When the 50,000 runners in the Peachtree Road Race turn off Peachtree toward Piedmont Park this July 4, they will have a bit further down the road to go to an unfamiliar finish line.
Based on lingering drought conditions, the city has banned the racers from Piedmont Park. Instead of stopping there, where the Peachtree Road Race previously ended, runners will turn south onto Juniper and finish at Ponce de Leon.
Moreover, the runners will have to walk an additional four and a half blocks to the Atlanta Civic Center, at Piedmont Avenue and Ralph McGill Boulevard for water, T-shirts and a chance to cool down. They will be met there by families and friends.
The Road Race is just one of three major events removed from Piedmont Park because of the drought. Both the Atlanta Dogwood Festival and the Atlanta Pride Festival have relocated. The Dogwood Festival will move to Lenox Square in Buckhead and the Pride Festival plans to relocate to the Civic Center.
On Feb. 18, Atlanta City Council voted to cut the festival fees for the three events in half for this year, from $9,000 to $4,500 based on the venue changes.