Kirkwood considers bringing back scaled-down Spring FlingMelissa O' Shields, of Avondale Estates, dances to the live music at the 17th annual Kirkwood Spring Fling in Kirkwood, Georgia on May 18, 2019. The day started with a 5K run and continued with an artists market, live music, local food vendors, a BBQ competition and a kids area. Photo by Rebecca Breyer
This story has been updated.
By Patrick Saunders, contributor
Atlanta, GA — A recent easing of COVID-19 restrictions on certain events in Atlanta has opened the door for the possible return of the popular Kirkwood Spring Fling.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an executive order last month allowing outdoor events with under 2,000 people after May 15. Bottoms banned any public gathering with over 50 people last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, causing the cancellation of the 2020 Spring Fling.
The Kirkwood Neighbors Organization voted unanimously in support of seeking a festival permit for a scaled-down Spring Fling at its monthly meeting on Saturday.
“We’re in a position now where we can consider whether it makes sense to hold some form of a festival this year,” said Spring Fling Committee Chair Andrew Feury.
Among the changes proposed, the event would have a reduced footprint, distanced seating and increased sanitation requirements. There would be no kids’ area, no Tour of Homes, no BBQ competition and no alcohol sales. And the popular 5K would be limited to less than 600 runners.
“I think the smaller-scale festivals, there’s definitely a way that this can be done safely,” Feury said.
The ban on alcohol sales is part of Bottoms’ executive order. But KNO officials will consider allowing food trucks to sell alcohol, which they’ve restricted in past years because it cut into festival profits.
KNO would also limit marketing for the event this year to focus on Kirkwood, Edgewood and East Lake.
“This year is definitely not the year to target a big crowd,” Feury said.
The date for the event is unclear, and it might not occur in the spring.
After Saturday’s vote in support of seeking a festival permit, Neighborhood Planning Unit O will take an official vote on the matter at a future meeting.
KNO also voted unanimously in support of a $37,900 budget. That’s over a 35 percent reduction from the $59,500 budget for the 2019 event. KNO hopes to generate a $15,800 profit for this year’s event.
“If we’re going to do it, it has to turn a profit,” Feury said.
A second and final vote on the budget will take place at KNO’s next meeting in May.
In other news from Saturday’s KNO meeting, the group voted in favor of a one-to-one dollar match up to $499 for a grant to repair the Urban Treehouse in Bessie Branham Park.
“The structure is in need of a lot of repairs,” said KNO Secretary Megan Owens.
And KNO has $24,000 in its checking account and $105,000 in its savings account, according to Treasurer Yvonne Taylor-Cherry.
“We’ve got some significant donations recently and some significant invoices, but we’re sticking to a normal balance and sticking to the budget that’s been planned,” she said.
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