This photo taken by former librarian colleague Tom Budlong and posted to Facebook gives a sense of what I saw last night as a first-time spectator at this year’s Lantern Parade on the Atlanta Beltline.
(Tom also uploaded to Facebook a seven-minute video of the Parade, but I have been unsuccessful in trying to embed the video here.)
After deciding to watch the Parade rather than walk in it, the perch I secured in the middle of the Virginia Avenue bridge over the Beltline (near the Parade’s end) turned out to be the perfect a great place to watch the Parade.
The amount of creative energy hundreds of different people devoted to fashioning their hundreds (thousands?) of lanterns is impressive, as is the amount of high spirits and camaraderie generated by this annual extravaganza, sponsored by an outfit called the the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons.
The Atlanta Beltline is arguably the most exciting thing that’s happened in this city since the Olympics – and something far more useful to Atlanta’s residents than the Olympics were. If it accomplishes nothing else – and I think it will accomplish many other things – the Beltline gives Atlanta a perfect venue for the Lantern Parade: our city’s own version of Mardi Gras – without all the alcohol!
Decatuish.com has additional excellent photos taken by Travis Hudgons of this year’s 6th Annual Lantern Parade that, like Tom’s, capture the Parade’s unique flavor.
Update, 9/14/15: You can watch a very short camera-equipped drone video of the 2015 Lantern Parade here:
Update, 9/15/15: The most spectacular still photos I’ve seen so far are the ones Steve Eberhardt has assembled in a Facebook photo album.
Update, 9/15/15: The most impressive (i.e., well edited, and put to nifty music) video of this year’s Lantern Parade is this one, by Nishant Gogna: