Lila Miller, A&E Editor
The First Friday Art March has become a staple in the Starland district and downtown Savannah. This past Saturday welcomed a different kind of march in the form of its first festival and parade on Desoto Row. The festival featured live music from local bands, a food truck and popsicle stand, a pop-up art gallery and an art station for children.
The parade began promptly at 3 p.m. and revelers marched the parade route bordering the Starland District. Both locals and local businesses joined the parade wearing eclectic outfits, hand-painted masks and carrying signs. The Miss Mint Julep group wore elaborate dresses in various shades of green.
Several volunteers manned a large Starland cow float throughout the parade. Pedicabbers also biked around the parade and helped control the flow of parade traffic.
Along the parade route, various house venue coordinators opened their homes for house shows. Once frowned upon and relegated to a more underground music scene, the mention of house shows on the festival map was a welcome addition.
Also set up along the parade route were stands by local artists and contemporaries featuring displays by Patrick Casey, Maggie Hayes, Jeremiah Jossim, Michael Porten, Autumn Gary, Chris Maddox and Poets for Peace.
Over 200 people participated in the parade alone. Businesses included ranged from realty groups, midwiferies, members of Planned Parenthood, to Metrostar community garden and the Tybee Arts Association.
After the parade circled back to the festival area, Starlandia Art Supply owner and event coordinator Clinton Edminster took the stage. He thanked everyone involved and explained the mission of the festival, parade and many art marches that came before. Edminster and other members of non-profit Art Rise hold events “dedicated solely to art and the community.”
“This is a dream come true,” Edminster said in his closing remarks.
Festival attendees were also able to check out Savannah’s mobile food fare options. The Wilmington Island-based Dark Shark Taco Truck sported different taco options, as well as hummus hush puppies. The King of Pops popsicle stand also offered sweet treats during the warm afternoon spent listening to live music and art-browsing.
Bands XuluProphet and Samba Savannah kicked off the afternoon followed by The Gumps, Obamabo, Josephine Johnson and The Henry Jones Band.
This marks the first in what will likely be a frequent event. The next Art March parade will be held on July 8 following a route down Waters Ave. The First Friday Art March is every first Friday of the month and features local art galleries and artists in Desoto Row as well as the surrounding Starland District and downtown area.
For more information on the parades and Art March, visit “Savannah Art March” on Facebook.