Monday, October 29, 2012

The 2012 Little Five Points Halloween Parade & Festival

A Photographic Essay About Atlanta's Largest Halloween Hootenanny 

For the last couple of years in Atlanta, there's been this thing called the "Little Five Points Halloween Parade & Festival." For those of you unfamiliar with Atlanta's geography, Little Five Points is the self-professed "Bohemian Mecca" (read: where all the white people hang out) of the city, and since quasi-urbanite Caucasians just love them some All Hallows Eve, I guess it's not really a surprise that the metro area's largest annual Halloween parade just so happens to run right down the L5P district.

Prior to this year, I've never been to the shindig, but I have to say that I've been interested in seeing what the hubbub was all about with my own two peepers for quite awhile now. All in all, I'd say my experiences were pretty enjoyable...although, in hindsight, I REALLY wish someone would've given me a survival guide for this kind of thing (and wouldn't you know it, I've actually outlined one at the tail end of the article, so after you've scrolled through all of these pictures, you'll know how to navigate the soiree come 2013.)

First off, you're going to encounter a LOT of freakishly tall puppet things when you arrive. If that's the kind of thing you have an aversion to, you might want to make alternate plans for your weekend. 

As far as the demographics go, you'll encounter a pretty eclectic cast of characters, including, but not limited to: tuba-playing zombies, tuba-playing gladiators and Batman, apparently having just eaten Robin. 

Oh, and jolly old Saint Nick made an appearance as well. And pity a plenty for the poor bastard having to wear all of that regalia when it was damn near 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside, too. 

It's vital that you learn the local language prior to your visit. From what I observed, the native tongue consists solely of permutations of "WOOO!", which, depending on the speaker's pitch, modulation and tone, fluctuates in meaning and intent. 

It wouldn't be Halloween without werewolves or overweight white folks making fools out of themselves. Thankfully, this fella' here was able to kill two proverbial birds with one metaphorical stone. 

For some reason, there was a lot of 1950s nostalgia present, which is peculiar, since I don't even think the Soviet Union was still around at the time half of the attendees were born. 

Esoteric costumes are all the rage in 2013. See the pasty chrome-dome in the center of the picture? Despite the grim reaper white face paint, he was actually a facsimile of Gandhi. 

Good to see that "undead librarian" fetish isn't going unsupported this year, no?

"Reps" from the High Museum were on display, rocking green Katy Perry wigs and batting around inflatable beach balls. Andy Warhol would most likely approve. Or kill himself on the spot. I have a hard time determining, really. 

Hey, it's Frankenstein! Or is it Mr. Hyde? Or just some Georgia State professor dressed up like a clod?

I was AGHAST (really, more like AGOG) at the number of 20-something males walking around the place dressed up like bananas. Seriously, there were entire gangs of roaming fruit, like it was the Saturday morning cartoon version of "The Warriors" or something. 


There's only one thing in this world more perplexing to me than a 19-year-old revealing in the idealized fantasy of 1970s youth culture...

...and that's Jason V. hitching a ride in the back of a pick-up with what appears to be a Spice Girls cover-band. 

As we all know: there ain't no party like a Kroger-sponsored party, because everybody knows Kroger-sponsored parties "don't stop."

The most abstruse tag-team of the day? In white, Boss Hogg from "The Dukes of Hazzard," and in dark green, Ho Chi Minh. I think they'll be challenging Horshach from "Welcome Back, Kotter" and Adolf Eichmann for the WWE title later on in the evening. 


Oh, and there we're scores of folks playing copyright-protected music on the back of flatbeds throughout the evening. And also, words of wisdom for aspiring photographers: try to aim your camera AWAY from that giant silver thing in the sky. 

Just how boss was this year's festival? So boss, that even soon-to-be ex-President Barack Obama made a guest appearance! 

As you can see, it was a pretty goofy affair, and one that would be markedly improved for you, dear reader, if you were to follow these key suggestions: 

RULE NUMBER ONE: Atlanta weather in October has been diagnosed as clinically bipolar, and as such, fluctuates from sweltering to bone-chilling at the drop of the hat. It's probably not a bad idea to bring a jacket with you, or else you may find yourself having to huddle next to really fat people to generate communal heat. 

RULE NUMBER TWO: I know I'm the first person in history to ever bring this up, but parking in Atlanta is downright HORRIBLE. If you plan on visiting the festival, be prepared to walk a LONG ways from L5P to the nearest parking garage. As in, almost two miles. Through the burned out husks of MARTA stations and funeral homes and everything. 

RULE NUMBER THREE: Really, the best thing you can do is show up to the thing ridiculously, insanely early. As in, about seven in the morning, where there is still scant local parking options to be found. 

RULE NUMBER FOUR: There are going to be a LOT of people around you, and most of them reek of American Spirit cigarettes or unwashed armpits. If either odors offend you, I'd suggest building up a tolerance for them starting in November.

Sights and sounds from the 2012 L5P Parade, in MOVING PICTURES! 


There are quite a few reasons to make the pilgrimage to L5P at least once in your lifetime, and as far as I am concerned, there isn't a better excuse in the world than Little Five Points Pizza

Atlanta may not be known as a "pizza town," but there's no denying that there are some outstanding pizza places in the perimeter. Little Five Points Pizza is probably one of the absolute best in the metro area, and is home to what may very well be the absolute best white pizza I've ever had - a proprietary pie loaded with a ricotta sauce that is so yummy, that it totally justifies having to suck in all of the second hand carcinogens being spewed your way thanks to the super-thoughtful tattooed people sitting at the adjacent table.  

And if you're wondering what this colorful goulash of graffiti is, it's actually what the restaurant's men's bathroom looks like. Next to the CDC, I think it may very well be the largest repository of germs, viruses and diseases in the ATL. But, uh, the clerks wash their hands regularly...I think.

And lastly, I don't think the guys were all that prepared for the massive influx of customers, which I guess partially explains how I ended up walking away with not just one, but TWO Sacagawea dollars at the change table. But as we all know...good luck finding a local retailer that accepts them as legit currency, though. 

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