Atlanta’s weekend activities seem to have quieted down some.
Even though Piedmont Park is still crowded due to the Dogwood Festival, the city seems to be quieter than it has been for the past few days.
With the Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park, the Sweetwater 420 Festival at Candler Park and a resurgent effort of the annual street festival formerly known as Freaknik, Atlanta expected to host some 300,000 people this weekend.
With a higher than normal police presence in and around Atlanta, Freaknik became dubbed Weaknik.
But all did not go without a hitch. Streets in and around Piedmont and Candler Park experienced some congestion. Downtown near Underground saw some activity by young people looking for something to do Friday and Saturday night, resulting in a few arrests. And the Atlanta Braves were no-hit Saturday during their game against Colorado, while the Hawks moved forward in the playoffs.
"Atlanta police will maintain its presence in the city, ready to respond to any incident or traffic," Curtis Davenport, APD spokesman, said of the all-hands-on-deck call put out by police this weekend.
And in College Park, extra police officers have been dispatched to deal with congestion. The same is true for police in DeKalb and Clayton.
Sunday afternoon, people were still piling into Piedmont Park.
Kathy Smith took her family Saturday.
She followed organizers’ advice, parked at a MARTA park-and-ride lot and rode the train to the Arts Center station. The family ended up walking to the park from the station after realizing there were no shuttles to the park that she’d been expecting.
Late Saturday afternoon, cars crowded the asphalt and crowds packed the sidewalks on McLendon Avenue coming to and from Candler Park, where the Sweetwater 420 Festival was under way.
The Sweetwater 420 Festival crowd felt a little more like a college party, founded on the twin pillars of pizza (Mellow Mushroom) and, of course, beer.
More than 100 people stood in one of the lines for plastic cups of beer. Neil Warren and three of his friends joined the line, even though they were already holding beers.
“We’re not going to lose this battle,” Blake Nealey said.
Cops keep lid on Freaknik
Hundreds of people thronged to Underground Saturday evening searching for a party.
Instead, they found police blocking streets and ordering loiterers to move.
Gary Harvey, owner of Instant Photo of Atlanta, got a permit to sell photo key chains and other memorabilia for Freaknik 2010.
“This don’t even touch other years,” he said. “The police are trying to block the streets and taking away my business.”
Cooler weather with highs in the low 70s after morning lows near 50 degrees are expected for Sunday.
What else is happening?
--Dogwood Festival is expected to end at 5 p.m. Sunday
--Sweetwater 420 festival is expected to end at 8 p.m.
MARTA will have additional rail cars on standby and APD traffic plans are available at www.atlantapd.org. Those with questions can call the city at 404-330-6023.
--Road construction: DOT called off all construction in the city this weekend. For a complete list on road closures and other weekend travel information, visit DOT.com.
--Be informed: Check ajc.com for updates and listen to NewsTalk 750-WSB for traffic updates at the top and bottom of every hour. Watch Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m., 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. for the latest.
-- Staff reporters Michelle Shaw, Marcus K. Garner, Ariel Hart, Jeffry Scott and Kristi E. Swartz contributed to this report.
About the Author