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'Continuing to be a part of that legacy': Macon's bicentennial celebration expects 24+ events

Bicentennial committee planner Gary Wheat says there will be over 24 events this year.

MACON, Ga. — This year, the city of Macon is turning 200, and a yearlong celebration is on the way. 

In 1823, Macon was founded on the banks of the Ocmulgee River. For 200 years, Macon has grown to become a place to learn about its historical background. Furthermore, Macon had been a place to call home, shop at local businesses, and see live entertainment. 

With the city ready to blow out its 200 birthday candles, the bicentennial committee is ready to show what makes Macon great. Gary Wheat is the President and CEO of Visit Macon and is on the committee for the bicentennial. He says this is a celebration for the people.

"Different organizations, different committees, and so we are excited to see those. We have a yearlong history series regarding the history of Macon-Bibb County. We'll be doing those once a month and you'll be hearing about the first one that will drop here in January upcoming next week, so we're excited to hear that happen," Wheat says.

Another person ready for the celebration is Felicia Howard. She is the owner of Felicia's Cake Factory. She is celebrating 5 years as a cake shop owner and she's looking forward to bringing in new customers and is happy her business is a part of the 200 years. 

"I'm grateful for everyone that continues to support our business. We continue to hear people saying, 'We never heard of you but we tasted your product at such and such event, and we had to figure out where you were located,'" Howard said.

Travel magazines like Conde Nast Traveler and business news websites like Bloomberg.com and Forbes.com, have named Macon as a must-see destination to visit in 2023. Wheat says with more than two dozen events, this will bring in plenty of visitors.

"We have everything from concerts to features at Cherry Blossom, the Otis Redding Foundation is being a part of it with the celebration that they have later in the year," Wheat said.

While Howard isn't from Macon, she says living and working in Macon is a great opportunity. 

"Downtown Macon is growing as well so we're definitely grateful to be a part of that and continuing to be a part of that legacy," Howard said.

You can stay up to date on all of the bicentennial events on their Instagram and Facebook page. Their website will be live soon.

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