Sunday in the Park is Oakland Cemetery's fall festival celebrating the history of Oakland and Atlanta. Living history performances will happen throughout the cemetery all afternoon. Free tours will be leaving from the Out in the Rain Fountain every 15 minutes. There will be musical performances and an artists market. No outside food is allowed, but food trucks will be at Lion Square. The event is free, but donations will be accepted.

Spend a Sunday in the cemetery at Oakland’s annual festival

Sunday in the Park celebrates the history of Oakland Cemetery and the city of Atlanta

Yes, a cemetery can be spooky place. But, it can also be a great place to explore and learn about history.

Historic Oakland Cemetery is aiming for the latter during its annual fall festival, Sunday in the Park.

“Back before cities built public parks, people would bring a picnic basket and some musical instruments (and maybe a few adult libations) to the local cemetery and revere the dead by celebrating life in what was often one of the only patches of public space in town,” the cemetery says on its Facebook post.

Although you can’t bring a picnic basket to the event, there will be food trucks at Lion Square where you can buy a bite to eat and something to drink.

» 5 hidden stories of Oakland Cemetery

For those who want to explore Atlanta’s oldest public park, Oakland will open more than 20 mausoleums. Or you can join one of the free guided tours that will leave from the Out in the Rain Fountain every 15 minutes. 

Margaret Mitchell (author) is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta (Fulton County). She became known for her popular book "Gone with the Wind."
Photo: Kent D. Johnson

Oakland Cemetery is the final resting place of more than 70,000 people and some of Atlanta’s and Georgia’s most famous names, including Atlanta Mayor Ivan Allen Jr.; golfer Bobby Jones; Atlanta’s first African American mayor, Maynard Jackson; and “Gone With the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell.

Those who need more than history to be entertained need not worry. There will be living history and musical performances by the Atlanta Opera, Big Bethel Heaven Bound Choir and others. There will also be storytelling, crafts and an artists market.

Although the event is free, the Historic Oakland Foundation will accept donations. All proceeds from the event help the foundation preserve, restore, enhance and share Oakland Cemetery. 

» Oakland Cemetery is living

Sunday in the Park is scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. September 29. The cemetery is at  248 Oakland Ave. SE, Atlanta, Georgia 30312.

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