Brighten Up Broad Street returns to South Downtown tonight

The neighborhood initiative aims to ‘build a better block for downtown’


  • John Ramspott/CL File
  • Come one, come all, to one of Atlanta’s coolest streets

On many weekdays, historic and beautiful Broad Street is devoid of people.

But tonight, the street will transform itself for the second annual family-friendly block party, Brighten Up Broad Street. Hosted by the Atlanta Downtown Neighborhood Association in partnership with Central Atlanta Progress, the event is expected to draw between 300 and 400 attendees to the historic block from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

According to ADNA Vice President Kyle Kessler, the neighborhood initiative aims to “build a better block for downtown.”

“We had artists, musicians, and performers at last year’s event, and they helped lay the groundwork for what’s happened on South Broad the past twelve months,” he tells CL.

Since then, the neighborhood has forged partnerships with many arts organizations such as C4 Atlanta, the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs, and Eyedrum to bring attention to Broad Street’s rich history and potential, Kessler says. This summer, two artists transformed a vacant space on the street over three weeks for Dashboard Co-Op’s “No Vacancy” exhibition.

Partygoers can enjoy everything from all-American burgers to savory waffle cones at the Streatery and the Good Food Truck while admiring the work of artists such as Mike Stansy and JiMi FliX. The South Downtown event is also conveniently located between the Five Points and Garnett MARTA rail stations. The MARTA shuttle carrying Atlanta Braves fans from Turner Field to the Five Points station following tonight’s game will pass the street party, giving them a chance to check out the event and decide if they want to drop by.

In addition to food and art installations, attendees can enjoy many other activities including sitting for caricatures by Team Artboy!, and checking out the historic Miller’s Rexall drugstore, which has operated on South Broad Street since 1965. According to the event’s fact-filled website, the shop is also “where Paul McCartney found the inspiration for his song and album titled ‘Run Devil Run.’”

Next month, Elevate, the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs’ public art commissioning program, is expected to bring another round of street performances and art installations to the area for the third consecutive year.