Friday, September 5, 2014

Beltline lantern parade kicks off tomorrow, Atlanta Streets Alive returns this month

Posted By on Fri, Sep 5, 2014 at 10:13 AM

An estimated 10,000 people attended last years lantern parade along the Beltlines Eastside Trail
  • Atlanta Beltline/Christopher T. Martin
  • An estimated 10,000 people attended last year's lantern parade along the Beltline's Eastside Trail
Atlantans love outdoor gatherings and festivals. And for two weekends this month, the city will celebrate community with night lights and blocked-off roads.

The party starts on Saturday with the fifth annual Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade, the kickoff act for Art on the Atlanta Beltline. For two miles, unique lanterns of various shapes and designs will travel along the Eastside Trail, forming a glowing line between onlookers gathered along the path's edge. The parade begins assembling at 7:30 p.m. on Irwin Street on the border of Old Fourth Ward and Inman Park. The Seed & Feed Marching Abominable, one of several bands scheduled to appear, kicks off the free community walk at 8:30 p.m. and leads the parade of lights and music before ending at Piedmont Park. Want more specific details? Here you go.

Later this month, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition invites you to reclaim some of the city’s most popular streets as part of the Atlanta Streets Alive on Sunday, Sept. 28. Inspired by a Colombian tradition known as ciclovia, the massive multiblock party shuts down a 5-mile street route to automobiles to encourage walking, biking, dancing, and any other imaginable (legal) activity. This year’s route includes Boulevard and North Highland, Highland, and North avenues.

Both events began as a way to connect Atlantans and celebrate the city and have since exploded in popularity. Last year the Beltline celebration of lights, community, and the smart-growth project drew an unexpected 10,000 spectators, a tremendous jump from just 1,200 in 2012. Atlanta Streets Alive has seen a similar spike in attendance, estimated 83,000 people at last September's event, up from 20,000 in 2012.

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