2018 Oakhurst Porchfest: Block Captain Sign-Ups Launch Today

Since we started the Oakhurst Porchfest in 2015, we’ve tried to cultivate a radically generous celebration of music and community self-run by the Oakhurst neighborhood. A day where neighbors, collectively and as individuals, take full ownership of their streets and extend an open invitation to whomever wants to drop by.

By most accounts, it’s been well received. But with success comes growing pains, particularly in terms of crowds. So this year, at the request of our friends at the Decatur Police, we’re instituting an extra layer of oversight: Block Captains.

Think of them as a neighborhood-wide battalion of hyperlocal overlords. Mayors of Good Vibes, helping to make each street’s experience more unique, accessible, and responsive to the inevitable challenges that come with an event of our size.

We’ve carved the neighborhood into 32 zones — streets or parts of streets where neighbors are likely to know each other. Each zone will become eligible to participate in Porchfest once a minimum of two resident Captains have established a local presence.

You can sign-up more than two and split the shifts as you wish but two’s the minimum. And keep in mind, serving as a Block Captain doesn’t preclude being a porch host. Many folks may choose to do both.

The job description is pretty simple, and consistent with a role many folks have already played informally in years past:

  • Coordinate in advance with your fellow Block Captain(s); establish shifts;
  • Encourage neighbor-initiated efforts like decorating, traffic management, etc;
  • Help clear crowd obstructions and/or temporarily direct traffic as necessary during the event;
  • Make sure performances don’t occur outside their assigned time or exceed allowable volumes;
  • Keep booze access in check;
  • Serve as a point person for Decatur Police.

Ready to help take Porchfest to the next level? Then start talking with your neighbors and get a crew together. Sign-ups are now live so find your zone and register today. Any zone that signs up becomes eligible to participate in this year’s event.

Everything you need can be found here.

Mead Road Mardi Gras Will Be Here Before We Know It!

Decatur’s Mead Road Mardi Gras is earlier than ever this year!  From the event’s website

Mead Rd. Mardi Gras is a homegrown fundraiser in Decatur, Georgia.

Get your friends together, create a Krewe, and join us on February 10th, 2018 at 1pm to celebrate Mardi Gras and raise money for the Decatur Education Foundation.

The parade winds its way through the Oakhurst Neighborhood and culminates with live music, Cajun cuisine, and kids activities at The Imperial.

All proceeds from Krewe sign up fees, Sponsorhips, and food and drink sales at The Imperial will fund Decatur Education Foundation grants that support music and arts in our schools.

Sign up HERE!

Photo courtesy of Mead Road Mardi Gras Website

Decatur Book Festival Program Director To Become Interim Executive Director

From the DBF…

The AJC Decatur Book Festival (DBF) Board has named Julie Wilson as the AJC Decatur Book Festival Interim Executive Director for 2018. Wilson has served as Program Director since 2015, where she managed the selection of more than 300 authors annually and worked hand-in-hand with outgoing Executive Director Daren Wang. Wilson will begin her official duties January 1, 2018, but she is already working with Wang, the DBF staff and the DBF board to assure a smooth transition.

“We are thrilled that someone of Julie’s caliber and expertise is stepping into this role,” said DBF Board Chair James Diedrick. “She has been an exceptional Program Director, and we believe she has the capacity to build a professional organization and cohesive team primed to identify new partnerships and programs, while maintaining the commitment to providing a diverse, engaging lineup of authors.”

Wilson said she is eager to step into her new role and is prepared for responsibility and opportunities.

“I’ve spent the past three years working closely with the staff, volunteers and the board, helping produce a successful festival each year. I’m excited to pair that knowledge with my background in non-profit and agency marketing to lead the festival in 2018. I have experience in the overall management of the festival, including managing million-dollar budgets, compiling and presiding over critical committees, coordinating logistics, and managing ‘on-the-fly’ problem solving.

“Most importantly,” Wilson continued, “I’m passionate about the festival, Decatur, and learning new things. I’m curious by nature, so I hope to channel that innate desire to discover new things as a guiding notion to develop new ideas for the festival.”

Wilson has a B.A. in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has been a consultant to non-profit organizations, a manager of Customer Experience and Integration at the American Cancer Society, and a Manager of Research and Knowledge Services at Ketchum Public Relations. She is a Decatur resident and has served in a number of volunteer roles within the community for organizations such as Westchester Elementary School, Decatur Education Foundation, Eastside Church, and Meals on Wheels.

