The 2017 Brookhaven Arts Festival: A Team Effort
On October 21st and 22nd, thousands of attendees descended upon the Brookhaven MARTA station to enjoy two days of art, music, food, and fun – and fun was had by all! The weather was absolutely perfect both days – Sunday threatened rain with a few clouds, but the sun managed to shine the entire weekend. Our location is perfect – having the MARTA parking lot on one side is ideal because it provides free parking for everyone, and also people can ride MARTA to the event and not even have to worry about driving.
When I got to the event on Saturday, all the artists were there, finishing setting up their booth spaces. Several commented on how nice it was to have coffee and breakfast provided (thank you to Whole Foods, Dunkin Donuts, and Starbucks). Debbie and I set up the Hospitality booth and then enjoyed coffee and bagels. Attendees were already starting to enter the street well before the 10 am start time, and we were ready for them.
The Kelly Did It Again team manned the Hospitality booth, wheeling and dealing on some festival swag, and Margaret and I posted on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and went live on Facebook. There was so much to see and do! We posted about the music, the food, and the art, and shared photos of the crowd. Kids and adults alike were walking by, their faces painted like a dog or a butterfly or a superhero. Lisa Tantillo of Calou Calay brought her pottery wheel and was creating pottery right there before our very eyes as attendees oooed and ahhed over her ceramics. Faye Bell was in her booth, painting a new masterpiece while art-lovers perused her art. Down in the children’s area, the Sand Art Cart was jumping with kids, all wanting to make their own sand art creations, while other kids had fun making bubble and stamp art with the students of the National Art Honor Society of North Atlanta High School. They would then drag their parents over to the King of Pops for a sweet treat and then up to the stage to listen to the live music. The guys from "Spread the Hug" were also there, spreading kindness and love one hug at a time.
Speaking of music, we were so lucky to have the amazing musicians we had. They ranged from singer-songwriters with acoustic guitars to duos to full groups, with instruments like fiddles and tambourines, and the music was just perfect. Families were dancing in front of the stage! Thank you to Marshall Coats, He Sang She Sang, Adam Patterson, Battlefield Collective, Sailing to Denver, How and Why, Anthony Crane, Wesley Cook, and Cold Heart Canyon. You will definitely see more of these musicians in the near future.
Something I always want to know about with festivals: FOOD. The food at this festival was above and beyond your normal festival fare! When you go to a festival, you expect certain things: corn dogs, funnel cakes, chicken fingers, and lemonade. Not only did we have those things available, we had two top-rated Brookhaven restaurants, There and Kaleidoscope, serving things like Italian sausages wrapped in bacon and amazing burgers.
The team and I helped manage the volunteers as well. Teenagers showed up in full force, ready to work. Kelly’s friends also came out to volunteer. We are so grateful to all of our volunteers. We could not pull off this festival without them!
Then it was time for the artist awards. Best in Show went to William Cowherd, a mixed media artist from Atlanta, while the 1st place ribbon was given to another mixed media artist, Stacey Brown, also from Atlanta. 2nd place honors went to Jonathon Romaine, a painter from Illinois, and 3rd place went to Kathrine Allen-Coleman, a mixed media artist from Jackson, GA. Congrats to all the winners!
Speaking of winners, the Classic Car Show on Sunday was amazing. The Best in Show winner was a 1956 Chevy Truck, owned by Richard Gilmore. He and his guest arrived in full costume, looking like they just stepped out of a 1950s movie. A 1967 VW bus won the 1st place ribbon. A 1969 Jag and a 1951 Ford sedan won 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. Car aficionados must have been in heaven with all the gorgeous cars and trucks to look at!
At the end of the day of Sunday, we helped with the load-out process, which went super smoothly, and helped break down the Hospitality booth. Our backs and feet hurt and all I wanted was an adult beverage! But it was all worth it. I can’t wait to do it again next year.
A huge thanks to all of our sponsors: Discover Dekalb, Jim Ellis Automotive Group, Northside Hospital, Renewal by Andersen, The Bubbling Creek Company, Steve Stephens Insurance Agency, Kelly Marsh & Associates, MARTA, Neel, Robinson, & Stafford, and Courtyard Marriott. Special thanks to Whole Foods, Costco, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, and Moonbird Coffee for their in-kind donations! Thank you to Paula Bond Heller for these amazing photos and to Michael Pigford for the cool drone shots!