Festival Time

DecaturIn Atlanta, late spring and early summer are chock-full of neighborhood house tours, garden tours, arts festivals, music concerts, and free outdoor movies series.

For those of us in Atlanta whose own yards and gardens need a lot of attention during this mostly-mosquito-free period, the allure of so many festive community events to choose from – many of them free – presents an annual round of delightful dilemmas. To Go or To Forego, that be the question as each Saturday and Sunday in April, May, and June rolls around.

This year my work schedule prevented me from taking advantage of any of the house or garden tours on offer thus far, but I did manage this past Memorial Day weekend to spend a few hours at the annual Decatur Arts Festival.

Once again, I was flabbergasted by the beauty and inventiveness of the works of dozens of artists and artisans. As always, the work of the participating photographers, like this one and this one, was especially ravishing.  Once again, I was reminded of how pleasant it is to meander and mingle with a (sober) (diverse) crowd of attentive people in good moods. And, once again, I felt lucky to live so close to a pedestrian/bicycle/scooter-friendly urban center where the amount of space devoted to the various requirements of the almighty automobile seems to be steadily shrinking instead of expanding.

After wandering around the festival, often within earshot of the luscious music being made by the California-based Celtic harpist and bamboo flute duo Lisa Lynne and George Tortorelli, I had enough time before heading into work to pop into one of my favorite Decatur merchants (favored because its reasonable prices, especially for Decatur), Vivid Boutique.

It’s been many years since I stayed in town during Memorial Day weekend, but now I know what I’ll probably do with part of any future Memorial Day weekends I’m not elsewhere. And since Decatur hosts its annual (and free!) Book Festival every Labor Day weekend, I might be tempted to stay in town for that festival, too!

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