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DeKalb County officials host Falcons’ pep rally

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The Falcons Super Bowl frenzy reached DeKalb County Feb. 3 ahead of the team’s championship matchup with the New England Patriots.

 

DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond declared Feb. 3 Atlanta Falcons Day in DeKalb in honor of the team’s NFC Championship win and Super Bowl appearance.

 

Thurmond hosted the pep rally for county employees and featured food, a live DJ and an appearance from the “original” Atlanta Falcons bird lady. The public was also welcome to attend and participate in the festivities.

 

The rally was a much-needed break, according to some county officials.

 

“This is certainly a happy day today. We’re certainly excited for the game coming up,” said DeKalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader. “I think that this whole Super Bowl has gotten everybody in town really pumped because it’s been a long time in getting back to the Super Bowl.”

 

The Falcons, who last appeared in the Super Bowl in 1998 in a 34-19 loss to the Denver Broncos, finished the season with an 11-5 regular-season record. During the pep rally, highlights from the Falcons’ season were played on a projector.

 

More than 100 DeKalb County residents and DeKalb employees came to celebrate at the rally. Commissioner Kathie Gannon said she was excited to see so many people having fun.

 

“This is so much fun. We need this. We’ve been working hard trying to turn things around in DeKalb. This is a great day for a release, comradery, good spirits and for everyone to get excited for Sunday,” Gannon said while holding a Falcons palm-palm in one hand. “I think people have been hanging in there and really trying and that’s why it’s so nice to get everyone together and not have to talk about problems or work and just have fun.”

 

Commissioner Larry Johnson said he pitched the idea to Thurmond to host a pep rally for the employees. The event also featured state Rep. Dewey McClain, a former Atlanta Falcons player.

 

“It’s rising up time. This is a good thing for us. It’s good for the city, the county. This is the thing we need to be doing in our community. It unifies us and we’re all on one accord. DeKalb County’s in the house,” Johnson said. “When I brought the idea to the CEO I wanted us to change the tone and lighten it up. This is the least we could do.”

 

Johnson is also a staunch supporter of the Chicago Cubs, who recently won the World Series. When asked where his loyalties lie, Johnson said he will always support the home team.

“Hey this is my home now. I’m going to always be a Cubs fan. You don’t leave that alone, but it’s still the same thing. I bleed red and black. Rise up,” Johnson said.

 

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