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the lantern parade...

Monday, September 12, 2016
...on the beltway in mid Atlanta is officially on the city schedule to occur on the weekend after Labor Day.  When we went to the workshop in Decatur about a month ago, the person who was running the 'how to make a hat' event told us she had asked the city to put it on the calendar to coordinate with resources, promote, have a specific date established for the future. Get people in the notion of knowing it would occur on a particular day from year to year, as well as help with advertising through channels that would help promote it as a major event.

So make a hat we did, about twenty people in the church basement in Candler Park area. I had not quite finished when the allotted time  was up.  Had to leave with a not completed hat, but brought it home to ponder on the way it would be decorated. Dragged my feet until the next to the last minute, before snipping butterflies out of construction paper to glue all over the tissue paper that was glued over yards and yards of clear plastic food wrap.

We got to the start of the parade, along with thousands of other people, and trotted off north on the beltway with the first of six marching bands. The musical groups were spaced apart with lots of lantern carriers in between hundreds of people carrying a wide variety of lights. Only slightly organized, with the basic instructions that to march: 1) You must have a lantern, 2) No Pets. With only two rules, it was apparently easy for many to disregard the requirements entirely. We saw several stressed out dogs, and people in various states of inebriation wandering through the masses of troopers lacking any illumination whatsoever, but I guess they were 'Lit' from an external source.

Some people had lighted parasols, with blinking lights installed. Some lanterns/figures were ornate, requiring much assembly and preparation, while others were individuals with a string of battery operated Christmas lights looped around their necks. Some had purchased paper Japanese lanterns and installed tea lights, while others had huge animals: a whale with fiber optics spouting from breathing hole on top, a toucan, a huge tissue paper fire-y glowing phoenix. A Day of the Dead couple made of bamboo frames and tissue paper clothing, lit from the interior. Huge ghostly apparitions made from organza with coils of lights inside. Skeleton shapes made from foam pool noodles wrapped in multi-colored glowing strands. And hundreds of others we didn't see.

We walked about a mile, and I decided I was done. Said: I am hot and tired, let's go get a cold beer. We had lemonades instead, from the nearby Kroger, and called for a ride home.

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