By the CPNO Board
One of the best things about our neighborhood is that it is home to a 55-acre park, one of the largest in the city. The park is a source of fun, recreation and relaxation. There are family gatherings, kickball games, and kids horsing around on see-saws -- typical park stuff.
Occasionally, the park’s size and beauty draws larger activities: school field days, Easter egg hunts, movie nights, and 5K road races. And then there are the festivals.
Ask Candler Park residents about the festivals and you’ll hear different things. Some appreciate living in an area where large events are within walking distance. Others view festivals as disruptive and noisy. Still others like the festivals, but have specific concerns (parking, sanitation, etc).
In recent years, there have been three annual festivals hosted in Candler Park:
Sweetwater 420 Fest – mid-April, produced by Sweetwater Brewery
Midsummer Music Festival – mid-June, produced by 790 the Zone
Candler Park Fall Fest – mid-October, produced by Candler Park Neighborhood Organization (CPNO)
Festivals are organized by private groups, and are approved and governed by the City of Atlanta. CPNO does not own or administer the park, or manage external groups that host events there.
The festival process includes a series of steps:
The festival organizer submits an application to the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Special Events no later than 90 days prior to the event.
Event organizers may choose to come to our CPNO meeting to share their plans and hear our input. (While not required by the City, the NPU recommends this.)
The CPNO votes on whether to support the event; that recommendation is passed on to the Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU-N), made up of a group of nearby neighborhoods.
The festival organizer is required to present plans at an NPU meeting, and the NPU votes on whether to recommend the festival permit be approved.
That vote is passed on to the City, which decides whether to issue the permit. The City sometimes issues permits that the neighborhood and / or NPU has not voted to support.
CPNO aims to represent the neighborhood’s interests to both festival producers and the City. To that end, we ask that neighbors attend membership meetings, during which events are discussed and voted on. At times we ask the organizers for changes, and frequently they comply.
In recent months, the membership has voted overwhelmingly to support the festivals we considered. (Sweetwater -- 19 in favor, 2 opposed; Midsummer -- 22 in favor, 3 opposed)
Going forward, we ask that neighbors do several things:
If you feel strongly about an upcoming festival, positively or otherwise, come to the CPNO membership meeting to discuss, raise any concerns and vote.
If there are problems during a festival, contact:
Share your thoughts at a CPNO meeting after a festival about what worked and what didn’t, so we can request changes and improvements for future festivals.
We welcome your input and ideas, and look forward to working with neighbors, festival organizers and the City to make sure events in our park are positive and enjoyable.