Question: Where could you find a massive human butterfly, a trash monarch, a precision attache case drill team and a marching band dressed in flamboyant, bright costumes – all in one place?
Answer: At the Inman Park Festival Parade in Atlanta, Georgia.
It’s called “the city’s funkiest and most eclectic spring parade” – and with good reason. The Inman Park festival on the last weekend of April, 2011 boasted an explosion of bold, colorful characters parading the streets in celebration. The parade route bridged two distinct neighborhoods; the urban chic Inman Park district and the gritty, eclectic Little Five Points area.
Floats, costumes, children, spectators, vendors, and artists filled the streets and the Seed & Feed Marching Abominables led the parade – a spritely (and seriously animated) group of roughly 50 talented musicians. The band’s bold arrangement, rich diversity of instruments, and elaborate explosion of colorful costumes put a smile on every man, woman and child’s face. The streets reverberated with an excitement unlike most festivals I’ve seen!
Despite the colorful opportunities however, my choice this year in making photographs for the festival highlights had to be in the realm of black and white. I believe black and white images tell a different kind of story; an Atlanta once identified by a subdued southern drawl, has in a couple of decades imbibed from its population copious amounts of culture and diversity. And now Atlanta streets, once a reflection of that reserved southern town, is quite capable of jumping into impromptu dress rehearsals. She can transform from unassuming to untamed faster than a cabaret queen. Take it from a native Atlantan – that’s quite a change.