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Celebrate 25th anniversary of 1996 Olympics at this event on Lake Lanier
1996 medals.jpg
Photos from The Times staff photographers from the 1996 Olympic Games events on Lake Lanier.

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the '96 Olympics, Lake Lanier Olympic Park invites people to visit the canoeing, rowing and kayaking venue for a night of international entertainment. 

The celebration kicks off at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7. 

“We are very proud that Lake Lanier Olympic Park is the only venue from the 1996 Olympics that is still being used for its original purpose,” Robyn Lynch, Gainesville’s director of tourism, said. “The park has really become a community park for events and for people just to go out and spend time with their family, so that really makes us proud and is something to celebrate.”

Throughout the night, guests will experience the food, drinks and entertainment of the five regions represented by the five rings of the Olympics. These include America —  which encompasses North and South America —  Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania.

People can expect dishes like South American pork carnitas, Polish pierogi, Taiwanese bao buns with pork belly, shiitake mushrooms, Australian barbecued snags and Angolan muamba chicken. An array of international beer and wine will also be sold at the event.

Historical moments from the Olympics will be displayed, along with demonstrations of cultural sports and dances. 

Lynch said the venue partnered with Brenau University to offer a live show of fencing, Brazilian wrestling and traditional African dances. 

“You’ll really be able to experience the world,” Lynch said. 

The night will continue at 8 p.m. with a concert from We Got the Beat. The band will perform pop and country hits. The event will end with a fireworks show at 10 p.m.

“This was a huge community effort back in 1996, and so it’s really something for the whole community to celebrate,” Lynch said. 

Tickets are $100 per person, which cover all activities and food but not alcohol. Sponsorship and table packages range from $750 to $1,500. To purchase a ticket or become a sponsor, visit

Olympics 25th Anniversary Celebration

When: 6-10 p.m. Saturday, August 7

Where: Lake Lanier Olympic Park, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville 

How much: $100 per person

More info: