By Maria Saporta
In Atlanta, the word “festival” is synonymous with Holly Mull.
Mull was the godmother of several of Atlanta’s most popular festivals — such as the Inman Park Festival, and the coordinator of festivals all over the city — including the recent inaugural Midtown Arts Festival that took place a couple of weeks ago.
So it was only fitting in a sad kind of way that at the end of today’s Gay Pride Parade — perhaps Atlanta’s most colorful festival — I learned that she had passed away suddenly on Thursday.
My friend, Nick Gold, asked me if I had heard about Holly. It’s rarely good news when someone asks you that question.
As Gold told me that there would be some kind of service on November, all I could think about was how much Holly would have enjoyed being at today’s parade that ended up with the festival at Piedmont Park.
This was Holly Mull’s kind of event — waves of people were enjoying a beautiful Atlanta afternoon walking along a closed 10th Street enjoying a special time when anything goes.
Mull understood that Atlanta — as in other great cities — came alive when we celebrated events in public places. The last time I saw her was at the Midtown Arts Festival a couple of weeks ago. In fact, just about every time I would see Holly over the years would be at festivals. She was like a butterfly that would fly from festival to festival, pollinating our city with new life.
The best way we can honor Holly Mull’s memory is to make sure we keep our festivals alive and well for generations to come.