Rough Draft Newsletter | April 4, 2024

Editor’s Note: Due to technical issues, we are posting today’s newsletter online and on social media.

404 Thursday 

April 4 — Congratulations to Rod Lassiter and Parnass Savang of Talat Market in Summerhill who were named finalists for Best Chef: Southeast for this year’s James Beard Awards.

🌞 Mostly sunny with a high of 59° today. 

🍽️  TikTok food critic Keith Lee has postponed his next round of restaurant reviews in Atlanta, but he showed up yesterday to hand out free meals to hundreds at Selena S. Butler Park. 

🍑 It’s time to celebrate 404 Day! Music, art, parties, and food will be part of the annual celebration all across the city. Check out a list of events here.

📻 Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul joined Columbus, GA Mayor Skip Henderson on the AJC’s “Politically Georgia” podcast to discuss civic discourse and economic development.

🗳️ Fulton County is moving one of its early voting locations to the Heritage Sandy Springs building for the May primary and November general election. 

🎸 Little 5 Fest will take place on Seminole Avenue on Sat., April 6, and will feature live music, skating, food, and more.

🏀 Georgia’s basketball season ended with a loss to Seton Hall on Tuesday.

🎗️ Today marks the 56th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The King Center will host a wreath-laying ceremony at 11:15 a.m.

🕖 Here’s what’s in today’s newsletter:

• Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade
• ‘Spring is our Super Bowl’
• Crafting clay robots
• Quick Bites

Have a good day,
Collin & Sammie 

🍷 Experience the Alpharetta Wine Festival on April 14 at the Alpharetta Town Green. Explore exclusive events like the Winemaker Dinner on April 11 and VIP tastings on April 13. Delve into over 200 wines, live music, and local vendors. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable wine extravaganza in Downtown Alpharetta!


1. Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade returns to the Westside Trail on May 11
🏮 The beloved Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade, which regularly draws thousands of participants and spectators, will return to the Westside Trail on Saturday, May 11.

The annual event is part of Art on the Atlanta BeltLine and is led by creator, curator, and orchestrator Chantelle Rytter and her Krewe of the Grateful Gluttons. Last year’s parade drew an estimated 15,000 participants and spectators.

Along with glowing lanterns and giant puppets traversing the one-mile route, Grammy-Award-winning artist Kebbi Williams & the Wolfpack and five marching bands will accompany the parade: Atlanta Drum Academy, Black Sheep Ensemble, Seed & Feed Marching Abominables, Atlanta Freedom Band, and Wasted Potential Brass Band.

➡️ Learn more about the parade here.

Don’t miss this discussion on ‘Mummies and Museums’


🏛️Join the Michael C. Carlos Museum for “Scrutiny: Mummies and Museums,” an insightful Zoom discussion featuring Egyptologists Salima Ikram and Heba Abd el-Gawad. 
They will examine the ethics of displaying ancient Egyptian mummies in museums, exploring ideas of education and respect, evolving practices and ideologies, and the debate over ancient Egyptian cultural ownership. Be part of the critical conversation on museum practices in the 21st century on Sun., April 28, from 2-3 p.m. 

🪦 Learn more and register here.

“Scrutiny” is an ongoing series of public programs addressing critical issues facing museums today, including ethical collecting, display, and interpretation. 

2. ‘Spring is our Super Bowl’: The Home Depot innovates ahead of busy spring season

🧰 Even retail giants like The Home Depot spend a good chunk of their year planning for seasonal spikes. And one of their biggest seasons, spring, is here.

🌱 “Spring is our Super Bowl,” VP of Integrated Marketing Allison Kolber said during The Home Depot’s inaugural marketing summit, InFronts. The recent event was an opportunity for The Home Depot to showcase its media strategy innovation ahead of the busy spring season.

📲 Retail media makes up a huge part of the overall marketing landscape. At its core, retail media is marketing to a customer at or near their point of purchase. That could be in the store aisle or through an app. Retail media spending is projected to represent 23.5% of all digital advertising in the U.S. according to Advertisers Perceptions.

➡ Read more in this story through our partnership with Hypepotamus, Atlanta’s go-to source of startup and technology news.

3. ‘Pottery Becomes Robot’ with artist Michael Klapthor

🤖 “I try to give them their own personality, a little hidden story,” said Michael Klapthor, sitting in his basement studio in Decatur. “The idea of a robot having a hidden personality is sort of a funny oxymoron.”  

Klapthor is talking about his array of robotic creations. He sits surrounded by his tools and creations. A shelf of figurines and comic books is conveniently within reach of his pottery wheel. Next to his robots, photographs of Michael with his wife and daughter peek out from the edges of a dry-erase board. Near the door, a utility sink occasionally lets out a gurgle of discontent.

This is the home of Klapthor’s Universal Robots. Klapthor has been crafting joyful robots out of clay since 2012. He’s a regular at craft markets around the region, and his unique retro-future designs include functional and decorative pieces. He makes mugs, planters, jars, and even pour-over coffee makers.

🧑‍🎨 Read Klapthor’s full story here.

🥬 Get ready for the Love is Love Cooperative Farm Annual Spring Plant Sale on April 6. The event offers a huge variety of certified organic vegetable, herb, and edible flower seedlings for home gardeners and features gardening workshops, live music, pop-up chefs, kids activities, artisan vendors, and more. Learn more here

Photo via Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

4. Quick Bites

🍦 In honor of the eclipse on April 8, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams (pictured) launched a new series of ice cream flavors, complete with edible “space dust.” The Punk Stargonaut lineup includes flavors like Nebula Berry — featuring a combination evoking blueberry, raspberry, and elderberry — and Purple Star Born, which is intense on grape and blackcurrant notes. Select local scoop shops will also offer branded eclipse viewing glasses, complimentary with purchase, starting Friday. 

🫑 Cox Farms, launched by Cox Enterprises at the end of March, is a new business focused on disrupting traditional agriculture. Rooted in sustainability in food and farming, Cox Farms achieves stable conditions in greenhouses with a higher yield per acre, and without the use of harmful chemicals or pesticides.

🍖 Marcus Samuelsson’s Marcus Bar & Grille on Edgewood is celebrating its first anniversary in Atlanta tomorrow starting at 3 p.m. Expect a buffet with special offerings, grilling on the patio, additional food vendors, cocktails, and a DJ. Entry is free.
🍽️ Chamblee Restaurant Week kicks off this Sunday and runs through April 13. Eighteen restaurants are participating including BluetopHopstix, and Himalayas. For more information visit here.

🧑‍🍳 The Home Depot Backyard will kick off its 2024 season on May 2 with Truist Night Market: Passport Edition. Expect international fare from over 30 Atlanta chefs — including offerings from BamreuDelbar, and Omiga Kitchen. Visit here for tickets and full event details.

 Prevail Union, featuring Prevail single-origin coffees, is coming to Bryn House in Atlanta. The North Druid Hills location will host an opening celebration on April 15. For more information stay tuned to their Instagram page here

🍷 Explore Brookhaven is launching a new festival to appeal to wine and spirit lovers. Sip Brookhaven debuts on April 13 at Oglethorpe University. 

💻 Today’s newsletter was edited by Julie E. Bloemeke.

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