Although the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival has gotten all the foodie love lately, there’s another event going on this month that deserves some attention.
It’s called Bazaar Bizzaro, and while I’m not really crazy about the name, I’m a fan of the organization that’s running it, of the place that’s hosting it, and of the cause it’s supporting. So I’ve bought a ticket—and I think you should, too.
As an added bonus, the event itself sounds like fun. Billed as a “country fair in the city,” it will feature circus performers, maypole dances, a fortune teller, games for kids and adults, demonstrations by printmakers, knife makers and jewelry makers, and 11 different musical groups. And of course there will be food. Farm Burger, King of Pops, and Sandwich Buddah will be selling the good stuff. Held at the 5-acre Gaia Gardens at East Lake Commons, it’s sure to be a family-friendly event in a beautiful setting.
Better yet, Bazaar Bizzaro supports a good cause. It’s being organized by Slow Food Atlanta, the local chapter of Slow Food International, to raise money to send about five delegates to the Terra Madre conference in Torino, Italy, this fall. Every other year, the international organization brings together like-minded farmers and food producers to share information about sustainable agriculture and biodiversity.
“They get together to celebrate the huge contributions that small producers are making to saving food and the earth,” explains Judith Winfrey, leader of Slow Food Atlanta. “That really is the crux of it. All thess small farmers united against Big A[griculture].”
Why pay for someone else’s airfare to Italy? “We’re talking about farmers,” Winfrey says. “People who are already working their butts off for very little financial reward. They don’t have $1,500 to get to Italy to meet the world’s food producers.”
When Winfrey and Joe Reynolds, the farm manager at Gaia Gardens, went a few years ago, they heard talks by cattlemen from Kenya, beekeepers from Afghanistan, farmers from Siberia. The event opened their eyes to how big the Slow Food movement is, and yet how their little part in it mattered. Small farms that grow food suited to the land protect local food ways and cultural diversity, not to mention the earth and the environment.
And all you have to do to chip in is wander around a beautiful farm, play games, and have a good time. You can get your tickets for Bazaar Bizzaro—and help Slow Food Atlanta stay connected to an important worldwide movement—right here.
Bazaar Bizzaro, a country fair in the city: Saturday, May 19, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Gaia Gardens, 900 Dancing Fox Road, Decatur.