Imagine a seemingly never ending stream of paper lanterns as far as you can see, winding their way for miles. Families, friends, and groups of children smiling and laughing their way along the parade route, proud of their creativity in the lanterns they carry. The sound of brass bands echo throughout the crowd, walking along with their own lanterns attached to them in some fashion. This is the Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade.
The Atlanta BeltLine is an ongoing development of parks, multi-use trails, and transit by redeveloping 22 miles of old railroad tracks into paths that connect neighborhoods throughout town. The Atlanta BeltLine is a living, breathing part of the city that incorporates green space, outdoor recreation, living communities, and artwork.
Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade
The 5th annual Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade took place on the night of Saturday, September 7th. We arrived around 8 pm, and there were already hundreds of people lined up down the block of the step off location. Families were passing around glow necklaces, kids were showing off their creations, and parents were chatting amongst friends. We also noticed that some kids and families dressed up in costumes that went along with their lantern themes.
During the weeks leading up to the parade, free lantern-making workshops were hosted on a variety of nights so that people could learn how to make some pretty cool lanterns! People were also encouraged to hold lantern making parties with their friends and family. We were impressed with the creativity and wide variety that we saw along the journey!
The parade meandered along a couple miles of Atlanta’s BeltLine, through neighborhoods, finally ending at Piedmont Park, under the city skyline in town. As the paraders slowly filled the park, the party continued. The brass band stopped playing, and parade goers begged them to continue. Giving into the demand and the festive spirit, the band resumed and played for another 1/2 an hour – with people dancing, clapping, and singing along.
Parade goers sat on the grass, enjoying the music and the scene of sparkling lanterns with the backdrop of the city skyline in the background. Others walked around admiring the artistic creations and taking pictures, while some of the most popular lanterns set up in an open area to make it easy for people to take photos.
The festive atmosphere was contaigious. If you live in the Atlanta area, or are visiting Atlanta next year in the Fall, we highly recommend this event. Gather with your friends and family, create (or buy) your own lantern, and go for a walk through historic and beautiful Atlanta. The Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade was truly a wonderful experience!