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The Decatur Arts Festival

Summer has arrived in Atlanta! We’re in the middle of a heat wave with day temperatures hovering right around or above 92 degrees for the foreseeable future.

That didn’t halt any of the festivities this weekend as Atlanta was humming with excitement and activity for MoMoCon, the Atlanta Jazz Fest, Atlanta Caribbean Carnival and the Decatur Arts Festival all happening in one weekend!

On Saturday, I took the Marta to Downtown Decatur for the Arts Festival to avoid the inevitable traffic and the search for that elusive (and very expensive) parking spot.

The Decatur Arts Alliance hosts the annual Decatur Arts Festival every year in the heart of Downtown Decatur. Local and regional artists and makers set up tents to display and sell their goods and wares, while vendors sell food and drinks. In the heart of the square in front of the courthouse, a stage is set up for artists to perform.

The festival was surprisingly interactive! I came across a vendor who was helping two girls make braided bracelets from three strips of a recycled plastic grocery bag adorned with rolled up paper beads.

Members of the Decatur Makers, a non-profit community of makers that provide a space for activities of just about anything you can imagine, were also in attendance. Perhaps the most fun was this robot that ejects multiple wiffle balls at one time. This one seemed to interest both kids and adults alike.

As a photographer, It’s always a little tricky with these kinds of festivals because most vendors don’t want you to take photos of their art, but I was able to steal a few photos of some the beautiful pottery of Peter Hamilton Ceramics, the wooden kitchen wares of White Forest Spoons, and this really cool receipt printer that prints out little poems!

For lunch, I came across one of my favorite food vendors at Atlanta Area Festivals, Ma’s Irish Kitchen. Potato wedges sautéed with vegetables and topped with a spicy ranch sauce! I had been thinking of these potatoes since having it for the first time at last year’s Candler Park Festival. So very good!

A new festival food caught my attention— a Czech treat called a chimney cake. Made right there on the spot, these little twirly dough, cinnamon bun-like pastries are cooked over smoking embers and then rolled in cinnamon sugar. Then you have the option of spreading the inside with Nutella, caramel, or strawberry or apple strudel before filling it with soft service ice cream. Yum!

The Decatur Arts Festival was the perfect festival to kick start the festival season! Despite the heat, I’m looking forward to getting out to all the festivals this summer and covering more of Atlanta’s summer activities for the outdoorsy, festival-going fans of OddKast!