Oakland Cemetery – Sunday in the Park

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Sunday in the Park, billed as a Victorian Festival, is an annual fundraiser of sorts for Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta’s “garden cemetery,” begun in 1850. 

Rather than a maudlin affair, the day includes guided walking tours (offered during most of the year), live music, food trucks, Victorian costume contests, children’s play area, and several crafts vendors.

With that type of variety, it’s not just tombstones to photograph.  I didn’t come for any of that in particular, but mostly to get out of the house on a beautiful day, further enabled by my photography group. 

But, let’s start with the dead.  We’ve got Confederate dead (in a segregated section), Union dead (in a segregated section), Jewish dead (in a segregated section), African American dead (in a segregated section), and the Christian or otherwise dead, who may as well be considered in the remaining segregated section.

Why a fundraiser?  The place is old.  Some plots are perfectly maintained, and some sidewalks have been fully restored.  In other places... careful where you step or you might take a tumble.


The above is actually average for the site.  Nice walkway, but other signs of decay.  As for the gardens concept, there’s much work to be done.  The emphasis seems to be placed on keeping the grass to avoid erosion.

Gravesites vary widely as well, from tiny, toppled markers for infants to sizeable mausoleums for families.


Many of the vaults are open, with surprising ornateness in materials and decoration.


Adventurous photographers may choose to enter a crypt and close the doors.  During the day, that is.


If there was any disappointment, it was that very few of the markers had personal information beyond names and dates.  I had hoped for more information about the deceased, but that takes money, I suppose.

Of those that I did find, my favorite quote was:

His life was an inspiration
His memory a benediction

Runner up was Proverbs 16:32:

He that is slow to anger is better than a hero;
and he that ruleth his spirit than he that conquers a city.

Did I mention the classic cars?  There were a variety of 1950’s era Cadillacs, and if there is a takeaway from that, it’s that all cars should have hood ornaments.  Seriously.


Below are a variety of other photos from the afternoon.  Some were intentionally serious “photographer” shots, others are just snapshots, and some tampered with on the computer.


As opposed to just corrected.  And some just make me scratch my head, like, “What kind of shoes did Victorian women wear?”


I don’t know that any are “obligatory.”  Oh, wait.  Here’s one.


And some make laugh.


That’s “funny” funny.  Below is stupid funny.  A restored Caddy with a trailer hitch?  Really?


Anyway, here’s the rest:

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