123113 ATLANTA: The peach waits to drop from the tower at the Peach Drop at Underground Atlanta on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in Atlanta. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM
Photo: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

No Peach Drop this year, breaking 30-year tradition

Originally posed Tuesday, November 5, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

For the first time in three decades, there will be no Peach Drop this year, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms told Majic 107.5/97.5’s afternoon host Ryan Cameron Tuesday.

"We're going to take a break, reevaluate, reexamine the location and how we plan it out,” she said. “And when it comes back, I promise you it will be bigger and better.”

» RELATED: 5 flashback moments from Atlanta's Peach Drop past

Bottoms said she made the decision the past couple of days to mothball the 800-pound peach. "We've had some location challenges," she told Cameron. The city no longer owns Underground, which added complications.

"Last year, it was great to be there and the crowd was there, but it felt like an afterthought event, not a premier event,” she said. “It felt we hadn't given it the thought and consideration and resources we should give an event." 

She compared it to what her son said was like the introduction of the new Popeye's chicken a few weeks back: “It felt rushed.”

Photo: Keisha Lance Bottoms talking to Ryan Cameron about Peach Drop at Majic studios November 5, 2019.

The Peach Drop debuted 1989 at Underground Atlanta, a play off the New York City Times Square ball drop. Some years, the event would draw 100,000 or more people. 

After a private developer purchased the space, the city moved it to Woodruff Park for New Year’s 2017 but brought it back to Underground Atlanta last year. 

123113 ATLANTA: Headliner Janelle Monae performs on the main stage just before the Peach Drop at Underground Atlanta on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in Atlanta. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM
Photo: Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

The most recent Peach Drop featured two hometown R&B acts Jagged Edge and 112 and 1990s-era alternative rock band Better than Ezra. In recent years, others who have performed include legendary R&B singer Little Richard (2003), country band Lonestar (2007) country singer, Miranda Lambert (2008), dancer/singer Julianne Hough (2009), R&B singer Tito Jackson (2011), classic rock band Kansas (2012), Beatles cover band Abbey Road LIVE! (2013), R&B star Janelle Monae (20140, 1990s pop-rock band Sugar Ray (2015),  Atlanta rap legend Ludacris (2015), rock band Sister Hazel (2016), R&B star, Ne-Yo and Atlanta rock band Collective Soul (2017). 

DECEMBER 31, 2012 ATLANTA The crowd celebrates the New Year at Underground Atlanta for the 24th annual Peach Drop in downtown Atlanta Tuesday January 1, 2013. A crowd of a hundred thousand people watched the Peach Drop and fireworks signaling the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 KENT D. JOHNSON / KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM
Photo: Kent D. Johnson / AJC/KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM
****Caption correction*** Dec. 31, 2011 Atlanta - Derrick Lindsey, of Atlanta, and his girlfriend Jasmine Young, of Birmingham, Ala, kiss as the peach come down. Thousands gathered at Underground Atlanta to share their New Year's wishes while attending Underground Atlanta for the New Year's Eve Peach Drop on Saturday, December 31, 2011. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com
Photo: Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com
101231 Atlanta : Shawn Horan, 18, (from left) Emily Metz, 18, Terrence Glaspy, 17, an Julie Weedon, 18, all of Hiram, come to the New Year's Eve Peach Drop to celebrate their new year eve at Underground Atlanta on Friday, Dec. 31, 2010. Hyosub Shin, hshin@ajc.com
Photo: Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com
051231 - ATLANTA, GA - In town from Pickens County for the Peach Drop festivities, Britney Mooney, 17, left, (cq) Erin Carpenter, 16, center, (cq) and Samantha Campana, 15, right, (cq) cheer as Luna Halo takes the stage about two and a half hours before the peach drops marking the New Year on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2005. (JENNI GIRTMAN/STAFF)
Photo: Jenni Girtman/AJC
021231 - ATLANTA, GA -- Little Richard brings in 2003 at Underground Atlanta's 17th annual Peach Drop on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2002. (BARRY WILLIAMS/SPECIAL TO THE AJC)
New Years Eve at Underground Atlanta. Being a little early for the Peach Drop, however, Pat and Lawton Castleberry, from Northeast Atlanta, brave the weather conditions to enjoy the atmosphere at Underground. Photo: Philip McCollum / Staff 12/31/95

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.