Stone Mountain Park’s ‘Snow Mountain’ canceled for third year in a row

Snow Mountain project manager, Paul Creasy describes making snow at Stone Mountain. Video by John Spink/AJC

Stone Mountain Park’s annual “Snow Mountain” event has been canceled yet again, this time for the 2022-2023 holiday season, the park’s website said Tuesday.

Instead, the park is “focused on expanding its Christmas product which included the New Magical Christmas Drone Show and the World’s Largest Christmas Light Show,” a representative told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “These exciting attractions, that all ages can enjoy, take place on Memorial Lawn. This is the same space that Snow Mountain typically occupies. Stone Mountain Park will reevaluate Snow Mountain for the 2023-2024 season.”

The new drone show features more than 100 drones shifting shapes including a train and Santa and the reindeer.

Snow Mountain had been an annual holiday event designed to provide visitors with snow-related fun, despite the fact Georgia’s temperatures are typically above freezing most of the winter. The family-friendly event usually featured snow tubing down slopes, building snowmen, making s’mores and other activities.

In 2007, the park first tried to build out Snow Mountain drawing water from DeKalb County’s public water supplies to generate snow, but the local outcry during a drought forced them to nix the idea. In 2008, the experience officially debuted the experience using water from Stone Mountain Lake, which is not part of DeKalb’s public reserves.

It ultimately became an annual event until the pandemic hit in 2020 and has not been resurrected.

Over the summer, Thrive Attractions took over facilities and programs like the Skyride, the laser show, festival operations and hotel and convention space at Stone Mountain.

Peachtree Corners-based Herschend Family Entertainment was the park’s private business partner for 20 years until this past summer, citing “protests and division” fueled by the park’s Confederate imagery and falling revenues as factors in the decision. The park was losing money earlier this year.

Thrive is a new firm created by longtime Herschend executive Michael Dombrowski and was the only bidder willing to take over the park entertainment operations.

Stone Mountain Christmas includes a Santa parade, a 4D “Polar Express” show and a drone holiday light show in the evening. The train ride features sing-along Christmas carols. It runs Fridays through Sundays the next three weekends and then from December 16 through January 1 except Christmas Day.

“Each day during Stone Mountain Christmas, you can enjoy park attractions including Summit Skyride, Scenic Railroad, and more!” the park’s website said. “Then, become immersed in holiday magic with evenings full of festive music, millions of dazzling lights, spectacular shows and visits from some of your favorite holiday characters!”