The Grant Park Summer Shade Festival began in August 2003 as the Adams Realtors 5K RUN for the PARK. A half day festival opened immediately after the RUN featuring 45 artists, community groups/organizations and local eateries. Attendance was around 750 people. Positive comments were so overwhelming, we decided to expand the 2004 Festival.
In year two, the Festival ran for two days. The name was changed to Summer Shade Festival to encourage people to get out of the stale air-conditioning to enjoy the cooling shade of century old trees in Grant Park. The Adams Realtors 5K RUN for the PARK remained a major component but the artist market was expanded, an entertainment stage was added, and a very exciting Cycling Criterium gave a whoosh and a thrill to Sunday. Attendance topped 6000. Again, we had a huge positive response from attendees and vendors. Year three was more of the same with attendance over 10,000. And then, year four and five, we exceeded our expectations with 16,000-18,000 attendees. In 2008 we broke the 20,000 mark.
And now — Get ready for 2013. The 11th Annual Grant Park Summer Shade Festival will be even better.
The event is planned and coordinated by the Grant Park Conservancy, the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival, Inc., and Adams Realtors. The purpose is to bring focus and new life to Atlanta's oldest public park. Proceeds from the event benefit the Grant Park Conservancy and its efforts to restore this historic green space.