Good Day Atlanta viewer information: April 21, 2022
ATLANTA - History shines bright at after-hours Oakland Cemetery event: "It’s a botanical garden, it’s a sculpture garden, it’s a national historic site."
"It’s a botanical garden, it’s a sculpture garden, it’s a national historic site."
Those are just a few of the ways Historic Oakland Foundation executive director Richard Harker describes Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery. And starting tonight, visitors will get a rare chance to visit the property after-hours, thanks to a unique event that literally shines a light on some fascinating stories held within the cemetery’s walls.
Illumine returns to Oakland Cemetery from April 21st through May 1st, once again using innovative displays and technology to spotlight headstones and mausoleums and even flowers and trees. The goal is to shed light — in a literal and figurative way — on some fascinating permanent residents and to showcase how they helped shape the Atlanta of today.
"There’s 70,000 people here," Harker told us during a previous visit to the event. "70,000 stories that we wanted to be able to shine the light on."
This is the first time since 2019 that the cemetery has hosted Illumine; the event was postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic. This year, designers say the goal is to specifically highlight Black history, taking visitors through the historic African American Burial Grounds and the newly restored 1908 Women’s Comfort Station.
"Whether you’ve been here 15 times and want to see the cemetery in a new way, or whether you thought, ‘I don’t know if cemeteries are my thing,’ we want to find ways to connect people to this place," said Harker.
Tickets are on-sale now for this year’s event and cost $20 in advance and $25 at the gate for adults and $15 in advance and $20 at the gate for students, children, and seniors. For dates and more information on this year’s event, click here. And for a first look at the amazing artistry of Illumine, click the video player in this article.
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