The Beltline Lantern Parade is coming. Are you (and your glow)?!

College football, college schmootball!

The must-see and -do fall event in Atlanta is the annual Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade, which kicks off next Saturday, Sept 12th, on the Eastside Trail. The official start to Art on the Atlanta Beltline, this festive event — which began in 2010 as a performance piece by the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons — has grown from some 500 paraders and spectators in its first year to an astounding 20,000 last year.

Lineup for this year’s parade starts at 7:15 p.m. at Irwin and Krog Streets. Step-off is at 8:15 p.m., with the parade proceeding approximately two miles north along the Eastside Trail to Piedmont Park. Last year’s surprisingly robust attendance caused some music-less gaps along the way, so they’ve added more marching bands to bring the total to five this year, said Nicole Knox, communications coordinator at Atlanta Beltline, Inc.

The parade is free and open to the public, and you don’t have to carry a lantern to attend. But, well, that’s like going to a college football game and wearing the other team’s T-shirt! Luckily, there still are some lantern-making workshops scheduled in the days leading up to the parade, including one on Thursday, Sept. 10th, being led by Chantelle Rytter captain of the Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons (still the parade’s annual “host”). To read Suzanne Van Atten’s earlier Personal Journey in the AJC about Rytter and the Krewe, go here.

Lantern-making workshops will also take place at the Old Fourth Ward Festival next Friday and Saturday, and artists also will be at the Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark both days to help you make your illuminati. Go to Beltline.org for more info and the full workshop schedule.

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