Honoring our citizens
During the 1996 Olympics (hosted by Atlanta), Decatur played host to the delegation from Ireland. We had a coach stay most of 2 weeks in our home. To mark the event, Decatur modestly proclaimed itself Hometown to the World. After the event, many of the volunteers were recognized as Hometown Heroes. That tradition continued and now each year a group of citizens are honored as such for their work in making the community a better place in a variety of ways. We were very proud in 2005 when our daughter-in-law was named a Hometown Hero for her work with organizing assistance for the family of a man killed in a tragic and freak accident, the annual Christmas tree sale at the neighborhood school and other community services.
Christmas goings on
Every year in the weeks leading up to Christmas (November and December) the merchants in Decatur have "Terrific Thursdays." On Thursday evenings merchandise is discounted and most shops have wine and appetizers for the patrons. Cafe Alsace usually does complimentary and delicious Christmas cookies. Some shops have a simple spread and some more elaborate but you can certainly consume quite a bit wandering from shop to shop. Free buses run between the major shopping areas.
Also the first week end in December is the Christmas Tour of Homes. Eight or ten local residents open their homes for people to see. The homes range from the large and luxurious to the small and simple. An attempt is made to have a cross section represented. The moderate admission fee goes to the support of local charities.
Tour of Trees
A part of the annual Decatur Arts Festival is the "Tour of Trees" which are done by local volunteers. I say volunteers instead of artists because anyone can do it - my wife and I even did one a couple of years ago. The trees are auctioned off at the end of the festival or later at the BBQ & Bluegrass Festival and ours is still displayed at a local studio. Proceeds benefit the Decatur Arts Alliance. They are always unique, sometimes wierd, sometimes humorous, frequently beautiful.
Annual BBQ & Bluegrass Festival
Each year in August this festival is held with the proceeds benefitting the Decatur Preservation Alliance. The first few concerts were held at the Decatur Depot (train station). It has since moved to the Oakhurst community in Decatur. The old depot, which dates to Civil War times, had become unusable and the railroad finally agreed to give it to the city provided it would be moved 35 feet from the tracks. The Alliance raised money for this, a new roof and other renovations. After renovation was complete the city leased it to a Cajun/Creole restaurant, The Depeaux (the name is a bit cutsey isn't it?) This is one of many community festivals and events each year and is always a good time. Admission is $5 and you can also purchase beer, soft drinks, hot dogs and barbeque.
A Beach in Decatur
Each year in mid summer when it is usually sweltering there is a Beach Party in downtown Decatur. The main thoroughfare is closed and loads of sand are dumped on it. "Moon walk" jumping tents are erected, food (and beer) vendors set up and a bandstand is built for live music. It is really a fun event for the whole family, but has gotten almost too popular. In 2005 there was hardly a square foot of sand where there were no kids and the plaza was very crowded.
Decatur Arts Festival and Garden Tour
Each Memorial Day weekend we have the annual Arts Festival and Garden Tour. It is a really big and wonderful event . It features arts of all kinds around the city, a children's festival, concerts and a tour of gardens in the city. The square fills with booths for arts and crafts and the last report I saw said over 40,000 attended. The photo is of the poster for the 2004 Festival.
For more info you can go to the Decatur website: http://www.decatur-ga.com/
- Arts and Culture
Concerts on the Square
When we moved to Decatur 30 years ago the square was just a scruffy patch of grass with almost nothing going on. Now the square is a lively place most of the time. The photo is of one of the concerts held here every Sat night in May & September. They also have noon concerts every Wed in those months. Also, there are a lot of other events: Beach Party, Beer Fest, Arts Festival, July 4th Concert & Fireworks. As you can see they are very popular and enjoyable events. People bring snacks or full picnic dinners and just relax, listen and visit. For a full schedule of things, go to
This photo is my neighbor across the street. Even if you don't agree with his choice of candidates, it is great to see people interested and involved in the election of our leaders. I am not sure you can read it, but between the red signs on the left of the photo is a blue sign which reads "War Is Not The Answer." These were all over Decatur before and at the outset of the US invasion of Iraq. We tend to be more liberal than most Georgians and were proud when, before the invasion, an Atlanta newspaper columnist opined that we shoud go to war regardless of the opinions of Germany, France and Decatur! I take it as a mark of distinction.
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