Life Pro Hacks and Tips for the 2018 Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade

Started in 2010 the Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade is a glowing celebration of the art along the Eastside Trail. This year they expect more than 70,000 patrons to partake in the illuminating event! Getting there can be tricky; and knowing where to post up, or just what to expect can be a hassle. We here at ATLByDay want to pass along some tips that could be useful for first timers or vets. So here are our life pro hacks and tips for the 2018 Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade.

You can Participate

Unlike most parades where you need to register, this parade requires no registration or fee to be in the event. You do need some sort of glow to be in the event. Whether its leftover light up bracelets from the Moon Ride or your own lantern, find something that makes you fit in with the parade goers. If you don’t bring your own lantern, you will likely be able to purchase one at the start of the event. Kroger has sold lanterns in past years, as well as Richard’s Variety Store.

When you Participate

The parade starts at the beginning of the Eastside Trail in Inman Park, at the intersection of Krog St. and Irwin St, and is usually very crowded and congested. At times you’ll feel like a salmon trying to swim upstream. You don’t have to be at the start of the parade to be in the parade.  I see many people bail out halfway through the parade. One way to avoid the congestion at the start is to join halfway through the parade at the Ralph McGill bridge close to the location of New Realm and Two Urban licks. Also to have even more fun, target getting behind one of the many bands who participate in the parade. We’ve had a blast getting behind the Seed and Feed band, dancing our way through the parade.

What to Bring

You are absolutely going to need to bring a small soft cooler that you can carry with refreshments, and a towel to sit on is a nice bonus. You won’t have easy access to beverages; and if the weather this week is any indication, the beginning of the parade will be very hot. Be sure to bring some water! Bring good walking shoes, especially if you plan to be in the parade. Without a doubt you will be walking a bit, whether you are in the parade or not. Do not bring your bike. It is impossible to navigate the Beltline in the hours leading up to the parade. You will be walking that thing with tens’ of thousands of people expecting to be at the parade.

Where to Post

There are all kinds of bars now on the Beltline to enjoy the parade. Ladybird is a great spot, and so is New Realm; but as you would expect those places will be jam packed. If you don’t get there early you might not get a great spot. When we have watched the parade our favorite spot is under the Freedom Park bridge. Under the bridge offers sloped seating that allows an elevated view and you don’t have to worry about being in the front. Additionally under the bridge offers great acoustics for the bands. You’ll notice under the bridge, the bands sound a lot louder than when in the open on the Beltine.

Parking / Getting there

The best solution is always taking a taxi. There will likely be surge pricing around the event; but if you are splitting the fare with your friends, trust us, it is worth it. After the event, there is plenty of nightlife entertainment; so if you want to avoid the surge, wait it out. If you are just viewing the event, the major pay parking spots are going to be Ponce City Market or Inman Quarter. Don’t count on it though, as I can easily foresee those decks filling up fast. At the start of the parade, near Krog Street Market, is going to be real tough to find parking. Again, if you don’t want to find yourself up-creek without a paddle, take a taxi.

The Art

Each lantern parade brings new art installations along this glorified sidewalk. Some of the art is more permanent, while some is removed very shortly. You can go the day after to enjoy some of the temporary installations, or go well before the parade starts the day of. We were walking the trail today and saw many artists putting finishing touches on their work. There is sure to be some some impressive artwork, so keep your eyes peeled for them along the path.

We hope to see your glow at the parade. If we missed something or you have a tip yourself please share!

2018 Lantern Parade Details:

Saturday, September 22, 2018:
7:00 p.m. line-up
8:00 p.m. parade steps off

A Memorial Day Weekend

What a Memorial Weekend! As you all know by now, this Queen of the Gnomes loves going out and having fun with friends. And what better way to kick-off the summer season than in Edgewood and Decatur?

My weekend began Friday night where I attended a humorous game of Pathfinder. The game began around 7 and concluded at the late hour of 2 A.M. Only 5 characters were taken hostage, and unfortunately we’ll only know of their dark fate at the next encounter. (I don’t understand a word I just said either).

The next day, I was up early at 8 A.M. (I know horrendous) to head over to Dad’s Garage in Edgewood. Here, I was allowed an exclusive look at their upcoming web-series: “The Garage”. The series follows a dramatization of the lives of a few of the Improvisers which includes my loving Giant King. As of now, filming is set to wrap around June summer and will premier later this year.

Dad's Garage Theatre Company
Dad’s Garage Theatre Company

My next activity was a 4-mile jog around the Atlanta BeltLine. If you haven’t adventured around the BeltLine, I definitely suggest the Eastside Trail which hits most of the Inman Park and Old Fourth Ward areas. The scenery and Graffiti highlight the uniqueness and beauty of the ATL, and showcases the creativity of many local aspiring artists.

