No doubt about it, Atlanta excels at bringing its inhabitants together. As the city grows, more signature festivals and whacky traditions seem to dot the local calendar each year.
But the last several years have given rise to some truly show-stopping events that outsiders just might associate with the ATL in the future. So it's time to stop, reflect and give a little love to the one you like best.
We've narrowed the choices to three major events with staying power that have sprung up within the city limits (sorry, TomorrowWorld) since Atlanta woke from its recessionary slumber (sorry, Peachtree Road Race). This could be a tough call.
THE VITALS: A LITTLE BACKGROUND
Atlanta Streets Alive:
Inspired by the ciclovía tradition of Bogotá, Colombia, this street-closing shindig encourages Atlantans to walk, bike, drink, skate and hopscotch in the streets for a few hours on select weekends. It debuted on a short stretch of Edgewood Avenue in May 2010 with about 3,000 attendees. Officials estimate last week's Atlanta Streets Alive — the fourth and final of 2014 — may have attracted a whopping 100,000 people or more.
Beltline Lantern Parade:
Back in 2010, when the Beltline's Eastside Trail was the domain of kudzu, lizards and worse, a few hundred crazy souls got together, built big paper lanterns and went for a walk — at night. The Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade was born. Now, the event attracts more than 10,000 parade goers and thousands of more spectators annually. Going forward, it'll officially happen the Saturday after Labor Day.
Atlanta's signature music festival burst out of a six-year hiatus in 2011, putting a one-two punch of the Black Keys and Coldplay on a massive stage in Piedmont Park's grandest open space. Despite bouts with inclement weather and displeased neighbors, Music Midtown hasn't looked back since. This year, pristine weather, a diverse lineup and reconfigured stages helped attract record crowds.
· Music Midtown: Reflections, Photos & One Cussing Preacher [Curbed Atlanta]
· The Final 'Atlanta Streets Alive' of 2014 Looked Like This [Curbed Atlanta]