Sunday, May 9, 2010


The 1st Annual Dunwoody Arts Festival is over, and I was very impressed. I remember back in 1996 when Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympics. Everyone talked of how bad traffic would be - yet traffic was lighter during the Olympics than a normal day. Same goes for Dunwoody this weekend. I thought for sure there would be major traffic jams - and there were none that I saw. I have no idea if the shuttle was a success or how many people used it.

I have no idea how many people attended the festival. I'm sure the Dunwoody Crier will have a full recap this week.  Next year they should put up one of those time-lapse cameras at each end of the festival and record the event (one on the FarmHouse upper porch, and one mounted on the roof of Mellow Mushroom)

First, the art. I'm no expert in art, but I can appreciate unique and beautiful art when I see it. Nearly every vendor I visited had really neat stuff. No imported junk novelty stuff, but rather quality art by artists from across the Southeast. I even saw a couple Dunwoody artists. It seemed as many vendors (artists) were from N GA, NC, SC, and FL. I bought a few items, and wish I would have gone back late Sunday and picked up a couple things I passed on the first time around. Friends of mine bought stuff.

There was a guy selling wine stuff (bottle holders, bottle toppers, etc). The guy said he sold out on Saturday, and brought in new stock for Sunday. Most vendors I spoke with were very impressed with the traffic, the sales, and the organization of the event. I'm sure a few folks were not happy with their booth spot and let the organizer know, but the feedback I got was that most vendors were very pleased. I'm told that most of these same artists will be in Norcross in October.

Local Businesses (mixed results)
I was told the Dunwoody Tavern was busy Saturday, as was Mellow Mushroom. Smoothie King was very busy Saturday (my daughters and friends went inside and purchased Smoothies from Smoothie King, not the Smoothie vendor set up right outside their door (that's one thing that should be changed for next year). I did not speak with anyone at Hickory House (Put Some South in Your Mouth). I know things were slow at CVS and Walgreens, as well as the hardware store. I saw people visiting the kids clothing store over beside the former Dunwoody Bottle Shop. The Purple Hippo art folks ran out of the sand necklace things (my one daughter was disappointed, but so it goes). Purple Hippo had a few tables set up and looked busy today. Hopefully they can get some of those kids in for future art stuff. Closing off a major stretch of road surely hurt some local businesses this weekend, but I think others did more business due to the festival.

Getting There
Took my first bike ride ever in Dunwoody. Pretty scary with a 7 & 10 year old. Spalding over to Chamblee Dunwoody Road (no sidewalks) was a mistake. Next time we'll push the bikes on that stretch. A few cars whizzed by, not happy to 'share the road'. Can't blame them much. Spalding is narrow and not a good place to walk/jog/bike. Once we hit the sidewalk close to Redfield things went well. Next year I think the festival needs to have more bike racks, and have them at the gateways to the festival (not hidden over by Walgreens or where ever they were). We did find a small rack and put it to use (my bike is the taller one, with the bottle of vodka water).

Kid Zone
Packed! A huge line for the bungee jumping thing. They could have had four of those units and still had a line.  $7 a kid and no shortage of customers.  The always popular bouncy things, face painting, hair styles.  Long lines tell me this area needs expanded some how.  Not sure if that area is a money-maker or not, but it does allow for Mom to shop while Dad hangs out with kids here.  I'm sure the Purple Hippo people and the Cutie Pie store folks liked having the Kid Zone where it was.

Glitter Tattoos
If you're going to allow your kid to get  a tattoo, I guess a temporary glitter tattoo is the way to go.  I remember the crappy tattoo things I'd get inside a Cracker Jacks box.

Lots of choices of tattoos.  Take a look at image below and see the option on right side (look by the red arrow).  I saw a few older people sporting that option.
The tattoo person told me the FarmHouse tattoo was 'installed' on about twenty people.

Police and Medics
I saw no emergencies nor rowdy people.  Everyone was civil, even though it was crowded.  Plenty of Dunwoody policemen on hand.  I did see a couple of paramedics cruising around on bikes.  Perhaps the city could hire them for the fire station on Roberts.

I did not eat any of the food from the vendors set up between Walgreens and Starbucks.  Some was tempting, but I ate at Mellow Mushroom Saturday night and ate lunch at home before heading down on Sunday.  Seems like a good variety.  In addition to the Smoothies, my one kid got a snow cone.  She said they were out of most flavors late Saturday and she had to settle for Birthday Cake flavored (not sure what that was like, but she consumed it all).  I'm sure some people ate at Hickory House. Next year Hickory House should set up a big smoker out front.

The FarmHouse
 I just had to tour Dunwoody's shrine, the FarmHouse.  Aside from my sneak peak at the basement a few weeks ago, Ive never been in the FarmHouse.  That FarmHouse is a nice building.  I have no idea on how it looked prior to the remodel, but currently it's nice (no parking for visitors, but a nice structure).

Looks like they added bathrooms and a new industrial kitchen.  Also saw a serving area.  I took a brief 15 minute nap in the upstairs bedroom, ate a couple desserts (carrot cake cheesecake and some chocolate thing), compliments of the Dunwoody Preservation Trust (thanks), played a few notes on the piano, then made a grilled cheese sandwich on the stove (thanks again, DPT).  No one seemed to mind me trying everything out.  I did clean up after myself (made the bed, washed the skillet, etc).

I listened to one group for a while, and they sounded great. They were playing some cover Rock stuff. Next year look for music to play a bigger role (and have a better spot, with a stage and more seating). I was just about ready to dance on the lawn when, out of the corner of my eye, I spied Sustainable Pattie.  I know she carries one of those Flip Video deals and I did not want to have video of me on her blog.  Councilman Heneghan was in attendance, and I'm sure most (if not all) were there some time.