Last year’s Atlanta BeltLine Parade saw 70,000 participants and spectators packed on the Eastside Trail, but like everything else in 2020, this year’s event is going to be different due to the pandemic.
Rather than cancel the event, creator Chantelle Rytter and the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons are encouraging participants to “parade-in-place.”
Beginning Sept. 21, residents in Beltline neighborhoods are being asked to put homemade lanterns on their porches or balconies or put them in yards or windows and use the hashtag #BeltLineParadeInPlace when posting to social media. Participants are also asked to include their neighborhood name in the post.
Instead of the usual one-night event, the parade-in-place event will continue through Sept. 26.
Those who post their lanterns on social media throughout the week could get a visit from the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons accompanied by giant lantern puppets and a marching band. If the Krewe does show up, be sure to watch from a safe distance – such as from your windows or porch – to maintain social distancing.
A statement on the Lantern Parade website reads: “While we will not get together in person this year, and discourage lantern parade parties or gatherings, your participation from your home will provide a unique way to spread joy across the city, celebrate creativity, and build community on a granular level while keeping Atlanta safe.”
“While this year will be different, everyone is always invited to join in in the fun and lights of one of the most magical events of the season – with plenty of space,” the parade’s website said.
In lieu of the usual lantern workshops, kits are available for purchase from select retail shops, while lantern-making ideas, DIY tutorials, and free downloadable coloring sheets are available at chantellerytter.com/lantern-parade-resources.
For more information, art.beltline.org/events/lantern-parade.