Wild Rumpus 2021 to feature parade, music and more in downtown Athens


When founder and director Timi Conley hosted the first Wild Rumpus in 2009, he arrived 30 minutes early and was shocked to see over 100 people show up downtown for the parade. This year, Conley spent six months planning the event which typically draws thousands of people without knowing if it would even happen.

The 13th Annual Wild Rumpus Halloween Celebration got the green light from Athens-Clarke County Central Services last week. COVID cases in the county had declined enough for the ACC to authorize the event, according to Conley. The event will take place at the intersection of W. Hancock and Pulaski streets at 8 p.m. on October 30.

Conley told the Banner-Herald he saw no other option but to start planning the Wild Rumpus at its usual time at the start of the year and to suspend the official announcement until the ACC has made up his mind. Last month, the county’s COVID levels prompted the cancellation of the AthFest 2021 music and art festival.

“I had a hunch that everything was going to be fine, so I stepped on the pedal even though the light was red,” said Conley.

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Wild Rumpus emcee Timi Conley waves to the crowd during the Wild Rumpus Parade in Athens, Georgia on Saturday, October 26, 2019.

After turning the 2020 Wild Rumpus into a virtual event, Conley felt it would be prudent to go ahead with the usual ‘parade and show’ this year, but wanted to keep everything outside as a measure of additional precaution. The event encourages everyone to wear masks with their costumes and get vaccinated. There will be a Pfizer vaccination pop-up onsite, hosted by the Department of Public Health.

Following:FAQ: Answer your most common questions about the Athens COVID-19 vaccine incentive program

For participants over the age of 21, a designated “open container festival zone” has been created in a four-block barricade downtown from 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. that will allow alcohol consumption in the city center. outdoors with the purchase of a bracelet from Creature Comforts, Paloma Park, Ted’s Most Best, Rook & Pawn and Trappeze Pub inside the festival area.

Before the parade, a “Rumpus Rally” is scheduled from 5pm to 8pm with performances by Monsoon, Luxury Vehicle and Bichos Vivos. Along the parade route, more music and entertainment will be provided by Dialectic Flowers, DK, El ChupaSKAbra, Father Werewolf, Fishbug, Kxng Blanco and Caulfield with DJ Kountry Boy, OHMU, SHVKTi, Specter of Surf and White Rabbit Collective.

The parade will end with a dance party at the corner of Washington and Pulaski streets with The Booty Boyz and DJ Chief Rocka and will feature aerials on the trapeze.

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The Athens flamingo is shown in this photo from the Wild Rumpus Parade in downtown Athens, Georgia on Saturday, October 26, 2019.

One thing that has not changed for the Wild Rumpus is its unique “come one, come all” policy which does not require any registration or prior registration to participate in the parade. Although spectators always line the sidewalk, Conley said he wanted to remind everyone that they are welcome to join in on the fun if they wish.

“I wasn’t sure people would hesitate this year or not, but I think (the parade) is going to be important,” Conley said. “It’s downtown, so there is always enough space for people to safely celebrate.”

The Wild Rumpus currently sees paid staff and volunteer positions at https://volunteersignup.org/4783X. For more details on the event, visit wildrumpus.org.


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