DeKalb Hazardous Waste Recycling This Saturday

The DeKalb County Sanitation Division is hosting its biannual household hazardous waste recycling event this Saturday, Oct. 21 from 8 a.m. – noon, at the Sanitation Division’s Central Transfer Station, 3720 Leroy Scott Drive in Decatur.

If you’re a DeKalb County resident, dead on over and recycle aerosols, batteries, adhesives, flammables, lawn care products, fluorescent light bulbs, photo chemicals, artist supplies, paint and paint-related products!

However, don’t try to recycle s agricultural waste, ammunition, pharmaceuticals, radioactive materials, and biohazardous and biomedical waste.  Those items won’t be accepted.

Photo courtesy of DeKalb Sanitation 

Free Advertising Thread for Porchfest Artists, Porch Hosts and Food Purveyors

Many Oakhurst Porchfest porch hosts have already put chalk to sidewalk or ink to signage to promote their band for this coming Saturday’s event. Y’all rule.

But we on the Porchfest organizing committee are a 21st century crowd – for better or worse – and so we also respect the sheer power of the interwebs to get the word out.

This is where DM can help out.

So porch hosts, bands, artists and food flingers with associated deals for Saturday’s event: use this thread to promote yourself. Tell your fellow neighbors where you’ll be and what you’ll be offering, so they can be sure to stop by.

Oakhurst Porchfest: What You Need to Know

Oakhurst Porchfest is just two days away!

Time to get organized, if that’s your cup o’ tea.  Here are a few essential things to know to navigate the 220(!) musical acts around the neighborhood over 7 hours this Saturday.

Where/When: All OVER the Decatur neighborhood of Oakhurst on Saturday, October 14 from 12p-7p.  For all the iterations of the 2017 Porchfest map and schedule, CLICK HERE.

How do I get there?:  Walking, Biking, Uber/Lyfting or taking MARTA.  All great ideas!  If you’re still planning to drive your own automobile, that’s ok, but you may want to check out our GUIDE to help you navigate the event and spots to park.

Where do I eat? For a full list of restaurants in Oakhurst, CLICK HERE.  If you want to fully experience the do-it-yourself, bootstraps mentality of the giant neighborhood event, you’ll also find refreshments available from porch hosts and neighbors.  Protip: Many of the neighborhood options are notated in the Porchfest Google Map!

Restrooms: I’m just going to quote the Porchfest website for this one: “Restroom facilities at Porchfest are available three ways: Port-a-Johns in key locations around the neighborhood; participating churches; and neighborhood businesses, who have restrooms available for patrons. Check our event program or online map for specific locations. And please take note: Residential porch hosts are not expected to provide restrooms, so don’t ask.”

What to bring: Not a lot.  Sunscreen is probably a good idea.

The Poster: Have you seen our sweet, sweet poster, courtesy of Methane Studios, yet?  Do you want one?  They are for purchase from the Decatur Arts Alliance located at the Decatur Visitors Center.  $20 a pop.  Proceeds benefit next year’s Porchfest.  More info HERE.

The Spotify Playlist: If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, our SPOTIFY PLAYLIST provides you with hours of music from over 30 Porchfest  musicians!

Hey, is that really everything?!: Eh. Probably not.  But we can almost guarantee if you still have unanswered questions, you can probably find the answer over on the Oakhurst Porchfest website.

Happy ‘Festing!  We’ll see you out there.

Madison Avenue Soapbox Derby This Saturday!

This Saturday is one of the great annual events in Decatur – the Madison Avenue Soapbox Derby!  All proceeds of this year’s Derby benefit Decatur Robotics. Raul sends along the details…

Come join us on October 7th to watch Decatur’s best community-led spectator sporting event!

Come see over 90 races take their turn down the hill in homemade soapbox derby cars.

Great food from Oakhurst Market, Steinbeck’s, Universal Joint, Matador, Steel City Pops and our neighborhood Bake Sale.

Beverage tent sponsored by The Faction, Red Hare Brewing, Three Taverns, Decatur Package & Publix.

For the full schedule go to http://madisonavesoapboxderby.org/schedule/

See you on Saturday!