Macon // is a city located in central Georgia, United States. Founded at the fall line of the Ocmulgee River, it is part of the Macon metropolitan area, and is the county seat of Bibb County. Macon is also the largest city in the Macon-Warner Robins Combined Statistical Area with a population of 417,473 and abuts the Atlanta metropolitan area just to the north. It lies near the geographic center of Georgia, approximately 85 miles (137 km) south ofAtlanta, hence the city's nickname as the Heart of Georgia. After voters approved the consolidation of Macon andBibb County in 2012, Macon became Georgia's fourth-largest city (just after Augusta), with a population of 155,369 based on 2010 Census figures for Bibb County. Macon is served by three interstate highways: I-16 (connecting the city to Savannah and coastal Georgia), I-75 (connecting the city with Atlanta to the north and Florida to the south), and I-475 (a city bypass highway).
The city has several institutions of higher education, as well as numerous museums and tourism sites. The area is served by the Middle Georgia Regional Airport and the Herbert Smart Downtown Airport. The mayor of Macon isRobert Reichert, a former Democratic member of the Georgia House of Representatives. Reichert was elected mayor of the newly consolidated city of Macon-Bibb and took office on January 1, 2014
Arts and culture
Macon was the birthplace or hometown of musicians Emmett Miller, The Allman Brothers Band, Randy Crawford, Mark Heard, Lucille Hegamin, Otis Redding, Little Richard, Mike Mills, and Bill Berry of R.E.M., as well as more recent names like violinist Robert McDuffie and country artist Jason Aldean. September Hase, an alternative rock band, was discovered in Macon. Capricorn Records, run by Macon natives Phil Walden and briefly Alan Walden, made the city a hub for Southern rock music in the late 1960s and 1970s.
The Macon Symphony Orchestra performs at the Grand Opera House in downtown Macon, as well as a youth symphony, and the Middle Georgia Concert Band
- International Cherry Blossom Festival - a 10-day celebration held every mid-March
- The Mulberry Street Festival, - an arts and crafts festival held downtown the last weekend of March
- Pan African Festival - an annual celebration of African American culture held in April
- Ocmulgee Indian Celebration - A celebration of Macon's original Native American Heritage, this festival is held in September at Ocmulgee National Monument. Representatives from the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek,Seminole, and other nations come to share stories, exhibit native art, and perform.
- The Georgia State Fair - held in Central City Park in the first week of May
- The Georgia Music Hall of Fame hosts Georgia Music Week in September.
- Macon's annual Bragg Jam festival features an Art and Kids' Festival along the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail and a nighttime Pub Crawl.
- Macon Film Festival (MaGa) - an annual celebration of independent films, held the third weekend in February
Points of interest
- Ocmulgee National Monument is located near downtown Macon. It preserves some of the largest ancient earthwork mounds in Georgia built by the Mississippian culture a millennium ago, c. 950-1150. It was sacred to the historicMuscogee (Creek Nation) as well. Archeological artifacts reveal 13,000 years of human habitation at the site. The park features a spiral mound, funeral mound, temple mounds, burial mounds, and a reconstructed earth lodge. It is the first Traditional Cultural Property designated by the National Park Service east of the Mississippi River.
- Fort Benjamin Hawkins, a major military outpost (1806-1821), was a command headquarters for the US Army and Georgia militia on the frontier, as well as a trading post or factory for the Creek Nation. It was a supply depot during US campaigns of the War of 1812 and the Creek and Seminole Wars.
- Cannonball House - historic site
- Luther Williams Field
- Rose Hill Cemetery - one of Macon's oldest cemeteries
- Sidney Lanier Cottage - historical home of the poet Sidney Lanier
- Temple Beth Israel - The Jewish congregation was founded in 1859, and now occupies a domed Neoclassical facility built
Parks and recreation
The city maintains several parks and community centers.