Volunteer Voices: Getting to Know Oakland Volunteer LaDoris Bias-Davis

Oakland Cemetery relies on the incredible energy, dedication, and generosity of over 200 volunteers. Working in the gardens, giving tours, staffing the Visitors Center & Museum Shop, or giving countless hours at special and private events, Oakland volunteers never fail to amaze with their passion and commitment. Weve asked our volunteers to share their stories of how they became involved at Oakland and their experiences here.

Meet LaDoris Bias-Davis

Tell us a little about yourself:
I am LaDoris Bias-Davis. I’m Mississippi born and bred into a family of 13, so you know I have stories to tell! I’m an educator/trainer-consultant and storyteller/actor by trade. I’ve been telling tales and facilitating workshops across the United States for 15 years. My programs are tailored to schools, libraries, youth groups, early childhood organizations, literacy/reading programs, motivational assemblies, corporations, family reunions and more. From fables to fairy tales, fiction to non-fiction, Bible stories to “bet ya can’t tell just one” stories, the Ezra Jack Keats collection, Gullah tales, African-American and inter-cultural tales and “me and Mississippi” collection of personal stories, I try to engage audiences and provide programs for interactive learning. I have a bachelor of arts in speech and theatre, and a graduate degree in early literacy education. But really I’ve been spinning tales and creating characters since I learned to talk.

How did you get involved in volunteering with Oakland?
Oakland was looking for actors of African-American descent for the Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours about nine or 10 years ago. The intent was to showcase some of the stories in Oakland’s African American section. I was recommended by someone who knew someone already volunteering at Oakland. I came aboard as Carrie Steele-Logan and the rest, as they say, is history.

What do you like most about volunteering at Oakland?
My role at Oakland is to share stories and bring to life the history and lives of some of the amazing residents here. I volunteer at Sunday in the Park, the Juneteenth observance, and at Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween tours, usually in the role of an actress or storyteller. I volunteer at Oakland because I love being involved in learning about the wonderful people buried there and sharing their stories with thousands of people year after year. I love the camaraderie of the staff and fellow volunteers. What I like most is working with fellow volunteers and bringing to life the characters so their stories can be told and their lives and contributions appreciated. It is an amazing place to be a part of!

Volunteer LaDoris Davis portrayed Dr. Beatrice Thompson during Capturing the Spirit of Oakland.

What is your favorite Oakland experience or memory?
My favorite experience is every single night of the Halloween tours and every single character I’ve played. One particular highlight was when I, playing Julia Hayes Palmer, was paired with a male actor playing Dr. Fred Palmer, a white man who invented Palmer’s Cocoa Butter and married Julia, a former slave. We gave the script a lot of drama as we informed the crowd “our marriage caused quite a stir back in our day!” The crowds roared with laughter! Oakland visitors help make the moments memorable and unforgettable.

HOF Volunteer applications have closed for 2018. However, if you would like to be considered for future volunteer opportunities or want to know more about what our volunteers do, please contact Richard Harker, Director of Special Events and Volunteers: rharker@oaklandcemetery.com or 404-688-2107. 

Volunteer Voices: Getting to Know Volunteer Jihan Hurse

Oakland Cemetery relies on the incredible energy, dedication, and generosity of over two hundred volunteers. Working in the gardens, giving tours, staffing the Visitor Center, or giving countless hours at special and private events, Oakland volunteers never fail to amaze with their passion and commitment. Weve asked some of Oaklands volunteers to share their stories of how they became involved as Oakland volunteers and their experiences here.

Meet Jihan Hurse

As a volunteer, Jihan Hurse helps bring Oakland’s history to life.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m a highly-functional introvert. I consider myself to be an early adopter, and I am a huge content connoisseur – I read multiple newspapers, several blogs, and various news websites online daily. I try to read four to six books a month on a broad range of genres. I am fashion-forward, and shoes are my favorite weakness. I love thrift shopping.

I volunteer for Make-A-Wish GA. I am a tour guide at Historic Oakland Cemetery and the CDC Museum. Professionally, I have worked at a federal public health agency for the last 15 years. Before that, I modeled professionally for 10 years. However, I aspire to publish a novel, become a TV writer, start a non-profit for single mothers, start a publishing and production company…just to name a few.

How did you get involved in volunteering at Oakland?
I attended one of the Black History Month tours of the African American Grounds. I recognized many familiar names and wanted to learn the stories behind the names. As an introvert, I wanted to challenge myself, and I thought that volunteering as a tour guide would provide a unique opportunity to strengthen my public speaking skills and be more social.

