlbach spoke to were happy about the capacity increase, but some feel it may be too soon.

By August, many hope that 10,000 person capacity will be higher. The Peachtree Road Race could be the first big test as runners can find themselves elbow to elbow at times.