Reynoldstown Wheelbarrow Festival
Reynoldstown is a historic district and neighborhood on the near east side of Atlanta, Georgia. It celebrates its historic tie to freed slave roots and artistic expressions to empower residents with its annual Wheelbarrow Festival.
This website was created to promote and celebrate the Reynoldstown Wheelbarrow Festival. At some point after 2013 this site's domain registration expired and wheelbarrowfestival.com disappeared from the web. I have attended the festival several times and was surprised and disappointed when I could find this site. Recently I discovered that the domain was available. I bought it with the goal of recreating the site from its archived pages to give visitors a feel for what the festival is like. This page is reconstructed from Reynoldstown's 2009 Wheelbarrow Festival information. The photographs were taken by Josh Weiss. This is such a special event that has brought joy to so many people. Follow the present day festival information at twitter.com/wheelbarrowfest.
I won't be attending this year. Instead I am off to visit the Hawaiian Islands. I have poured over lots of Hawaiian Island condo rentals to find the perfect rental in Maui. I will be spending at least a month on this smaller Hawaiian island. Condo rentals seem the way to go on this tropical island. The management company who is handling my rental was so helpful. I learned about several festivals that will be occurring when I am there. I was thrilled to learn that I will actually be in Maui during their Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival that honors an art form that originated in Hawaii almost two centuries ago. There will be performances by more than a dozen masters of a musical style that has given Hawaii culture a distinctive voice. And I am also planning on attending the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival later in the same month. The Food Festival is Hawaii’s most notable culinary event, replete with internationally-renowned winemakers, legendary sommeliers, and top chefs. So although I won't be enjoying the music and street parade this year in Reynoldstown, I will be experiencing other festivals unique to the island of Maui that offer music and food of a different kind.
Several years ago if friends and family knew I would be attending a wine festival they would have become concerned and even distressed. I use to have a drinking problem, but since I started the LifeBac program a year ago I have changed my relationship with alcohol. I had looked at other options like rehab or AA, but their rigid adherence to total abstinence and their belief that alcoholism is a disease while assuming that certain people are innately prone to alcoholism just didn't work for me. LifeBac offers meds to stop drinking if that is what you want, but the two medications they prescribe, Baclofen and Naltrexone are really anti craving meds. Naltrexone is a habit-breaking, FDA-approved medication that targets Alcohol Use Disorder by disabling the reward circuit associated with consuming alcohol. If you choose that med, LifeBac prescribes naltrexone with instructions to take a single dose about one to two hours before your first drink of the day. I chose baclofen where I was prescribed a low dose of baclofen at the beginning with it gradually increasing until an effective dose is reached. Users, such as myself, may drink normally. LifeBac follows-up to check for reductions in alcohol cravings and drinking. Baclofen has been the go-to treatment for AUD in France, and Australia for a while with good results which is why I chose it. A year plus later and I now choose when and how much I drink instead of the mindless consumption that I indulged in for years. It was pretty amazing. So I feel confident in attending the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival, as does my partner without fear of me spiraling out of control. Ah, but I digress.
Now for a stroll back to 2009.....
Back for the 14th time, the REYNOLDSTOWN WHEELBARROW FESTIVAL takes it to the streets this year. The 2009 Festival (this year's theme: "Take it to the Streets") offers the opportunity for neighbors and other city residents will have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of fun actives including a barbeque cook-off, an artist market, a parade, various musical performances on two stages, and a health fair.
The festival comes equipped with a parade, cook-off, artist market and musical performances by Beverly "Guitar" Watkins, Young Antiques, Smoky's Farmhouse Band and Little Country Giants, just to name a few. Though packed with fun, the event also deals with more pressing issues: All proceeds go to neighborhood public safety and revivification efforts.
Event Schedule and Parade
Event Hours 11:00 am -11:00 pm
Wheelbarrow Parade - 11am - 12noon @ Lang Carson CenterEvent Schedule and Parade
Parade Route - Beginning at Gibson, turns right on Kirkwood, right on Flat Shoals, Right on
Stovall, Left on Flat Shoals, Left on Walthall, Left on Wylie, Left on Flat Shoals
Health Fair - 11am - 2pm @ Lang Carson Center
Blues Stage - 11am - 11pm @ Corner od Gibson Street and Kirkwood
Gospel Stage - 6pm - 8pm @ Lang Carson Center
The Blues and Rock Stage will be located at the corner of Gibson Street and Kirkwood Avenue. Assisting us this year with our fabulous lineup is the finest blue's bar in all of Atlanta, Blind Willie's!
