>Atlanta…Wednesday WindDown has returned for another 26…ok now we’re down to 24 weeks of Jazz, Blues, R&B, Soul, Funk, and Neo-Soul to feed your heart, mind, body, spirit and soul. Last Wednesday was the first day of the 26-week series at Centennial Olympic Park. It was jam-packed and filled to the brim with great music, energetic people, and beautiful weather.
I keep my lawn chair in the trunk of my car every year, waiting for the moment I can pull it out and relax at the park. Last week I met one of my girl’s Brenita there with her new beau, and an associate of her’s…I feel bad that her name escapes me right now. We enjoyed every second of the event, which lasts from 5:30pm to 8pm…although many of us regulars like to show up as early as 4pm to get a good seat. I have been known to show up around 3:30pm and enjoy the peace before the bands and crews arrive.
Last week I arrived closer to 6pm and was grateful that Brenita had already arrived, or we would not have been able to sit near the center of the “action”. When I say “action” I am not merely referring to the bands performing on the stage, no I am also referring to the “characters” that dress up, show up, and act out for over three hours for our and their amusement. You have the crowd entertainers who go around dancing, singing and serenading the crowd; on occasion you may have a balloon artist walking around making hearts for the cute ladies and the kiddies; there’s the “Skittles Crew” as I call them…dressed in two and three piece suits, dress shoes (and hats) from head to toe in one or two BRIGHT colors like red, blue, purple, pink, turquoise, orange, yellow, or green. Some even remember to bring their canes! I think after years of seeing them congregate near each other they definitely know one another.
The women who get the most attention come in all ages, shapes and sizes wearing the smallest and most revealing of outfits possible. What makes it “action” worthy is that most of these women are between the ages of 45-60 and are still rocking the daisy duke shorts, and the jumpers (which I noticed have made yet another comeback…considering the possibility). I guess they say, “as long as they make my size I’m wearing it!” So they proudly parade around the main area dancing, singing, flirting, and carrying on while some folks cheer them on, others snap pictures (Brenita’s beau took this one), and others sit there in amazement. I simply sat there eating my Cheetos!
Last week we jammed with bands, “Between 9&7
” and “Ron Cooley and the Hard Times Band
“. Today I went to the park with my mom and sister. Since word got out that WW was back, people showed up early and on time. We arrived at 4:45pm (after maneuvering through traffic and paying for parking) and the place was packed so we sat in a grassy area not too far from the stage…basically, I wanted to make sure I could get some sun on my legs without bringing too much attention to myself!
“Chico and the Band” performed today and let me say, they were BEYOND awesome. I got to hear remakes of some classic songs by performers that I absolutely love and respect such as the three elements…Earth, Wind & Fire; Prince, Donna Summer, Barry White, The Trammps (Disco Inferno), James Brown, and several others. During intermission the DJ took us back to the 80s and 90s with some songs from Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Rob Base, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Montel Jordan and others. I was singing, dancing, tapping my feet and tweeting on Twitter non-stop until the clock struck 8pm.
What was really cool to see, which I always love to see every Wednesday are the families that show up with picnic baskets, blankets, chairs, footballs, frisbees, etc. and the children run around and play catch…it’s beautiful. They usually are stationed on the outskirts of what would be considered the amphitheater so they can have plenty of room to stretch out and relax. Something else I get a kick out of seeing are people playing games like chess and checkers. You can hear the laughter and trash talking as they battle it out. Today three men sat near us and I giggled hearing them go back and forth over who was going to lose today.
After eating our Subway sandwiches my mom assumed her normal position, reclined in her lounge chair (with attached umbrella) and she closed her eyes as she bobbed her head to the music. Yes, that’s my sister looking at me like I’m the crazy one!
Although I didn’t tweet about this on Twitter, I can’t help but to share one of the most hilarious incidents to ever occur in my presence (directly connected to my sister)….While relaxing my sister leaned forward in her lounge chair to grab something and found herself in a very awkward position…yes, I had no choice but to capture the moment with my Blackberry. What are sister’s for?
After catching my breath and regaining my composure, I eventually helped her. No, I didn’t stop laughing!
Can you tell we had a great time today? There has never been a time when I have attended Wednesday WindDown and not had a blast. Depending on the day’s schedule downtown, and if other events are taking place, parking at nearby lots range in price from $5-25. I can only recall paying $20 once or twice (because I didn’t want to walk except right across the street) and it was because there was a huge concert or sporting event. Usually I pay $5 or $10 for parking.
I will say that there are some strict rules enforced by the Atlanta Police Department at Centennial such as, no glass bottles and no alcoholic beverages (other than the ones sold by vendors). Yes, they check your bags, coolers, and the bags you carry your lawn chairs in, as well as your children’s bags (please don’t try that)…so come at your own risk for those of you who still want to test the Atlanta Police Department…today I watched couples with frowns on their faces as their cans and bottles of beer and wine were confiscated. Let the creative minds ponder this…..
Aren’t you interested in attending a Wednesday WindDown? Click this link and check out the upcoming performances. Yes, I will be attending most of them…maybe you will see me there! Next Wednesday the band that is scheduled to perform is “Siohvan” and they will be bringing us some R&B, Neo Soul, and New Jazz sponsored by WAOK radio. Hope to see you there!
Copyright © 2010 by Natasha L. Foreman. All rights reserved.