Afterwards, I spent the rest of my day and evening at Joystick playing Guess Who and Mad Gab. Joystick is one of my favorite bars in due to the ever-changing cocktail menu and game options. While I may have lost each round of Mad Gab (I had never played before), the Memorial Weekend was going incredibly well.

Joystick Gamear
Joystick Gamebar

On Sunday, I again started my day over in the Edgewood area, this time at Krog Street Market. The Market was bustling with locals and out-of-towners, both of whom were in complete awe of the food stalls and shops. The Market features a variety of restaurants from Bar Mercado to Richard’s Southern Fried Chicken. I myself was on a business venture where unfortunately I had to remain strong in the face food of temptation. It was difficult, but I preserved.

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Victory Sandwich Luau

Later on, I attended the annual Victory Sandwich Luau in Decatur Square. The Luau had an unlimited BBQ buffet and offered a variety of new summer drinks.  My order: “Sucker In a Three Piece”; think a Manhattan, but stronger.

Food Menu and Sucker In A Three Piece
Food Menu and Sucker In a Three Piece

While I awaited for the Giant King, I made my way over to the SOS Tiki Bar. Here I met Christin, who explained that her friend John was from out of town and wanted to know where they should go next.

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This Queen of the Gnomes of course had the hook-up. For beer I suggested Twain’s, The Square Pub, and Brick Store; Raging Burrito & Taco for margaritas, and live music at Eddie’s Attic. Once the Giant King arrived, I parted ways with my new friends and wished them a happy bar-hop. For the rest of the evening, the Giant King and I partied around Victory and ended our night with a game of Bocce Ball at Leon’s Full Service. After the long, cold winter I finally regained my title as Queen of Bocce Ball which had been lost back in October.

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On Memorial Day, I began at the Stone Summit Climbing Gym for a hearty cardio and bouldering workout. For those of you interested in a new type of exercise, I thoroughly recommend climbing at Stone Summit. With three locations in Midtown, North Atlanta, and Kennesaw, Stone Summit provides a fun and unique way to get fit and meet new people.

I then ended my weekend at one of my friend’s houses for cookout where I grilled an assortment of chicken, hotdogs, and veggies.

It was definitely an exciting weekend for this Gnome Queen and hopefully you all had just as much fun.

 

 

Sunset Sessions Guitarist

Sunday Fun-day with Park Tavern’s Sunset Sessions

Sunset Sessions at Park Tavern on Piedmont Park kicked off in April, but don’t fear there are more to hear. There are 15 more acts to kick off, running until early September. So bring your dancing shoes, but leave your dollar bills behind because this concert series if FREE. Well maybe bring some mullah to enjoy some SweetWater.

Park tavern serves great bar food and even sushi. If you want something more peaceful there are table towards the back that have a gorgeous view of the park, but make sure to get there early to snag a spot. For the full list of sunset sessions check their schedule.

Make a day of it

Piedmont Park has a lot to offer and is a great place to people watch, play lawn games, and cool off at their pool. We personally enjoy KanJam, but I know the southern tradition of corn hole might take precedence. Sunset sessions would be a great way to cap off a full day of ATL activities. We have two treks for you.

West to East Trek

Start: The Nook

  • Wash down some Totchos with their “meal in itself” their full size bloody mary. This bloody mary includes a hard boiled egg, steak, and tater tots.

Middle: The East Side Lawn

  • Bring a lawn game, a bluetooth speaker, and a blanket.

End: Sunset Sessions

North to South Trek

Start: Rent a bike

  • Relay bike is a convenient way to not worry about lugging or owning a bike. There is a bike rental at the start of the east side trail right by Krog Street Market with a drop point right in front of Park Tavern.

Middle: “The Cool Down” King of Pops or Victory Sandwich Bar

  • You might be getting toasty by this point, so what better way to cool off than to get a tasty popsicle from the King of Pops headquarters or a dickel and coke slushie from Victory Sandwich Bar! Victory just introduced a rose slushie this summer which is now available on Saturday and Sunday at the outside trailer.

Middle 2: New Realm Brewery

  • Not even a year old New Realm Brewery off the beltline is a fun place to stop for suds. If your in the mood for food there is a restaurant downstairs and upstairs is the tasting room where you can catch some views of the atlanta skyline.

End: Drop Bike / Sunset Sessions

  • You can drop your Relay bike off at Park Tavern on the side that faces the park.