Top-notch artists include Tommy Brown, Sweet Betty, House-Rocker Johnson, Sandra Hall, Beverly "Guitar" Watkins, Willie Hill, Deacon Bluz and the Holy Smoke Band,the Shadows and more. For you rockers, we have some great bands for you too!
11:30 - 12:00 - The Danny Family
12:10 -12:55 - Batata Doce
1:00 - 1:45 - Ice Caps
2:00 - 2:45 - Missile Command
3:00 - 4:45 - Tommy Brown, Sweet Betty & the Shadows
5:00 - 5:45 - Kahlee Star
6:00 - 7:45 - Chicago Bob, Sandra Hall & the Shadows
8:00 - 8:45 - Beverly “Guitar” Watkins
9:00 - 9:45 - Willie Hill
10:00 - 11:00 - Deacon Bluz & the Holy Smoke Band
Blind Willies: Blind Willie's has consistently been ranked one of the best blues Clubs in Atlanta since it opened in 1986 in the heart of the Virginia Highlands. The club was built up from scratch with the carpentry and painting support from local blues musicians. Today, find nightly national and regional acts, all in the spirit of the great musician Blind Willie McTell.
The Danny Family: Here is a recent quote from Frederick Noble of Creative Loafing about the Danny Family at the Second Day of the Second Occurence of the Last Anual Mullet Fest:
The Danny Family entertained the dining room, kicking off with a guest vocalist, the lovely and talented Patty Danny, doing a fine version of the national anthem. The band moved on into the country -- music, that is -- and honky-tonk sounds that were perfect background music for a plate of hangover helper huevos. In a joking reference to the headline act, the Family threw in a lazy country version of a chorus or two of Tag Team's Whoomp! There It Is."
Batata Doce: Based out of Reynoldstown, Batata Doce’s sound involves garage and psychedelic rock mixed with Brazilian rhythms held together with Portuguese songwriting.
Tommy Brown: Tommy Brown is more than a legendary blues singer; he is truly a legendary entertainer. From his classic blues recordings of the 1950's, including his 1956 Billboard #1 hit "Weepin & Cryin", to his coveted comedy records of the 1970's, Tommy Brown has been everywhere and done it all. And he's still doing it today! After 60+ years in show business, Tommy Brown is still recording and performing. He is a 'must see' act that can make you dance, sing, laugh, and cry all in one night.
The Shadows: Fabulous house band known best for their longtime residence at Blind Willie's, a popular blues club in Atlanta.
Beverly Guitar Watkins: Beverly "Guitar" Watkins is a fan of the low-down, hard-stompin', railroad-smokin' blues. Her feel- good sessions in the late 50s and early 60s may have ignited the spark that fueled the British Invasion. She'll tell you, "People are impressed to see a black woman play like a man." A guitar slinger from birth, she performs on the streets of Atlanta by blowing the crowds away with her unadulterated brand of blues.
Deacon Bluz: Dr. Clark White, PhD., better known to the Blues world as “Deacon Bluz”. Deacon has proven himself to be a true Blues lover, artist, educator, and, especially performer -- of traditional black music. Get ready to be entertained and impressed.
Sandra Hall: Sandra enjoys the blues and she loves for people to have a grand time. If you’re not having fun at her shows then you came to the wrong place. Sandra wants her audiences to know that she loves you and to “Let The Good Time Roll.”
More Background on the Reynoldstown Wheelbarrow Festival
Peachtree Press: The Reynoldstown Wheelbarrow Festival is a vibrant community event held annually in the historic neighborhood of Reynoldstown, Atlanta. This festival is not just a celebration but also a testament to the community's strong sense of camaraderie, history, and creativity. It takes place at Lang Carson Park, a hub for locals and visitors alike to enjoy a day filled with music, art, and activities that cater to all ages.
