Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood on July 27 hosted its second Parliament of Owls, an owl-themed lantern parade based on community participation and founded by Atlanta BeltLine Parade Co-Creator Chantelle Rytter.
Owls are generally known as solitary creatures, but when they do assemble, they are known as a “parliament,” much like a group of bees is called a swarm and a group of wolves is called a pack.
“I just loved the phrasing ‘Parliament of Owls’ when I heard it, and I thought it would be beautiful just to isolate owls for a project,” said Rytter of creating Midtown’s lantern parade.
This year, about 1,000 attendees and participants flocked to the district for the event, which is estimated to be twice as many as the parade’s first year.
Check out some of our photos from the event!
The 2019 edition of Parliament of Owls had an all-new gathering spot at Colony Square’s The Grove, where modern brass and percussion band Black Sheep Ensemble kicked off the festivities. The owls took flight at 14th and Peachtree Streets, coming down Crescent Avenue before turning on 11th Street and looping back up Peachtree. Special thanks to APD for providing the rolling street closure along the route.
Rytter and her fellow puppeteers, The Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons, led the parade with various illuminated owl puppets. In the weeks leading up to the parade, Rytter led lantern-making workshops so community members could make their own owls based on her designs. Some of her fictional species include the Southern Urban Forest Owl, the Persian Masked Owl and the Sugar Magnolia Owl.
"Thank you for bringing your owl magic to Midtown, you wonderfully weird people!” Rytter said. “I am forever grateful for Atlanta's playfulness and capacity for collective joy. I believe we have a common calling to delight one another. Thank you for answering that call with style! You know you're living right when a Parliament of Owls can dance and hoot together down Peachtree Street."