April 30, 2007

At Atlanta's Inman Park Festival: Vivi marches to the beat of the band

The Inman Park Butterfly led the quirky and irreverent street parade this past weekend at Atlanta's annual Inman Park Spring Festival and Tour of Homes, a two-day celebration of parades, entertainment, dancing, and open houses on the last weekend of April.

The city's largest street market featuring a juried arts and crafts show shared the route of knockout gorgeous Victorian mansions (marked by the coveted signature butterfly, a service mark of the Inman Park Neighborhood Assn., Inc. and attesting to restoration or renovation in compliance with historic elements).

Though now an intown Atlanta neighborhood, Inman Park was the first planned residential suburb developed in Atlanta, and it is officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

On the heels of the parade Butterfly, and in its 33rd year, the nation's oldest adult marching band — Abominable followed close behind.

The band brought the joy of the unexpected through music and street theater while marching along little streets for no reason except the loony joy of it. Music, drums, pageantry, unbidden, unbought. A moment of delight and generosity and laughter among humans.

Thousands of spectators lining the route went wild...

... clapping or jeering at signs...

... floats, more bands, police on bicycles, politicians, and a juggler on stilts (he told me, while bending v-e-r-r-r-y low, that he chills in Tel Aviv when traveling in the middle east!).

My friend Vivienne (Vivi), age 9, paraded with the "Marching Abominables In-Training," a group representing four local elementary school bands.

Sporting her mom's large straw hat (with flowers) and clad in a pink sequined dress (with faux fur), Vivi's Teva sandals and leopard-framed shades served her well along the sunny one-mile route.

Recipe for a glorious afternoon — running alongside a parade, meeting friends, and gorging on the sights: human, canine, garden, park, and handiwork. Y'all, be sure to join the Inman Park Festival next last-weekend-of-April.


naomi dagen bloom said...

arrived here because your comment at timegoesby.net impressed me as spot on. then had the pleasure of the good time you have in atlanta. could you export it to new york city?

thanks, naomi

Savtadotty said...

Tamar, Hi I was in the Atlanta airport for plane-changing and it was just fine, although not as much fun as the parade looks.

Naomi, I just finished five days in New York, and I must cheerfully disagree: New York City has plenty of fun stuff going on without importing Atlanta's (which might need it more!)

Anonymous said...

Read your blog and it is as great as always. Keep the good work.

littlepurplecow said...

I love the idea of mixing and matching crocs. These girls might be on to something.

Anonymous said...

crocs are really bad for your health. mixing them doesn't make them better.

Tamar Orvell said...

Thanks, all, for your comments on the festival, Crocs, and news (to me) of visits... to this blog and to Atlanta! (Note to Savta Dotty: We Atlantans are cool, not needier of fun stuff than New Yorkers.)

Susanne emailed me: How did the marching guy on stilts know I lived in Tel Aviv half the year? Answer: On his purse (yes!), was a bumper sticker on the USA president. I commented on a t-shirt with the USA president that I saw in a Tel Aviv window. The stilts walker shouted, Israel? I love it there. I lived years in the middle east, and when I needed to chill, Israel is where I headed.

Miles emailed me that the festival baffled him. What is it for? he asked. It's a festival about nothing, said I. Just fun, games, food, art, sunshine, friends, creativity, music, and house tours.