THE ONGOING DROUGHT had the organizers of the Atlanta Jazz Festival singing the blues after their forced relocation to Woodruff Park left them with attendance figures far below their conservative estimates on Memorial Day weekend. Perhaps city officials should have moved the annual music fest to Stone Mountain Park, because its annual Gospel Celebration — now in its fourth year — only seems to be getting bigger and better with time.
Presented on the park's Memorial Lawn in conjunction with Antioch Baptist North, this family-friendly festival will close out Father's Day weekend with food, worship, a church choir competition, step teams, dramatic performances, spoken word poetry and numerous nationally known gospel acts. This year's lineup features His Word In Motion School of Dance, Dreaming Out Loud Steppers, Anointed Dance and Performance Arts Group, plus musical performances by Neva B Flat and Byron Tobias Barnes, among others.
In addition to park attractions and the 25th anniversary Lasershow Spectacular, tickets also include admission to the Juneteenth Celebration at the Antebellum Plantation. Juneteenth is an increasingly popular holiday commemorating the 1865 passing of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery in the United States once and for all. The park will celebrate African contributions to the culture and history of the state of Georgia with a variety of educational and interactive exhibits.
•THE 411: Gospel Celebration and Juneteenth. $18-$25 adults, $12-$20 children 3-11. June 14. Stone Mountain Park, U.S. 78, Stone Mountain. 770-498-5690, head.
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