Decatur Lantern ‘Parade-In-Place’ Lights Up The Town While Maintaining Social Distance

The Decatur Lantern “Parade-in-place” festival will last from May 8 to 10, starting at sundown.

Courtesy of Chantelle Rytter

Chantelle Rytter believes that we have a common calling to “de-light” one another.

In 2010, she created the Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade, which has attracted over 70,000 spectators and participants. She joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom to discuss this weekend’s “Decatur Lantern Parade-in-Place.

Participants are asked to create lanterns from the kits sold at Kelly’s Market or to make their own at home. Then, use those lanterns to decorate the front door, porch, or yard. A tutorial on how to make a lantern can be found online.

People are being encouraged to play music from parade bands who have participated in the past, such as Black Sheep Ensemble and Wasted Potential Brass Band, during the event on Friday, May 8.

“The lantern parades to me is collective joy,” Rytter said.

The show will begin on Friday at sundown and will last until May 10. The event organizers are asking participants to post a photo on social media with the hashtag #paradeinplacedecatur by Saturday, May 9. The prize includes a visit to your yard by giant lantern puppet Rex Kitty on Sunday.

There are future “Parade-in-Place” lantern festivals in the works for surrounding neighborhoods, such as Sandy Springs.