5th Annual Lantern Parade

Lantern Parade 2013
A menagerie of lanterns at the 2013 Lantern Parade, photo by Naoya Wada

The Lantern Parade is an annual event that celebrates the opening of Art of the Beltline exhibit. This colorful display began in 2010, the brainchild of former New Orleanian Chantelle Rytter, whose mission to bring out creativity and playfulness in all of us has exploded along with the beloved BeltLine it follows. In 2013, it’s 4th year, an estimated mass of 10,000 people came out over the course of the evening to witness the revelry.

Obviously, this isn’t your typical parade. It is a magical and inspiring experience. Whether you choose to look on from the sidelines of wave your creative spirit wildly, the line between observers and participants is blurred as everyone is immersed in the slow-moving crush of colored lights and baubles. You can walk or dance, sing or chat with your friends, stroll your kids, ride your bikes (walk them more likely), wave lanterns, glow sticks, or just your hands.

River of light lantern parade

If you wish to make more of an impression at the parade and need a place to get started, there are several fun workshops leading up to the parade hosted by the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons. This year these workshops will be held at the Lantern House (589 Ralph McGill Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30312), read more and sign up for the workshops here.

Marching will begin at 8:30 at the south end of the Eastside Trail and head north. The parade will officially step off to a gleeful beat provided by the Seed and Feed Marching Abominables with additional bands along the way. Although revelers can join in anytime on the route, the initial lineup and staging area will be in the BeltLine corridor between Irwin St. and DeKalb Ave with a tail gate party in the gravel parking lot at Irwin and Krog at 7:30.

The Lantern Parade is a magical and awe-inspiring experience that you don’t want to miss!

2013 Lantern Parade, photo by Kwadwo Atta

About Emily Taff

Emily Cavett Taff works in historic preservation but is keenly interested not just in the fabric of our urban environment but in how we get around it. She lives in Reynoldstown and commutes by MARTA, bike and car to her job in Midtown. She has done her share of exploring and researching the beltline since 2009 and is very proud of Atlanta for realizing such an amazing dream.

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