I volunteer as a weekend tour guide and also work as one of the guides in the African American Grounds. Atlanta is a diverse city in many aspects: racially, culturally, economically. Oakland demonstrates these characteristics of the city through the various stories and backgrounds of its residents. Volunteering allows me to share the rich diversity of the city.

What do you like most about volunteering at Oakland?
I take the definition of the word “guide” literally, and I like to think I guide visitors on a journey; transporting them in time to when our residents were alive. I also love the camaraderie amongst the volunteers and shared passion of history. I least like the hill near the Confederate section in the middle of July or August!

Jihan Hurse leading a tour at Historic Oakland.

What is your favorite Oakland experience/moment?
I don’t have a specific memorable moment at Oakland. There are so many it’s hard to choose just one. I will say I favor those magical moments when an Atlanta native is on a tour and they recognize a name such as “Inman” or “Austell” and they connect the dots that these aren’t just names of areas, cities, streets, et cetera – they were actually people. You can actually see the thought connect and their eyes light up. It reminds me of my first visit and the day I fell in love with Oakland.

HOF Volunteer applications have closed for 2018. However, if you would like to be considered for future volunteer opportunities or want to know more about what our volunteers do, please contact Richard Harker, Director of Special Events and Volunteers: rharker@oaklandcemetery.com or 404-688-2107


Shop Oakland: Historic Holiday Finds

As you shop for holiday gifts this year, support Historic Oakland Cemetery and Atlanta’s local crafters. At the Visitors Center & Museum Shop, Oakland keeps it local this holiday season with a selection of merchandise from creatives in Oakland’s neighborhood.

Oakland’s Visitors Center & Museum Shop is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Here, you’ll find a wide range of holiday gifts fitting every age and interest.

‘Tis the Season-ing
Bring home small-batch, artisan salt blends, sugars, and other dry goods products from Beautiful Briny Sea.

These hand-crafted, small-batch blends are made in Grant Park. In 2011 restauranteur Suzi Sheffield decided to seek new adventures while continuing to pursue her culinary passion. Armed with a boatload of creativity, a love for all things homemade, and a flair for whimsy, Suzi brought Beautiful Briny Sea and its beloved small-batch sea salts to life.

Beautiful Briny Sea offers a variety of exceptional and thoughtfully crafted flavors that are perfect for home chefs, grill masters, and foodies. Flavor blends range from “Magic Unicorn,” a sweet-smoky paprika flavor, to “French Picnic,” infused with Dijon mustard, herbs de Provence and garlic. Prices from $8 per tin (plus tax).

Spice up your holiday with Beautiful Briny Sea

Have a Haunted Holiday
Our Ghost Hunting Kits and Oakland Cemetery postcards from Atlanta-based artist Caleb Morris make a perfect stocking stuffers for anyone interested in the paranormal and Atlanta’s intown neighborhoods. The Ghost Hunting Kit ($19.99, plus tax) is a great interactive gift for those interested in ghostly pursuits. Or gift some whimsical postcards and stickers featuring Oakland Cemetery and Atlanta ($2.99 each, plus tax).

Discover Atlanta’s haunts with this ghost hunting kit!

Pick from a wide range of Atlanta-centric stickers.

Wear Oakland on Your Sleeve  
Represent Oakland Cemetery with Rep Your Hood’s hand silk-screen tee, made with high-quality cotton and inks. The Oakland tee ($24.99, plus tax) is available in a variety of colors.

Rep Your Oakland with Rep Your Hood tees

Luxuriate in Local
For those who like all-natural farm to body products for the skin, we have a selection of Indigo Bath and Body, hailing from Marietta. Indigo Bath & Body products includes soaps and bath bombs, starting at $5.99 (plus tax). The soaps are imbued with fresh ingredients sourced from Indigo’s farm and other local farmers, as well as honey and beeswax raised in local apiaries. You’ll find local ingredients in over 95% of Indigo Bath & Body’s products.

Treat yourself to Indigo Bath & Body products

Deck Your Halls
Find a fantastic selection of ornaments, Christmas books, and Paddywax holiday candles – all priced 20% off, beginning Dec. 16. Historic Oakland Foundation members get an additional 10% off.

Holiday candles, books, and ornaments are on sale beginning Dec. 16.

