The long, arduous path to glory in Curbed's first annual Great Atlanta Festival Face-Off came down to one vote. Seriously, one single vote.
In a photo-finish Finals contest that closed exactly 24 hours after it had begun, per the rules, the Inman Park Festival nosed ahead of Fall Festival in Candler Park by the slimmest of margins — 555 votes (or 50.05 percent) to 554 votes.
More than 14,000 votes were cast in this year's tourney.
So let's hear it for inaugural champion Inman Park Festival — a 45-year tradition of music, springtime euphoria, artisanship, impressive home tours, flowing suds, whacky parades, and yes, gnomes. (Coincidentally or not, IP was also the first Atlanta 'hood to win the annual Curbed Cup Neighborhood of the Year fake trophy in 2011).
To recap: After toppling the Kirkwood Spring Fling, the Inman Park Festival edged the Lantern Parade (the Beltline version) by just 14 votes last week, and then captured 59 percent of 973 votes to beat the Oakhurst Porchfest in Final Four voting.
Methodology: We selected 16 festive options unique to Atlanta — both stalwarts and upstarts, musical and not, representing an eclectic mix of neighborhoods — and alphabetized them to determine 1-16 seeding.
Why? Because Atlanta's growing lineup of festivals, perennial mega-events, and wondrous gatherings is getting crowded. This tourney could very well swell to 32 seeds next year.
But for now, here's a great big hat-tip to the 2016 champ, Inman Park Festival.