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Gay couple’s dream for art fest becomes Chastain gem

Chastain Arts Festival

When gay couple Patrick Dennis and Randall Fox decided to move forward last year with the idea of an arts festival in Chastain Park, they had no doubt it would be successful. It was, and their second annual Chastain Park Arts Festival is poised to be even bigger than the first.

The festival features an array of artists from Atlanta and the region, including painters, jewellers, potters and sculptors. The event will kick off with a family film on Friday night and the actual festival will be on the weekend.  Dennis says that a lot of people browse around on Saturday and then make purchases on Sunday. He is ecstatic that the weather forecast for next weekend is clear and sunny.

More than 600 artists submitted to be in the festival this year and a maximum of 170 were chosen. One of the reasons he and Fox wanted to do the festival is that he laments the fact that so many local artists have trouble getting into other Atlanta-area festivals. Dennis owns a gallery in Decatur and has heard first-hand how tough it can be.

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The B-52s still rock the ‘Love Shack.’

B-52s perform at Chastain Park

Almost 35 years after the B-52s formed, the seemingly ageless group is still kicking it. Openly gay Keith Strickland and his fellow B-52s colleagues Fred Schneider (also gay), Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson will perform at Chastain Park next week alongside Blondie, combining classics hits such as “Love Shack” with newer material.

Although the band still tours regularly, they decided a few years back to do a new album.

“I think the idea was to come up with ideas to sing live,” says Strickland. “We needed new material and just decided to do it.”