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.
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.
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.
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.
Find more things to do around Atlanta on ajc.com.
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