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At Lantern Parade, Impressive Atlanta Tradition Is Born

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For Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade virgins expecting to see a small herd of light-toting marchers on Saturday night (read: us), what ensued was a jaw-dropping spectacle. A miles-long migration of incandescent humanity overtook the multi-use trail, which parade participants enjoyed for the first time as an unbroken concrete path between Irwin Street and Piedmont Park. The parade must have stretched across the entire Eastside Trail, and then some.

We haven't heard estimates on the number of lanterns or participants, but our unscientific, beer-soaked tally fell between 5,000 and 10,000 people, not including the hundreds lined up to watch. (Spectators even packed surface-street bridges). Several lantern-making workshops were held beforehand for this, the official kickoff to Art on the Atlanta Beltline 2013. A group called the Wasted Potential Brass Band lead the ceremonies, with the venerable Seed & Feed Marching Abominables bringing up the rear. Four years in, the lantern parade has swelled into a tradition every self-respecting Atlantan should champion.

· 2013 Beltline Lantern Parade [Krewe of Grateful Gluttons]

[ABOVE: Thousands upon thousands parade the Beltline on Saturday evening, in the name of art. Photo: Curbed Atlanta]