Historic Oakland Foundation hosts fundraiser to keep Atlanta’s oldest cemetery beautiful
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Nestled less than a mile east of downtown Atlanta, the Oakland Cemetery has stood for 173 years.
“It’s a beautiful old historic place, it’s a city park. It needs a lot of love and attention,” said Richard Harker, executive director of the Historic Oakland Foundation.
The site has been getting some love and attention, but there is still more work to do. The Historic Oakland Foundation has played a key role in revitalizing 30% of Atlanta’s oldest cemetery.
“We’re hoping to raise over $100,000 today,” Harker said.
The foundation is hosting its 45th annual Sunday in the Park featuring Tunes from the Tombs, where visitors can enjoy live music, an artist market, food trucks and more. All proceeds go toward keeping the historic site beautiful.
“We are destigmatizing cemeteries,” Harker said. “This is not a creepy, scary place. This is a place full of life.”
The cemetery foundation says 70,000 people are buried there, including notable Atlantans.
“Twenty-six mayors, five governors. Bobby Jones, Maynard Jackson, Ivan Allen, really incredible parts of all of Atlanta’s history,” Harker said. “The good, the bad and the ugly.”
Harker believes acknowledging history can move Atlanta forward. That’s why preservation is so crucial.
Neale Nickels, senior director of capital projects at the Historic Oakland Foundation, agrees.
“We can learn from things that were done in the past and have that help inform our future and decisions we make,” Nickels said.
Tunes from the Tombs is on Saturday from noon to 7:30 p.m. You can get tickets here.
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