By Thornton Kennedy
On the first Sunday in October, Atlanta’s Historic Oakland Cemetery reconnects with its Victorian roots with Sunday in the Park, the most unique fall festival in the South.
Many come dressed in Victorian finery harkening back to Oakland’s founding 162 years ago as a garden cemetery. The street festival is presented by Historic Oakland Foundation on Sunday October 7 from noon to 6:00pm. Now in its 33rd year, Sunday in the Park draws thousands of visitors to one of the most historically and architecturally significant cemeteries in the United States.
The 48-acre cemetery features meticulously landscaped gardens and burial sites, old growth trees, fully restored mausoleums, a Jewish section, an African-American section, the graves of Civil War soldiers, and historical monuments. Set among this, during Sunday in the Park, are live musicians, artists, food, spirits and much, much more.
Sunday in the Park features an artists’ market, living history demonstrations, storytellers, Irish dancers, and a variety of live musical entertainment. There will also be a Victorian costume contest and photography contest. It is the only day of the year that the mausoleums are open to the public.
Carriage tours and free walking tours with an opportunity to enter some of the magnificent mausoleums will be offered. The children’s area will feature crafts and old-fashioned games. Oakland’s traditional Teddy Bear Tea will entertain kids of all ages with storytelling.
There is a suggested donation of $5 per person, with children three and under free. Proceeds from Sunday in the Park benefit the Historic Oakland Foundation. Through donations and volunteer efforts, Historic Oakland Foundation restores, preserves, and shares the period gardens, monuments, walls, walkway, and grounds of the cemetery with the public. Oakland Cemetery is open to all 365 days a year.
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