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1996 Olympic volunteers attending Rio-flavored event can take part in parade
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Rio on the Water: Renewal of the Olympic Spirit

When: 7 p.m. Friday

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

Cost: $100

More info: www.lakelanierolympicvenue.org

Volunteers of the 1996 Olympics attending a celebration Friday at Lake Lanier Olympic Park in Gainesville are invited to take part in a procession at the event.

The parade will start between 7:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., so participants should start gathering for the event at 7:15 p.m., said Morgan House, venue manager.

And Lona Pope, parade chairwoman, said if they “have any of their Olympic (attire) from 1996, we encourage them to wear those.”

The parade also will feature athletes and dignitaries, including Gov. Nathan Deal as the special guest of honor, but “we want to honor (volunteers) because of all the good work they did,” she added.

It’s all part of “Rio on the Water: Renewal of the Olympic Spirit,” an event that will allow ticketholders to recall the 1996 Atlanta Games, especially at the Lanier venue, which was the site of canoe, kayak and rowing competitions.

But at $100 per person, attendees also will get a taste of the 2016 Olympics, which begin Friday with opening ceremonies, in Rio de Janeiro.

“We would love to offer all ’96 volunteers free entrance, but this event acts as a fundraiser for a continuous investment in the Olympic Park,” House said. “So, that’s why we have to charge admission.”

The celebration is set to start at 7 p.m. at the park, which is at at 3105 Clarks Bridge Road in Gainesville.

The Brazilian-themed evening will include a live stream of the 2016 Olympic Games opening ceremonies in Rio, with live music, refreshments and dancing under a large tent at the park. It will begin with a “Brazilian Carnival,” including drummers and Samba by the entertainment group Dance Brasil. Tap It will provide craft beer and wine bars alongside Brazilian foods from Chef Kern Chiasson.

Also, the Atlanta Showstoppers, a 12-piece band, will give a three-hour nonstop show throughout the evening.

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