The Sun News

‘80s tribute band to help rock in the new year in downtown Perry

Maggie Corley and Jordan Brown of Cochran have their photograph taken with a "Bob the Buzzard" sign during the 3rd Annual Perry Buzzard Drop.
Maggie Corley and Jordan Brown of Cochran have their photograph taken with a "Bob the Buzzard" sign during the 3rd Annual Perry Buzzard Drop. jvorhees@macon.com

More than 4,000 people are expected to bring in the New Year in downtown Perry, Ga., while rockin’ out to the tunes of the ‘80s at the fifth annual Buzzard Drop.

The Buzzard Drop was rated No. 2 in the article, “The Best New Year’s Eve Events for Families in Georgia!” on bestthingsga.com. which is powered by Americantowns Media.

The event, which starts at 7 p.m. with house music, will center around a stage set up in the 800 block of Carroll Street, according to Buzzard Drop Committee Co-Chair, Bill O’Neal. In addition, the 900 block and Jernigan and Ball streets will be closed to traffic. Admission is free and open to all ages.

Headlining the event will be The Breakfast Club, which bills itself as “the longest running, most recognized ’80’s tribute band” in the United States, according to a press release from the Perry Buzzard Drop Committee. The group has appeared with acts such as Whitesnake, The Romantics, Poison, Drivin’n’Cryin’ and Hootie and the Blowfish.

In keeping with the 1980s theme, O’Neal said attendees are encouraged to wear 1980s attire to the event.

“The live music will start around 9 p.m., after the mayor’s welcome,” O’Neal said. “We will go as long as we can after midnight….but we are approved to go through 1 a.m. We will wait and see how things go.”

“Last year it rained,” O’Neal said. “We had less than 1,000 people, but one year we had over 3,000 people. We are expecting 4,000 if the weather is good. There is no way to move indoors…we’ll do the best we can that day. If there is lightning …the fire department will make the call to cancel. Hopefully, everything will come together without a hitch.”

The Buzzard Drop, according to O’Neal, consists of the countdown of a buzzard on a 30-foot tower that will descend at midnight. “Bob the Buzzard,” the mascot, will also make an appearance later in the evening.

“The buzzard is a migratory bird, and it comes through Perry,” said O’Neal. “During this time of the year, there are a lot of them. We decided to embrace the buzzard. Bob became our mascot…and the rest is history.”

In addition to the music, food and drink vendors will also be on site, according to O’Neal.

Personal heaters, coolers, outside alcohol and glass bottles as well as pets (unless they are service animals) are prohibited, according to the release. So are bicycles, golf carts, skateboards, roller skates and hover boards.

Handicap parking will be available at the parking lot at the corner of Commerce and Ball Streets. The City of Perry will provide a courtesy shuttle to take home residents within the city limits.

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