On Street Fests and Local Commerce

King of Pops cart.

My favorite! Licensed under CC, linked to source.

The Candler Park Music Festival was this weekend, and that means that summer festival season is (for me) officially kicked off. Atlantans love nothing more than standing outside and eating food from trucks while sweating, so we basically swarm street festivals all year ’round. I feel like–a month into being back–I am officially at home.

The kickoff to the festival was a stop at the first King of Pops cart I could find, natch. For those of you not in Atlanta, King of Pops is a local popsicle company whose umbrella-ed carts show up every time more than 20 Atlantans gather in a single spot. The flavors are on-point, the umbrellas are cheerful, and the popsicles are cold. I branched out a little, flavor-wise* and went with the (new this summer, I believe) fig, honey, and cream-sicle. Though not my usual bag (my usual bag involving graham cracker crust and/or as much sugar as you can put in a frozen treat) it was tasty.

My friends and I were actually at the festival to see the Futurebirds, which was fun. It was a fun show, and folks seemed pretty familiar with the band. (I was not, because I only learn of new music six months after my dad gets into it. True story.) A girl who was by all appearances schwasted climbed on stage during the last song and nearly knocked over the steal guitar/banjo player. So that was fun. The lead guitarist wore a suitcoat with the arms covered in feathers, because, y’know, Athens.

Dinner was S and J’s Woodfired Pizza, which–though it took 20 minutes–was totally worth it. They cart their portable woodfire brick oven to each event they go to and  bake your pizza for you right there. The whole thing is chock full o’ local ingredients, and (because it is pizza) it is delicious. If anyone ever wants to make me a happy, happy gal, rent the S and J truck for me.

Part of why the festivals are so fun for me is that–at least for the smaller summer fests–so much of what is going on there is local commerce. King of Pops and S and J (and even the Futurebirds) are all from in or around Atlanta. They employ/are local folks, and–in the S and J case–use local ingredients, which is another whole chain of local jobs. As much as folks joke about Atlanta’s festival-madness, the climate and local spirit that allow us to keep doing them also allow folks to make a go of selling very local food and goods to others in the community, and that’s super awesome.

All this summer needs is for the cicadas to finally start coming out, and the season will be officially complete. Fingers crossed that global warming hasn’t killed them all.**

* This has nothing to do with the fact that they didn’t have Thai Iced Tea or Banana Puddin’. Nothing at all.

** I kid, but seriously, where are they?

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2 thoughts on “On Street Fests and Local Commerce

  1. I want to eat one of those popsicles so badly and I haven’t yet! I’ve been working at festivals for my job, even, yet I’m always too busy right at prime popsicle times!

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