By Carlen Hultgren
It’s that time again, time to get out your costumes and makeup and show your quirky side, time to march and dance and enjoy your neighborhood with wild abandon. It’s STRUT time again and this year’s festival promises to be full of all the things everyone loves about this annual, FREE one-day extravaganza that showcases the hottest in-town neighborhood in Atlanta.
On Saturday, September 24, from 11:00am to 9:00pm, the 19th annual East Atlanta Strut comes to the village with all the fun and comradery it is known for. The footprint, as usual, is in the heart of East Atlanta Village, at the intersection of Flat Shoals and Glenwood Avenues.
Entertainment abounds with no less than three live performance stages sponsored by Project Pabst, 99X and AM1690. And there is of course, the queen of all parades, the ultimate in street entertainment, the Strut Parade!
Starting at 2:00pm, at Glenwood and Patterson Avenues, this delightful event features marching bands, floats, scooters and paraders of all ages, along with the 2016 Strut Queen and her court. From babies to retirees, here the neighborhood’s musical and dancing artists take the spotlight. For the third year, the parade is urging groups of neighbors to show off pride in their streets by joining the parade in the Street Strut. Residents are encouraged to build parade floats that highlight what is special about their particular part of East Atlanta. Last year’s winner will be ready to take on all contenders. It’s not too late to join the parade. Check the Strut website to register.
And for those wanting a few quiet moments in a comfy seat, away from the hub bub, Greyhound is once again supporting the festival with its luxury bus parked within the footprint of the festival.
After last year’s success, Feats and Eats returns in an expanded version including both junior and senior editions providing games for all ages. The Strut experience will be supersized with GIANT board games. Look for Human Foosball, Giant Corn Hole, Hungry, Hungry Hippos (complete with human hippos), Candyland Kiddo-sized, and more. In addition to the board games, the East Atlanta beard contest and contests of culinary consumption are back. Check out the Strut website to register for any of these competitions. The new Feats and Easts Jr. is sponsored by Edgewood Retail District, with Feats & Eats Sr. sponsored by Pellerin Realty and Beacon Atlanta, a new lifestyle destination along the Atlanta Beltline, nestled into a stretch on the highly anticipated Southside Trail.
Food and drink options this year should satiate any palate with a variety of local vendors including Atomic Ice Cream Sandwiches, King of Pops, Cuban Street Food from Buena Gente, biscuits and southern cooking from Deep South Biscuit Company, east coast meatball sandwiches from Meatballzer and more. And if that’s not enough, try one of the local village restaurants, most of whom will be open all day featuring their regular menu and/or Strut specials. No matter how you look at it, there’s plenty to keep you eating and drinking all day and into the night.
And while the festival is free, a $5 wristband is your ticket to drink alcohol in the festival footprint and helps the Strut support neighborhood artists and other neighborhood nonprofits. ID’s are required to obtain your wristband.
Once you’ve have had some food, had a beverage, adult or not, seen the parade, what next? Now it is time to shop and this year’s artists market will feature over 70 artists with more than a third, our own East Atlanta neighbors. Expect to find a variety of artwork available for purchase including jewelry, illustrations, paintings, candles, metal work, and even heavy metal nutcrackers. The Strut once again ups the arts quotient with a popup gallery from the Doppler Projects and a mural on a previously graffiti-covered wall.
The festival kicks off with the artists market running from 11:00am to 7:00pm, the kids’ area from 11:00am to 5:00pm ,and the music stages from 11:00am until 9:00pm. The Friends of the East Atlanta Library also sponsor a book sale on festival day from 12:00pm to 4:00pm, on the side of the library at 400 Flat Shoals Avenue.
Last, but not least, are the volunteers and sponsors that make this event happen every year.
The Strut is a completely volunteer effort by more than 200 volunteers, working throughout the year and on Strut day to bring you a great neighborhood festival. Duties include selling wristbands, working in Feats & Eats, helping run the parade and working with festival setup or breakdown. Volunteers each receive a collectible, and highly sought, Strut T-shirt, a free wristband and two beer tickets for those 21 and older. All this is done to highlight East Atlanta as a great place to live, work and play.
The list of sponsors is long and includes local restaurant and businesses among others and continues to grow. For a complete list, or if you or your business is interested in a sponsorship, please check out the website at www.EastAtlantaStrut.com.
The Strut is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so if your company or organization needs community service hours, this is a great chance to get it done and have fun while helping in a great event.
For more information about the festival or volunteering the day of, see www.EastAtlantaStrut.com.
The East Atlanta Strut: Best Street Festival Around!
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