We are taking over again! The packed crowd ran wall to wall with the sounds of excitement. Atlanta’s New Year’s Eve bask was back at Five Points and it did not disappoint.

The Peach Drop returned Downtown to Five Points this year after a few years away. Photo by Noah Washington/The Atlanta Voice

The last few years have been dismal due to Covid-19 crowd restrictions and limitations on how many people can gather for the annual celebration of a new year. Excitement over the new year had been met with meaningless hope, as this was still the early years of the pandemic. New Year’s Eve 2019 going into 2020 would be the last time we celebrated normally without the lingering dread of what the new year could potentially bring. This is the first year where the new year stood for something more than anxious anticipation. New Year’s Eve 2022 stood for hope. 

Many states and countries celebrate New Year’s Eve differently, but Atlanta’s staple is the “Peach Drop”. 

For Atlantans and even most Georgians, the Peach Drop represents the excitement that is to come in the new year. Unfortunately, the drop had been absent from the Underground. The Peach Drop moved to Woodruff Park, but then because of the pandemic, was completely canceled. But Saturday night the drop made its dramatic return and with it the promise of a return to some sort of normalcy.

Being the city of the south, Atlanta’s Peach Drop isn’t just a symbol for Georgia, but a symbol for the entire region. It attracts spectators from all over. Thousands gathered to ring in the new year right in Five Points Saturday night.    

When the peach started to fall, the crowd began to chant a count down in unison. One could say it was a countdown towards a better year. Photo by Noah Washington/The Atlanta Voice

“I had a great time! I’ve never been to the Peach drop before, although I’ve lived in Atlanta for 7 years!,” Bria Sanders, a Tennessee native turned Atlantan, told The Atlanta Voice.

The predecessor for the drop was several live music performances, as well as a live DJ set for the crowd to groove to in anticipation of the drop.

When the peach started to fall, the crowd began to chant a count down in unison. One could say it was a countdown towards a better year. Once the countdown ended the crowd began cheering, screaming, hugging and in some cases, kissing. The overpowering mania was accompanied by fireworks and celebratory music. 

Nothing was more overpowering than the excitement of people being out and about again. Fearless and taking charge, with virtually no care in the world. 

Love filled the air as well, and it had nowhere to go. Love of all kinds took shape, father hugging sons, old friends embracing in fellowship, the laughter of new friends being made, and lovers giving the old, new year’s kiss.

“The Peach Drop was spectacular and my new year kiss was absolutely magical,” said Leo Martinez, who was locked in a loving embrace with his partner. 

If the excitement of the night was to be the gauge of how the new year was going to be, then 2023 will be just fine.