Third Annual Old Fourth Ward Fall Festival Sets Stage for 2017 Lantern Parade

Live local music, the best food trucks in town, a craft beer event featuring Atlanta breweries, a DIY lantern-making workshop, and special areas for kids and pets to play – all were a part of Old Fourth Ward Fall Fest, held Friday and Saturday, September 8 & 9 at Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark field. A crowd estimated at close to 13,000 – many of them evacuees from Hurricane Irma in Florida – attended the two-day festival.

The Old Fourth Ward Fall Festival footprint at Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark field.

This was the third year for Fall Fest, a free, family-oriented festival designed around the magic of the Lantern Parade which stepped off from the Irwin St. end of the Eastside Trail at 8:15 pm Saturday. Because of its location near the trail’s midpoint, Fall Fest’s grandstands offered an incredible view of the annual procession of brightly and colorfully lit lanterns. You can read more about this year’s Lantern Parade here.

The O4WFF fun got started Friday at 5:30 p.m. when Sidney Rhame took the music stage. Trash Panda and Family and Friends rounded out the night’s musical entertainment. New for this year: a ticketed craft beer event on Friday night featuring local Atlanta breweries that was very well attended.

Our Friday night headliner Family and Friends (above) played to a packed crowd.

Our ticketed craft beer event – new for O4WFF 2017 – was the place to be on Friday night.

Attendees were encouraged to bring kids and pets to Old Fourth Ward Fall Fest. At the Whole Paws Pet Zone, sponsored by Whole Foods Market, pets could play, swim or just hydrate, and Lifeline Animal Project held an adoption event. There were also areas where kids could get their faces painted or engage in a variety of games, sports and fitness activities.

Festival-goers stopping by the Whole Foods-sponsored Whole Paws Pet Zone…

…where Lifeline Animal Project had adoptable dogs available for folks to take home.

A variety of games and activities were available to keep the kids occupied.

A DIY lantern-making workshop was offered where $20 got you a 16” round lantern with support stick, LED lantern light and batteries, and access to a decorating tent with all the art supplies necessary to create a glowing lantern. Lanterns are required to march in the parade.

For $20 you got everything you needed to design an awesome lantern for the parade, and all the tools needed to put it together.

Reese (left) and Penny (right) from Coral Gables came to Atlanta to escape from Hurricane Irma. Their Poncey-Highland host Nathan brought them to O4WFF for the afternoon.

The Breeze Kings kicked off Saturday’s line-up of live, local music at 1:00 p.m. The Pussywillows, Electric Darling, I.R.E. and headliner Walden entertained the crowd until the Lantern Parade arrived around 8:45 p.m. As many festival-goers watched the river of colored lanterns stream down the Eastside Trail, others danced the night away in front of the music stage.

Saturday night headliner Walden kept the large crowd on the lawn entertained until the Lantern Parade arrived.

The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership thanks the following sponsors for their generous support of Old Fourth Ward Fall Fest 2017: Delta Air Lines, Strongbow Cider, Northwestern Mutual, Bai, Fontis Mountain Spring Water, Old Fourth Distillery, AJC/Living Northside and Living Intown, Whole Foods, Aster Apartments, and Good Measure Meals. The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership’s festival partner for the third year was Rival Entertainment. Presenting Sponsors of this year’s Lantern Parade are Cox Enterprises, Target and WellStar Atlanta Medical Center with additional support from Ponce City Market.

Scroll down to view a few of our favorite Lantern Parade shots. Our complete event photo album can be seen here

Thank you to everyone who came out to help make this year’s Old Fourth Ward Fall Festival such an amazing success! See you next year!


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