Downtown Albany's weekend of fun - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Downtown Albany's weekend of fun

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - More than 20,000 people will descend on downtown Albany over the next two days, generating millions of dollars for local business.

You can enjoy music, kids games, a marathon and bike races, professional wrestling, and a parade. The events are drawing visitors from all over the country.

First Friday kicks off at 6:00 PM and several bands will preform Friday night. Just a few blocks away the Civic Center Parking lot is beginning to fill up for the WrestleMania event. All in all it promises to be a big weekend, with a little bit of something for everyone and while it starts Friday, events will be ongoing Saturday from sun up until midnight.

It didn't take long for the check-in line at the Hilton Garden Inn to develop as runners arrived for the Snickers Marathon Energy Bar Marathon. Elite runners planned to take it easy today.

"Tomorrow after the race, walk around, see more of the city," said Andrew Musuva, Elite Runner.

Runner Frances Dolmage brought the entire crew.

"I brought my Aunt and my grandmother from Mississippi, my cousins from Mississippi, my husband Daryl is from Illinois, and we have a friend Bob from St. Louis," said Dolmage.

They're already taking in the sites.

"We're going to the aquarium in a little bit," said Dolmage.

That's what the Flint Riverquarium wants to hear. The attraction that's struggled financially hopes this big weekend will add up for them. They're running an admission special and got more involved this year. They're sponsoring one of the weekends most talked about events the turtle race. So far half of their 10,000 turtles have been adopted at 5 dollars, making them anxious to see the final totals.

"We really won't know that until the race is over itself because we're selling turtles literally right up until race time," said Wendy Bellasomo, Flint Riverquarium Marketing Manager.

Not everyone downtown will benefit from the big weekend the new Thronateeska Planetarium will be cut off from traffic because of the bike race, but hope once visitors get a taste of the town they'll come back.

"We got to get people downtown and talk to them and it gives them an opportunity, something they may not normally come downtown," said Tommy Gregors, Thronateeska Executive Director.

People who have seen the Planetarium have come back and brought friends taking attendance well over several thousand for the last three months. There are a lot of events over the next two days if you come downtown make sure you don't just stay along Broad Avenue there are events in the park, at the Riverquarium and Civic Center, and a note, the Civic center's parking lots are just for their events this weekend so those attending Mardi Gras will need to find parking downtown.

Here's a list of Saturday's events

Marathon

7:00 a.m. Start Snickers Marathon Energy Bar Marathon, Snickers Marathon Energy Bar 1/2 Marathon

7:15 a.m. Family Fun Run

11:00 a.m. Half-Marathon Awards

12:00 p.m.Marathon Awards

 

Regions Bike Race

11:30 a.m. WomensCat 3/4

12:05 p.m. Masters 40+

1:00 p.m. Cat 4/5 under age 35

1:40 p.m. Cat 4/5 over 35 2:20 p.m.

Womens 1/2/3

3:10 p.m. Cat 3

4:00 p.m. Kids Race

4:40 p.m. Pro 1/2

 

Mardi Gras

12:00 p.m. Opening Ceremonies

12:15 p.m. Pet Parade

12:30 Albany Humane Society 50/50 Raffle

1:00 until Midnight   12 various bands on Broad Avenue Stage

 

FlintRiverquarium Plaza Events

10:00 a.m. Proclamation

10:45 a.m. FRQ Animal Show

11:30 a.m. Cheerleading Championship Dance

12:15 p.m. Puppeteers

1:00 p.m. Chehaw Animal Show

1:45 p.m. The Point Kidstuf Production

2:30 p.m. Broadway Bound

3:15 p.m. Puppeteers

4:00 p.m. Turtle Race

 

Civic Center

8:00 p.m. Steve Harvey

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