“Real Good for Free” Sidewalk Saturdays in Decatur

I was standing on a noisy corner

Waiting for the walking green

Across the street he stood

And he played real good

On his clarinet, for free.

Picture this: it’s Saturday evening and you are headed to Native for dinner (highly recommended, especially the porch) and you encounter Awalim Dance Company.



Or you are cutting across Harmony Park after picking up dinner fixings from Oakhurst Market and suddenly you get to enjoy a pop-up concert by Troy Cono. 


Or you are headed to Little Shop of Stories and suddenly there’s Elizabeth Dulemba illustrating the sidewalk. images

On your way home with a fresh mani-pedi at Natural Body and wait! Here’s a tuba concert by Larkin Taylor-Parker



Saturday afternoons from three til six o’clock in April, May and June all of downtown Decatur and Oakhurst’s Harmony Park become performance space. The City of Decatur will sponsor Sidewalk Saturdays, a street-side celebration of the arts. The pop-up art program will redefine your idea of diversity. Comedy, lots of music, dance, spoken word, acrobatics, chalk, and more.

Here are just a few of the performances scheduled for April which grabbed my attention.

  •  Elizabeth Dulemba:  a noted children’s book illustrator, Elizabeth will turn her talents to sidewalk chalk art. She will mix serious illustration with interactive illustration where kids can pose in the art for fun pictures.
  • Larkin Taylor-Parker:  plays an incredible variety of songs on her tuba
  • Lew Lefton and Joel Byars:  will assemble an entourage of local comedic talent
  • Luis Stefanell:  a conga drummer and singer whose repertoire includes cha-cha mambo, samba and afro-cuban funk
  • Troy Cono:  singer, songwriter and acoustic guitarist
  • Os Ossos: Brazilian Jazz
  • Velero Flamenco. Flamenco! I love flamenco!

The title of this post, Real Good for Free, is a little misleading. I was thinking about public performances and remembered the Joni Mitchell Song. These performances are free to us (yay!) but are paid performances for the artists, thanks to grants from The National Endowment for the Arts, the Georgia Council of the Arts, and the support of Decatur Downtown Development, the Decatur Tourism Bureau, and of course, the Decatur Arts Alliance.


See you Saturday!

A postscript: If you are interested by the idea of surprise public performances, you will love this story by Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post. It has nothing to do with Sidewalk Saturdays but it’s a terrific piece about violinist Joshua Bell performing in the D.C. Metro. Thought provoking. And Weingarten won a Pulitzer for it.
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5 Responses to “Real Good for Free” Sidewalk Saturdays in Decatur

  1. Troy Cono says:

    Thanks for the shoutout, Mary! I’m excited to see everyone out on Saturday. What a great event. I’m so happy to be a part of it.

  2. maryflad says:

    Glad to see you visit the blog, Troy. I am looking forward to the performance.

  3. mrssaba says:

    Mary, these events all sound good. Hope you have great weather for them.

    • maryflad says:

      Thanks, Mrs. Saba. The forecast for Saturday is 70 degrees and sunny. And this program is going on for each Saturday through the middle of June so we should get a lot of good days.
      BTW, if you are not familiar with the Weingarten (formerly of the Herald) story in the P.S., you’ll love it.

  4. I’m looking forward to a beautiful day in downtown Decatur! Y’all come see me! 🙂 e

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