What to Do in Macon


Looking for something to do outside of the Crossroads Writers Conference while you are here in Macon? Well lucky you, there is a smorgasbord of exciting happenings happening in Macon, and almost all of it is just a hop, skip and a jump away from the conference, in gorgeous, walkable downtown Macon. Downtown Macon is a super-safe place to be, especially on First Friday, with lots of folks and biking police milling around.

Friday, October 4 is the monthly First Friday in Macon, which means a ton of different music, food and art events. The galleries show off their new exhibits with free receptions, restaurants and bars have yummy specials, and we will be joining in the fun with our first Author’s Avenue.

For eating, there are plenty of choices as you walk up Cherry Street, but we especially love The Rookery (with the swankier Dovetail just upstairs – a great place for a cocktail), Downtown Grill (tucked away in a cozy alley), Ginger (make-your-own stir-fry spot on Poplar Street, with another great bar, Kashmir, upstairs), and Doughboy Pizza. They are all within a few blocks of each other, and easy to find.


How to get around:

If you are staying at the Holiday Inn North, you will have to drive to downtown Macon and Mercer University. From Mercer University, you can drive a few minutes to downtown Macon, where there is plenty of street parking, or have a pleasant 20-30 minute stroll past some gorgeous historic homes to get there instead.

Directions from the hotel to downtown Macon (for First Friday).

Directions from Mercer University to downtown Macon (for First Friday).

Directions from the hotel to Mercer University.


Read on for a nice healthy serving of events happening in Macon the weekend of Crossroads…

Author’s Avenue, Friday, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

We’re joining forces with the city’s popular First Friday event and lining lower Cotton Avenue (Lo Co, if you will) with bookwrights such as yourself. We’re headlining the event with readings by Kevin Coval (co-founder of Louder Than a Bomb and author of “Schtick” and “L-Vis Lives!”), novelist Bernice McFadden (“Gathering of Waters” and “Sugar”), and YA author Kat Zhang (“What’s Left of Me” and “Once We Were”), among others. Macon native Shawn Durham, author of “Broke Brothers Revolution,” is emceeing performances by Trendlenburg, Poetic Peace and Storytellers.


Rock Candy Tour, Friday at 9 p.m.

Learn about Macon’s incredible music history while strolling around downtown’s famous landmarks. Rock Candy Tours co-founder Jessica Walden leads Birds and Night Owls downtown tour. Grab dinner downtown (and your favorite “to-go” beverage) and take a take a stroll with Macon’s own Rock and Roll royalty! Cost is $10, but there is a $2 coupon in your goodie bag.


Spyro Gyra at the Douglass Theatre, Friday at 8 pm.

Spyro Gyra is a jazz juggernaut, slated to release their 30th album this year.


One City Art Festival, Friday, October 4 – Sunday, October 6

One City Art Festival is a celebration of the visual arts that brings together 6 art organizations from all over Macon: Contemporary Art Exchange, Middle Georgia Art Association, Macon Arts Alliance, Museum of Arts and Sciences, Tubman African American Museum, and The 567 Center for Renewal.

Shuttles will be circulating around downtown, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. for the festival, stopping at:

One City Pop Up Gallery at 536 Third Street in the old Karsten and Denson building

Tubman African American Museum

Contemporary Arts Exchange

The 567 Center for Renewal

Macon Arts Alliance


Schedule of events:

First Friday Art Crawl in downtown Macon, Friday, 5 p.m. -9 p.m.

All the downtown galleries and museums will be free and open to public, including: Contemporary Art Exchange, Macon Arts Alliance, The 567 Center for Renewal, Tubman African American Museum, and The One City Art Festival Pop-Up Gallery (536 Poplar St).

For the month of October, The 567 presents an exhibit inspired by street art and urban themes. Five artists will be included in this exhibit: Keef Cross (Atlanta), Brian Hebert (Atlanta), Charvis Harrell (Macon), Dwayne Kendrick (Macon), and Craig Burkhalter (Macon). Join us Friday, October 4, 5 p.m. -9 p.m., to check out the new exhibit and meet the artists. In addition, we’ll have a wall set up with paint available for the general public to create their own art

Macon Arts Alliance will host an opening reception for its exhibit, “Sense of Place,” during our First Friday Art Crawl on Friday, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. “Sense of Place” will include paintings by Daly Smith and sculpture by Jim Bodell.

The Contemporary Art Exchange will present its annual fall members’ exhibition during the Festival. Artists participating in the exhibit will include: Eric O’Dell, Catharine Liles, Charles Ward, Dean Brown, Reginald Solomon, Kristie Edwards, Heatherly Wakefield, Eric Wakefield, Jason Frost, Craig Burkhalter, Terry Jordan, Shannon Bridgeman, David Sutton, Maryann Bates and Craig Coleman. During the First Friday Art Crawl, the artists’ studios will also be open to public to meet the artists and see how they work.

On Friday, 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., The Tubman Museum will host a reception in collaboration with the Crossroads Writers Conference. The reception will feature live music and refreshments. This event is open to Storyteller Deluxe ticket holders, guest authors and conference organizers only. The museum will be open to all as part of First Friday 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Guests may tour the entire Museum, and there will be a guided tour of the special One City Art Festival exhibition: Pack a Pistol: A Smoke School of Art Exhibition. The museum will also be free and open to the public during this time.


“Paint the Village” Painting in the Round at Middle Georgia Art Association, Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Artists will create paintings of the shops in Ingleside Village, taking turns so each contributes to every painting.

6 p.m. – 8 p.m. “Paint the Village” Special Exhibit & Reception. The paintings created in the “Painting in the Round” will be on display in a special reception at Middle Georgia Art Association.


Free admission at the Museum of Arts & Sciences, Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Three art exhibits will be on display.


Ocmulgee National Monument, open every day, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

This park is a memorial to the relationship of people and natural resources.  Native Americans first came here during the Paleo-Indian period hunting Ice Age mammals. The mounds and nature reserve are enchanting spaces, which can be something of a spiritual experience for many, an inspiration for others.

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