Amid the boiling climes of August it helps to envision Christmas — and ongoing utility work in Midtown could make the process easier. For the first time, the Southeast's largest Christmas parade will be held in Midtown, because ongoing construction of the Atlanta Streetcar would pose serious hazards to the ankles of 300,000 annual spectators. So a process of burying overhead utilities is under way on crossings at 5th, 8th and 16th streets, the Midtown Alliance reports in a monthly construction update. In a perfect world, the interment of these power lines would set a precedent for the rest of Atlanta, exhibiting that visually cleaner streetscapes are possible. But perhaps our jagged sidewalks should be a higher priority?
Uprooting from its longtime home downtown, the 33rd Annual Children's Christmas Parade will begin this December at Peachtree and 16th street. The route is one mile, ending at Peachtree and 5th street — and it's all within walking distance of the Midtown, North Avenue and Arts Center MARTA stations. When the change was announced earlier this year, Gene Hayes, president of the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation, applauded the Atlanta Streetcar initiative but added in a press release: "Unfortunately, the design of the streetcar route presents major safety concerns for the parade, meaning we have no choice but to relocate. We are excited to keep the parade tradition alive in Midtown and are grateful to the Midtown Alliance for helping make this new route possible." We wonder if attendance will technically grow this year, with so many Midtown condo dwellers surely stepping outside to get jolly on their balconies.