By Michelle Rice and Carlen Ruth Hultgren
Did you make it out to the Strut this year? If you live in East Atlanta, you did not have to go far to find it. Spread around Village, you could find activities in neighborhood hubs, the business district, even last-minute POP ups on a random lawn, Strut 2022 was by all measures, a huge success.
The Pet Parade got things started early and at noon the hub markets took over. The north side included Llama Poop Bingo on McPherson and the Blake Avenue market. To the south, there was Brownwood Beach and the Peacock Market. Village activities could be found at Southern Feed Market, the Argosy Market, the Farmer’s Market, and Brannon Towers. On the east side, the Clifton Dragon market returned for the third year, always a crowd pleaser. There were food trucks, music, and markets to please any palette. And if what you craved was your neighborhood favorite, their doors were open too. The traveling entertainment included the Seed and Feed Marching Abominables, the Mermaid Motor Lounge, the Krewe of Optical Delusions, the Big Mask Project, and the Roll, showing up at hubs and parking lots, or parading through the streets with the locals.
Unlike many Atlanta festivals, which pay corporations to run the event, the East Atlanta Strut has, since 1997, been completely run by volunteers. This has enabled the Strut to put 100 percent of its profits back into the community. Over $100,000 has been donated in the last eight years alone, all the proceeds going to programs that feed people, organizations that keep longtime neighbors in their homes, the local fire station and library, pet rescue groups, child mentoring groups, local schools, arts organizations, and neighborhood beautification projects. The focus has always been on small, nonprofit, in 30316. While numbers are still being tallied, the Strut is on track to give $35,000 or more back to the community in 2022.
If you did come out, you partnered with the Strut to give to local nonprofits in ways you might not even have been aware of. Thank you, Attendees! The festival donated $50 for every volunteer shift, that’s $2,500 of giving back before the festival even started. Thank you, Volunteers! The Strut Your Bake rum dessert bakeoff and Strut Your Pet dog parade benefited the Free99Fridge project and Pet Buddies Atlanta to the tune of several thousand dollars. Thank you, bakers, tasters, dog walkers, and judges! And this could not be done without our sponsors, big and small, in kind, in product, in money. Thank you, Sponsors!
Next month, the Strut will begin its annual grant application process to give more money back to the community. The organizers are grateful for all the support that enables this event to return year after year and give back to the neighborhood in meaningful ways.
If you would like to join the team and help with the planning for next year, reach out to the Strut at email@example.com. The EAV Strut is always looking for new neighbors and friends to help make the event a locally collaborative effort.