Hello, Kirkwood—I am your new 2015 president of the Kirkwood Neighbors Organization (KNO) (www.historic-kirkwood.org). KNO works to promote the spirit of an intown neighborhood and foster a high quality of life for all its residents. We work on education, environmental stewardship, public safety, economic development and developing resources to create strong community. We meet on the 10th of every month at 7:00 pm in the lower level of Turner Monumental AME Church at 66 Howard St. NE. All are welcome to attend. In 2015 we will continue to have our five large events, to help maintain a strong Kirkwood community:
1. May 16 – Kirkwood Spring Fling (www.kirkwoodfling.com): Now in its 13th year, we host 5,000+ people for our arts and music festival. We have 100 artist booths, a BBQ competition, a 5K run and a tour of homes. I have talked to many people who decided to move here after attending the Spring Fling. The festival is always the first Saturday after Mother’s Day.
2. July – B*ATL Event (www.batlevent.org): Commemorating Kirkwood’s geographical role as the starting point of the Battle of Atlanta during the Civil War, Kirkwood, East Atlanta and East Lake host the B*ATL celebration across their communities. Events include a gala dinner and house tour, a 5K run, battlefield tours, a recreation of the front lines with reenactment soldiers and artillery, a Civil War village with civilian actors, storytelling and more.
3. August – Kirkwood Picnic: Started in 2002, this event includes a picnic and softball game. The original picnic became the Spring Fling, so now we host a smaller local neighborhood picnic in the park.
4. September – Kirkwood Wine Stroll (www.kirkwoodbiz.com): This hugely popular event is now in its sixth year and organized by the Kirkwood Business Owners’ Association (KBOA). Sample wines from around the world as you visit the many shops, unique galleries and amazing restaurants that are making Kirkwood a destination location. We close the downtown street and welcome live music, followed by car wash karaoke!
5. December – Kirkwood Home for the Holidays, brought to us by Resonate Church (www.kirkwoodholidays.com): This third annual holiday celebration features a holiday market, tree lighting, pet costume contest and live performances from our local schools and bands.
Finally, each year we look for an opportunity to do some special projects. These tend to be things that a lot of people are passionate about and will volunteer to help get done. Volunteer support is critical on these projects. In the past these projects have included the Bessie Branham playground, the Urban Forest, the Tree House at Bessie Branham, the Kirkwood sign downtown, the Kirkwood murals, the Kirkwood street topper signs, and the Bessie Branham ping-pong table, to name a few. This year we have two projects that we will be looking for support on. The first is putting in more art-style bike racks in downtown Kirkwood. We installed two last year in front of Kirkyard. The second project will be looking into putting in a dog park on the north side of Coan Park. The tentative location would be on the hill to the north side of the tennis courts. We have an idea of the funds and work required, but need people to step up to help make this happen.
I will end my welcome to 2015 with a suggestion to volunteer. I have always volunteered because of the people who I meet doing it; people who are willing to give their time to help others tend to be really nice. I encourage you to get involved as well, and help make where you live your home.