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.