Volunteer Voices: Getting to Know Oakland Volunteer Mary Price

Oakland Cemetery relies on the incredible energy, dedication, and generosity of over two hundred volunteers. Working in the gardens, giving tours, staffing the Visitor Center, or giving countless hours at special and private events, Oakland volunteers never fail to amaze with their passion and commitment. Weve asked some of Oaklands volunteers to share their stories of how they became involved as Oakland volunteers and their experiences here.

Meet Mary Price

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I am currently a self-contained Special Education teacher at Druid Hills High School. I’ve worked in a number of different jobs as an adult because I’ve never wanted to be tied down in a job to the point of hating the job. I am originally from Quitman in South Georgia. It’s a place of fond memories but not a place to spend a whole life, though I still visit my family there.

How did you get involved in volunteering at Oakland and why do you volunteer here?
I like cemeteries because they are historical goldmines. So much of the social history of a place can be gleaned from a walk through a cemetery like Oakland. So I took a walk here one summer day and decided I’d like to explore the volunteer opportunities. I wasn’t really sure what volunteering in a cemetery would involve, but it sounded promising. I had worked in downtown Atlanta and attended Georgia State University, so I had ridden past Oakland on MARTA for several years. I was intrigued.

What do you do at Oakland and what do you like the most about volunteering at Oakland?
I volunteer in the gardens, in the Visitor Center, and for special events. I enjoy volunteering at Oakland because there is such a variety of interesting people who also volunteer there. I have learned so much about the history of Atlanta and enjoyed the company of other wonderful volunteers during the years I have been a volunteer at Oakland. I have enjoyed being a team leader with the Second Saturday gardening volunteer days, and being a guide for the Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween tours. Those are only two of the many volunteer opportunities at Oakland.

What is your favorite Oakland experience or moment?
My favorite moment is when visitors to Oakland admire the beauty of the gardens or remark on how much they enjoyed participating in one of the events, because I know how much everyone works to make the events and the cemetery special. So, knowing that my efforts are appreciated by those who visit is rewarding.

If you are interested in volunteering at Historic Oakland Cemetery, want to be considered for our January 2018 new volunteer orientation, or want to know more about what our volunteers do, please click here to learn more about HOF’s volunteer needs and submit an application.   

Third annual A Victorian Holiday at Oakland brings holiday cheer to historic Oakland Cemetery

See Oakland’s mausoleums decked out in holiday splendor!

On Dec. 2, Historic Oakland Cemetery adds some history to the holiday season at the third annual A Victorian Holiday at Oakland.

Held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., A Victorian Holiday at Oakland is the final event of the year for Historic Oakland Foundation, and proceeds benefit HOF’s mission to preserve, restore, enhance, and share Atlanta’s oldest public burial ground.

During A Victorian Holiday at Oakland, visitors can take the Holiday Tour of Eternal Homes, which gives a “behind-the-stones” look at some of Oakland’s magnificent mausoleums. A costumed tour guide shares the histories of the families who lie in rest in each of the structures, which are decorated in holiday splendor.

In addition to the mausoleum tour, A Victorian Holiday at Oakland includes a wide range of activities for all ages. Visitors can take photos with Santa Claus and his sidekick Rudolph while enjoying a reading of A Visit from St. Nicholas. Kids can try their hand at Victorian crafts and ornament-making, and guitarist Matthias Young performs holiday standards throughout the afternoon. Members of HOF’s gardens team will be on hand to demonstrate how to design and decorate with holiday greenery.

The Holiday Market boasts unique gift items made from local artisans, and A Victorian Holiday at Oakland attendees can take advantage of a 10 percent discount on items purchased in Oakland’s Museum Shop. Douglas fir wreaths and bundles made with greenery harvested from Oakland’s gardens will also be available for purchase.

“We are looking forward to celebrating the season in traditional Victorian style, with sights and sounds that are sure to raise everyone’s spirits,” said HOF Executive Director David Moore.

A Victorian Holiday at Oakland is sponsored by Larkin on Memorial. The event is free and open to the public, but Holiday Mausoleum Tour tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets are available at www.freshtix.com.

PRO Team Field Notes: Restoring the McKinley Lot

By Dr. DL Henderson and Ashley Shares

Jacob McKinley’s monument, which is leaning significantly.

The headstone belonging to Jacob McKinley is located in Phase 1 of the African American Grounds restoration project. It is a pedestal-style monument, composed of multiple units of marble “freely” stacked, one on top of another, without any pins or dowels holding them in place.

