By Henry Bryant
The BATL Doublequick 5K Race
On July 21st The 8th Annual BATL Doublequick presented by the East Lake YMCA and Big Peach Running Company reveals what “on the double” really means. Racers will run across the battlefield after the firing of authentic Civil War guns with a start time of 8:30am Saturday beginning on the Trolley Line Trail Path in Atlanta’s Kirkwood neighborhood. Parking will be at Toomer Elementary School (65 Rogers Street and nearby streets.) Finishing this friendly race will get participants one of the coveted Doublequick T-shirts. Registration is online at www.batlevent.org or on race morning at the park ($17 advance/ $20 day of).
BATL Frontlines Living History Experience
The BATL Frontlines display area is one of the most popular features of BATL and has as its centerpiece over 80 feet of breastworks and an authentic cannon that fires on the hour. On Saturday, July 21st starting at 10am and going until 5pm, the Georgia Armory Guards Living History Soldiers will perform their daily activities with regular interpretive talks. East Atlanta neighbor David Furikawa will return as a Union medical officer with authentic battlefield surgical implements and an already bloody patient. Mothers and children in period garb are on hand nearby to give visitors an idea of what homelife was like in 1864. The Cavalry may even show up. The structures and frontlines trenchworks are built to match historic photos from the Library of Congress from the battle. Visitors are invited to get up close to speak and interact with people and scenery that seem to have stepped out of 1864. Soldiers will lay wreaths at the monuments for General McPherson and General Walker who were killed at these hallowed sites at 10:30 and 11am. The Frontlines programs are offered free of charge.
BATL Civil War To Civil Rights Living History Experience
Living history actors will also be on hand in the East Atlanta Village on July 21st to tell the story of Civil War to Civil Rights – 1864-1964. Actors in authentic costumes portraying actual people from history will be under a tent in the East Atlanta Village next to BATL Headquarters. They seem to step right out of history to tell their stories. This is particularly appropriate for the BATL event which promotes the idea that this neighborhood battlefield features layers of history extending before the battle and right up to today. Pres. Abraham Lincoln, Ina Evans and her Grandfather, Carrie Berrie, Georgia Gov. Brown, Civil Rights Attorney Constance Baker Motley, Atlanta Black Crackers Star Arthur Idlett and US Army Major Perry Bennett are just a few of the folks to be seen. All of the living history talks and exhibits are offered free of charge.
All BATL tours will depart from the East Atlanta Village near BATL Headquarters on July 21st. Two Different Van Tours – The Frontlines Tour and McPherson’s Last Ride Tour – as well as the Frontlines Walking Tour are regularly scheduled throughout the day. All of these tours are $15 in advance ($20 day of). They typically fill up soon and advance purchase is advised. There will also be free tours of East Atlanta’s Historic Sylvester Cemetery and Kirkwood’s Clay Family Cemetery. Also for free are twilight tours of Oakland Cemetery at 7pm on July 21 and 22. (Tickets required for the free tours including the Twilight tours and are available on a first come basis at BATL Headquarters as well as on the BATL website.)
A Bicycle Tour of the battlefield will leave the BATL Headquarters on Saturday July 21st and Sunday July 22nd at 9:30am. Tickets are $25 for BYOBike and helmet or $30 with bicycle and helmet provided.
On July 14th and 15th Historic Oakland Cemetery will offer a regular schedule of walking tours (including the special Jewish Tour) which will leave from the Oakland Office in the Bell Tower Building. Call 404-688-2107 for times and ticket prices.
The BATL Storytelling Festival – A Day of Exciting Tales for Young and Old
The BATL Storytelling Festival will be in session at East Atlanta Library starting at 10am on Saturday with a program of Biscuits Banjos and Molly Cottontail with Ghost stories and more going on for children and adults of all ages. Sessions will be held at Kirkwood Library in the afternoon as well. President Abe Lincoln makes a rare appearance in Atlanta, Brer Rabbit Folk Tales from the Akbar Imhotep, Battle of Atlanta Ghost Stories, Family From, and stories of Andersonville from Prison Guard Robert Mable (Mableton) are just some of the highlights. The whole festival is offered free of charge courtesy of various neighborhood sponsors. Limited seating and the last stories begin at 4pm.
Tickets and more information are available online at www.batlevent.org.