Seventh Annual Beltline Lantern Parade
Parade-goers anticipate the sight of thousands of lanterns illuminating the Eastside Trail during the annual BeltLine Lantern Parade. Participants gather with their own decorated, colorful creations, ranging from globe and hat lanterns to others the size of giant parade floats, and march down the entire 2-mile stretch of the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail from Old Fourth Ward to Piedmont Park.
Over the past seven years, the parade has become a tradition on the first Saturday after Labor Day. It marks the start of the Art on the BeltLine annual exhibition, which runs from September to mid-November. Last year’s parade drew more than 60,000 participants, and this year’s is expected to be the biggest yet.
“The Eastside Trail is our first taste of how the Atlanta BeltLine can connect our city,” says Chantelle Rytter, who created and hosts of the parade along with the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons. “It’s an expression of love for those 2 miles of trail.”
New in 2016, the Krewe adds a giant phoenix to its lantern mix, and SCAD alumni Sam Lasseter created giant glowing puppets while he was in Lacoste, France. Lantern workshops are hosted by the United Methodist Church in Candler Park and Rytter during the months leading up to the parade. Check art.beltline.org/schedule to see upcoming workshops.
Live music is spaced throughout the parade with performances by several local groups, including the Krewe, Black Sheep Ensemble, Mausiki Scales, Common Ground Collective, Atlanta Freedom Bands and, new this year, Moz Drums. Spectators can snag a spot anywhere along the Eastside Trail. Find great aerial views from the Virginia Avenue or Highland Avenue bridges.
STORY: Alexa Lampasona
Photo: Alexa Lampasona