Every year, on the Saturday after Labor Day, as the sun sets over the city of Atlanta, a section of the Atlanta BeltLine begins to glow from the illumination of thousands of lanterns. Night falls, and the glow gets stronger, more kinetic, moving with the throng of people who have gathered to celebrate another year of Art on the BeltLine, a three-month exhibition of sculptures, paintings and dynamic installations in various areas along the BeltLine.
The annual Lantern Parade is the kick-off party, hosted by the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons, and this year it will span the 2 miles of the Eastside Trail, from Irwin Street in Old Fourth Ward to Monroe Drive in Midtown. Last year, more than 20,000 people participated, creating lanterns, wearing costumes, dancing to live music and thrilling spectators who watched as they paraded down the Eastside Trail.
And the best part is that anyone can jump in. Both the Art on the Atlanta BeltLine exhibition and the Lantern Parade are free and open to the public, and in fact your participation is the magic of the Lantern Parade. Every lantern contributes to the collective light of the community, and the wackier, the better. If you don't already have a lantern, check out one of the many lantern-making workshops in the days leading up to the parade. The cost ranges from $25 to $50, including supplies.
Also, peep this musical lineup! There's something for everyone, and the fun starts at 7:30 p.m.
Here are the bullet point details you need to know:
- Line-up begins at 7:30 p.m. at Irwin and Krog streets.
- Step-off starts at 8:15 p.m., and the parade will go north to Piedmont Park. Five amazing bands will also join the parade:
- 8:15 – The Seed & Feed Marching Abominables
- 8:30 – Wasted Potential Brass Band
- 8:45 – Mausiki Scales and the Common Ground Collective
- 9:00 – The Freedom Marching Band
- 9:15 – The Black Sheep Ensemble
Now that we've got all the deets, it's time to get glowing. See you there. Beth Clark is a writer and foodie who loves to roam around Atlanta, uncovering the city's quirky, glam, upscale, and down-home character. Curiosity is her compass, and you'll find her writing on www.thecitydweller.me.