I grew up with a wonderful family that exposed me to many different things when I was young. Of course, I took for granted what they had exposed me to and even despised some of the events that they “dragged” us to. As a parent now I know why they felt the need to expose us to many different venues despite the whining my sister and I would do. They felt it was their duty to show us as much as they could of the world around us. To provide us with experiences so we could learn to appreciate the beauty all around us.
One of those “adventures” that my parents used to take my sister and me on was to cemeteries. I was never really into this as a child and I find it quite funny, now that I am older, that I actually like them. I recall many times when we would pull over to the side of the road and walk through small cemeteries doing rubbings and admiring tombstones. I even remember going to some for Easter egg hunts and even having picnics. Our adventures did not consist of frolicking around the grounds of the deceased being disrespectful but rather our parents were teaching us to respect and admire the beauty found in such places. To remember those that are buried through their stories and trying to keep their tombstones looking nice.
Back before cities built public parks, people would bring a picnic basket and some musical instruments (and maybe a few adult libations) to the local cemetery and revere the dead by celebrating life in what was often one of the only patches of public space in town. Sunday in the Park at Oakland Cemetery, now in its 41st year, hails from this tradition. On September 29 from 12 to 6, explore how the Cemetery, surrounding neighborhoods, and the city have changed over time and celebrate the local communities that make Oakland what it is today.
Admission to Sunday in the Park is completely FREE. All donations received during the event will be put towards Historic Oakland Foundation’s mission to preserve, restore, enhance, and share Oakland Cemetery.
What is Sunday in the Park?
Sunday in the Park is Oakland Cemetery’s annual Fall festival that celebrates the history of Oakland—and Atlanta—and the Victorian tradition of spending a day of leisure in the Cemetery.
What kind of activities will be held?
- Living history performances are happening throughout the cemetery all afternoon
- Free tours will be leaving from the Out in the Rain Fountain every 15 minutes
- Author talks and book signings at the Visitor Center
- Performances by the Atlanta Opera
- Music at the Lion Square stage
- Historical Costume Contest at Lion Square Stage
- Performance by Big Bethel Heaven Bound Choir
- The Children’s Zone at Lion Square
- The Artists Market at North Public Grounds
- Food trucks at Lion Square
- Pop-up performers and buskers around the cemetery
- More than twenty mausolea are open for the public to see
Check out some iamges from previous events below.
If you are looking for a family friendly event, make plans to attend now. You can find out more here.