One of the key attractions of the festival is its focus on artistic expression. The event showcases local artists and artisans, providing them with a platform to display and sell their work. Attendees have the opportunity to engage with art in various forms, from viewing artwork designed by local talents like George Hanna to participating in interactive activities such as bracelet making and pot painting. The festival atmosphere is further enriched by live performances, including notable appearances by musicians like Beverly "Guitar" Watkins, whose performances add a lively soundtrack to the day's festivities.
Family-friendly activities are a cornerstone of the Wheelbarrow Festival, ensuring that there's something for everyone. Children can enjoy crafting, temporary tattoos, and playground adventures, making it a perfect setting for family outings. The inclusion of food trucks like Mixd-Up offers a taste of Atlanta's diverse culinary scene, ranging from local favorites to international flavors.
Beyond the fun and entertainment, the Reynoldstown Wheelbarrow Festival embodies the spirit and history of the neighborhood. Reynoldstown, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a community with deep roots, having been one of the first neighborhoods in Atlanta established by freed African-Americans post-Civil War. The festival, therefore, not only serves as a celebration of the present but also as a bridge to the past, honoring the neighborhood's rich heritage and the resilience of its community.
In summary, the Reynoldstown Wheelbarrow Festival is more than just an event; it's a celebration of culture, history, and community. It offers a unique blend of artistic expression, family fun, and community spirit, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the heart and soul of Reynoldstown. Whether you're a local resident or a visitor, the festival provides a welcoming atmosphere to enjoy the best of what this historic neighborhood has to offer.
Atlanta Talk: The Reynoldstown Wheelbarrow Festival is a significant community event managed by the Reynoldstown Civic Improvement League (RCIL), a key organization in the neighborhood's civic engagement and community improvement efforts. As a vibrant celebration of Reynoldstown's unique culture and history, the festival serves as RCIL's largest fundraiser, supporting various community projects, including the upkeep and beautification of Lang Carson Park and other neighborhood engagement and stewardship activities.
The festival, now a tradition for over two decades, includes a diverse array of activities such as music, yard games, food trucks, activities for kids, a tour of homes, and a lantern creation station. It also features Atlanta's only .5K road race, weaving through the historic streets of Reynoldstown. This event not only highlights the community's spirited engagement but also aligns with the Beltline Lantern Parade, offering residents and visitors a day filled with celebration and illumination on the Beltline Eastside Trail.
RCIL's dedication to fostering a strong community spirit and improving the neighborhood's quality of life is evident through their organization of the Wheelbarrow Festival. Their efforts ensure that the festival not only serves as a day of fun and entertainment but also as a means to support vital community projects and initiatives. For those interested in participating or learning more about the festival and RCIL's work, visiting their website and following their Facebook page for updates is recommended.
Spotlight ATL: The Reynoldstown Wheelbarrow Festival is celebrated for its engaging community spirit, diverse activities, and artistic expressions. This vibrant event, deeply rooted in the historical and eclectic neighborhood of Reynoldstown in Atlanta, attracts attendees with its unique blend of arts, music, food, and family-friendly activities. The festival showcases a variety of local talent, including artists, musicians, and performers, contributing to its popularity among both residents and visitors from surrounding areas.
The festival's ability to draw a crowd is evident through its diverse offerings, from live performances by artists like Beverly "Guitar" Watkins to interactive arts and crafts stations for attendees of all ages. The inclusion of food trucks, yard games, and a .5K race through the historic streets of Reynoldstown adds to the festival's appeal, making it a significant event in Atlanta's cultural calendar. The festival not only serves as a celebration of Reynoldstown's vibrant community but also as a crucial fundraiser for neighborhood projects, including the upkeep and beautification of Lang Carson Park.
The Reynoldstown Civic Improvement League (RCIL) plays a pivotal role in organizing the festival, reflecting the neighborhood's strong sense of community and civic engagement. The festival's return after a hiatus, as noted in Atlanta Magazine, underscores its importance to the community's cultural and social fabric. The event's popularity is further highlighted by its coverage on platforms like "Capture Life Through the Lens," where vivid photography captures the essence of the festival's lively atmosphere, diverse activities, and the joy of participants.
This blend of community engagement, cultural celebration, and support for local causes underscores the Reynoldstown Wheelbarrow Festival's popularity and its significance as a staple event in Atlanta's diverse array of neighborhood festivals.
We invite you to join with us and enjoy a day of entertainment and wholesome fun as we “TAKE IT TO THE STREETS”.