This monument was leaning at a significant angle and its stabilization with a high priority. The Preservation, Restoration, and Operations (PRO) Team hand-removed the urn and other small elements. We set up scaffolding to dismantle the larger pieces, which were lifted with a trolley and chain hoist attached to an aluminum I-beam. Each piece was braced with a nylon strap and carefully moved several feet away.

The sub-base supports a monument below ground and isn’t intended for viewing. Mr. McKinley’s monument sub-base is composed of brick, slate, and other stones; small marble slabs; and general rubble held together with a soft mortar. Because the monument had been so un-level, we decided to remove the sub-base and create a completely new one. This new sub-base was made from reinforced concrete.

After repair, the monument is properly aligned.

After giving the sub-base 24 hours of dry-time, we poured a soft mortar mix on top and each of the marble blocks were re-stacked. Pieces of angled lead were placed between layers to help space them evenly, and to allow for a “joint” that could later be filled with a soft mortar grout. The purpose of such grout is to prevent water penetration that may lead to stone deterioration.

Jacob McKinley was a formerly enslaved carpenter who amassed a small fortune after his emancipation. He owned several businesses and became one of the wealthiest African American men in Atlanta by the 1890s. When the Atlanta Constitution reported McKinley’s death in January 1896, the obituary described his wealth and philanthropy and lamented the loss of a good citizen.

Born into slavery in Newnan, Georgia circa 1830, McKinley had prospered in post-Civil War Atlanta and gained a reputation among local businessmen for industry and integrity. By his own reckoning, McKinley apparently had a rough upbringing, but at age 16 while still enslaved, he was apprenticed as a carpenter. No doubt because of his outstanding carpentry skills, in 1853, McKinley was sold for $1,550. However, as a freedman his personal worth would quickly eclipse his monetary value as a slave.

After gaining his freedom, McKinley demonstrated that his skills were not limited to manual labor. Over the years, he developed several successful businesses and at times employed over 150 laborers—white and African American. He became a prosperous merchant, real estate owner, and a dealer in wood and coal; he owned a brickyard, a grocery store, and a large amount of real estate. He donated a piece of land to start a Baptist church named in his honor, “McKinley’s Chapel.”

McKinley’s death is noted in the January 24, 1896 Atlanta Constitution

Jacob McKinley extended his investments beyond real estate in 1886 when he joined other African Americans in securing a charter to establish the South-View Cemetery Association. South-View provided an alternative burial ground for African Americans who did not want to be buried in the segregated grounds at Oakland or Westview cemeteries. In 1890 McKinley and Oakland residents Henry Rucker, Thomas Goosby, C. C. Cater, and Nicodemus Holmes, along with other African American investors, established the Georgia Real Estate Loan and Trust Company. The new business offered yet another opportunity for economic advancement for McKinley and the other investors, while providing much needed business financing for their African American customers.

According to scholar Rev. E. R. Carter, in 1888 McKinley paid taxes on $40,000. McKinley owned 12 shares of stock in South-View Cemetery, valued at $900. It may seem ironic to some that McKinley is not buried at South-View, but he had purchased his family lot at Oakland in 1879 to bury 6-month-old Joseph McKinley. The McKinley family apparently was unwilling to disinter the infant and two other previously interred family members to move them to South-View. Like many African American families in Atlanta, the McKinleys continued to use their family lot and buried multiple generations of family members together at Oakland.

Jacob McKinley listed among the founders on a monument at South-View Cemetery.

As HOF begins planning for the African American Grounds hardscape and landscape restoration, community engagement and support is critical. You can make a financial contribution to the restoration project in person at Oakland Cemetery’s Visitors Center & Museum Shop, located at the Bell Tower. Or donate online by clicking here. On the online donation page, be sure to select “African American Section” from the designation drop-down menu. Visit our African American Grounds page to learn about this restoration project in-depth.

Dr. DL Henderson is a professional genealogist and Board Trustee at Historic Oakland Foundation.

Ashley Shares is Preservation Manager at Historic Oakland Foundation.

Note: Jacob McKinley’s biographical information is excerpted from Dr. Henderson’s forthcoming book, South-View: An African American City of the Dead. It will be published in January 2018.

Deck Your Halls with Fresh-Cut Fir!

by Sara Henderson, Director of Gardens

The 2017 Holiday Wreath Sale has ended. Please check back in 2018 for updates on upcoming garden sales and events! 

