Source: Pullen Library, Georgia State University
Drawing nearly a half a million people to Atlanta’s Martin Luther King/Sweet Auburn Historical District over three days each year in May, the Sweet Auburn Springfest officially kicks off Atlanta’s big summer festival season. Local business leaders, entertainers, artists, civil rights advocates and community activists are set to help emphasize and recognize historical African-American culture and commerce during this year’s “grandest festival of the year on the greatest street on the planet.” The gathering is held to assist in celebrating Atlanta’s ethnic historicity, thereby, remembering yesteryear’s thriving Auburn Avenue.
In the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, successful African-American-owned businesses and entertainment venues led to Fortune magazine describing Auburn Avenue as the riches “Negro” street in the world. It was on Auburn Avenue that many African-American Businesses and Institutions were born. America’s first Black owned Radio Station, WERD, First Daily Published newspaper, the Atlanta Daily World, Citizens Trust Bank, Atlanta Life Insurance Company, the Butler Street Y, Prince Hall Mason and many others. In addition, Auburn Avenue was the center of the Civil Rights Movement home to Dr. Kings SCLC. Ebenezer Baptist Church, Wheat Street Baptist Church, Big Bethel AME and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, provided the foundation and leadership for social, civic and political change.
The annual event has something for everybody of any age. Featured exhibits and events include Active Seniors Pavilion, Artist & Crafts Market, Business & Tech Expo, Car & Bike Show, Dream Home Expo, Health & Fitness Fair, Fashion Shows, Film & Literary Fest, Hopeday Theater, International Vendors Market, Just For Women Expo, Karaoke – Be A Star, Kids Fantastic Fun Zone, Live Green Pavilion, and So You Think You Can Step Competition.
In addition, proud of the tradition of providing opportunities for a wide variety artist representing diverse genres, the Sweet Auburn Festival will feature some of the nation’s hottest new talent on eight stages of continual entertainment. Artist who honed their skills performing at past festivals include, Usher, OutKast, India Irie and Raven Symone. The festival producers are proud of the tradition of providing opportunities for a wide variety artist representing diverse genres
The Sweet Auburn Springfest is produced by the Spirit of Sweet Auburn for the purpose of supporting the business development, branding and marketing of the district. Two major projects include transforming the Auburn Avenue viaduct into an outdoor international music café and arts and craft market. The massive wall that spans the viaduct will become a mural with electronic displays telling the Sweet Auburn story.The second mission is to establish Auburn Avenue as the Beale Street, Bourdon Street, Church Street Station of Atlanta. The preferred destination for both tourist and residents.
Visit the Sweet Auburn Springfest’s official website for additional information.
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