From protests to politics to parades: it’s been a busy year in Atlanta. Chances are some of the big moments that happened around the city this year have slipped your mind. Jog your memory with these photos from WABE.
The year started out with the inauguration of Keisha Lance Bottoms as the city’s 60th mayor. She was elected after a hotly contest race that included a runoff election at the end of 2017. On Jan. 2, she was took her oath of office during an inauguration ceremony in the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College.
In her speech in January, Bottoms said she would fight homelessness and improve transparency at City Hall.
A couple weeks later, Martin Luther King Jr. Day kicked off commemorative events around the city to mark the 50 years since King’s assassination. Between his birthday in January and the anniversary of his death in April, WABE took a look at King’s life and legacy with the ATL68 series.
The spring in Atlanta was largely marked by protests. In March, students at MLK’s alma mater, Booker T. Washington High School, took a knee to honor shooting victims during “school walkout Wednesday.” Other students gathered that day at the state Capitol, holding signs that read “armed with books not bullets” and “students against the NRA.”
In April, students across the metro area participated in school walkouts, held on the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School. The demonstrations were inspired by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
That same month, metro Atlanta garnered national attention when a neo-Nazi group held a permitted rally in Newnan, Georgia.
In June, thousands of protesters gathered in Atlanta in response to the Trump administration’s family separation policy. At the event, U.S. Rep. John Lewis said, “maybe our foremothers and our forefathers came to this land in different ships. But we’re all in the same boat now. There is no such thing as an illegal human being.”
As summer rolled around, politics heated up in Georgia. Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp secured the Democratic and Republican nominations for governor, respectively. Abrams defeated challenger Stacey Evans in the primary elections in May, while Kemp faced Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in a runoff for the Republican nomination in July.
As they campaigned to replace Gov. Nathan Deal — who touted his accomplishments in his final State of the State address in January — some big-name political surrogates came to Georgia, including President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama.
After days of uncertainty about the results of November’s election, Abrams conceded the race to Kemp, but pledged to continue working for voting rights in Georgia.
In a runoff election, Republican Brad Raffensperger won the race to replace Kemp as secretary of state.
As the year draws to a close, Atlanta celebrated with a rarity for the city: a championship parade. After just two years in the league, the Atlanta United secured the MLS Cup in a face-off against the Portland Timbers. They became the first Atlanta team in more than two decades to win a major championship.
But that was far from the only parade Atlantans flocked to this year. In August, a Parliament of Owls descended on Midtown. The lantern parade was the first of its kind in Midtown, in which participants were invited to create an owl-themed lantern. The event was in addition to the already popular BeltLine Lantern Parade held in September.
Also in September, onlookers turned out for the annual Dragon Con parade and festivities downtown where the vibrancy of the city was on full display.
From marches in parades and picketing in parks to high turnout at the polling place, 2018 was filled with memorable moments in metro Atlanta. Take a look back at these events and more with the slideshow above.