Oakland’s annual wreath and greenery sale returns for 2017 with fresh wreaths, a variety of hand-tied bows, and fresh greenery cut from the grounds. This is a wonderful way to honor family and decorate your home, while supporting Oakland’s gardens.

The bundles of mixed greenery are perfect for enhancing your wreath, decorating your home and mailbox, or giving as gifts. Each bundle will include an assortment of hand-selected evergreens chosen to bring fragrance and colorful cheer to your home.

The wreaths you buy for placement on the grounds will be placed by Dec. 10 if ordered before Dec. 6. Orders received after Dec. 6 will be placed as quickly as possible, usually within two days. These wreaths symbolize the love and respect you feel for departed family members and friends and also bring cheer to those visiting the grounds during the holiday season.

Place commemorative wreaths and ribbons on your family plot.

All proceeds from wreath, ribbon, and garland sales benefit Historic Oakland Foundation’s gardens team. Thank you for your support!

Holiday Wreaths on Sale Now

It’s the most wonderful time of year! Historic Oakland Foundation’s annual wreath sale returns, with the chance to decorate your home or family plot with fragrant balsam fir wreaths. Our handmade wreaths are sourced from a North Carolina farm, and come complete with a lovely red velvet ribbon. For reference, two 12-inch wreaths fit a mausoleum’s double doors.

All proceeds from holiday wreath sales benefit Historic Oakland Foundation’s gardens team.

Orders placed by Nov. 30 will be ready for pickup during the Dec. 2 event, A Victorian Holiday at Oakland, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. During the event, members of Oakland’s gardens team will give demonstrations of ways to embellish wreaths and other decorations with garden greenery.

Those who pick up preordered wreaths during A Victorian Holiday at Oakland will receive a complimentary bundle of decorative mixed greens harvested from Oakland Cemetery’s gardens.

12” balsam wreath with standard red bow $30*
24” balsam wreath with standard red bow $35*
36” balsam wreath $60*
Deluxe hand-tied bow $8*
Oversized red bow suitable for 36” wreath $12
6’ fresh garland $18
Bundle of mixed greens to decorate mantle, wreath, or garland $9*

*All prices include 8.9% sales tax

Historic Oakland Cemetery focuses on African American Grounds restoration on Georgia Gives Day

Deborah Strahorn portrays Myra Miller at Capturing the Spirit of Oakland 2017

On Tuesday, Nov. 28 Historic Oakland Foundation (HOF) joins non-profit organizations across the state for Georgia Gives Day. On this statewide day of online giving, HOF has a goal to raise $5,000 in support of its ongoing restoration project in the African American Grounds.

The 3.5-acre area in Oakland Cemetery has not undergone a large-scale restoration in more than 100 years. HOF requires approximately $400,000 to fully restore the area, which will undergo both hardscape and landscape repairs. To date HOF has received generous gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations including Georgia-Pacific Foundation and Georgia Power Foundation, Inc.

The African American Grounds restoration project began this January, six months after HOF completed a ground-penetrating radar survey of the area. Historically, African American burial traditions utilized natural markers like wood, shrubbery, or flowers, which have been lost through the passage of time. Therefore, much of this section of Oakland Cemetery is bereft of headstones or other visual markers.

To determine what lies beneath, HOF partnered with Atlanta-based remote sensing firm Bigman Geophysical for a technologically-advanced survey of the American Grounds. That survey found nearly 900 probable unmarked burials in the area.

During the recent Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours – held over two weekends in October – HOF raised more than $9,000 for the African American Grounds, thanks to attendees who donated after hearing the story of Oakland resident Myra Miller.

Born a slave in 1811, Miller was among the 10 residents featured on this year’s tours. Miller and her husband moved to Atlanta in the mid-1870s, and she established herself as one of the city’s finest and most sought-after bakers. Miller owned and operated a bakery in downtown Atlanta, and wedding cakes were her specialty.

Capturing the Spirit of Oakland is HOF’s largest annual fundraiser, bringing more than 7,000 visitors through the cemetery’s gates over seven nights. This year’s donations for the African American Grounds broke HOF records.

In 2016 Capturing the Spirit of Oakland attendees donated more than $7,500 to the African American Grounds. The tours featuredDr. Beatrice Thompson, who graduated from medical school in 1901 before setting up a practice in Athens, Ga. During her lifetime Dr. Thompson championed fellow entrepreneurs and invested in Athens’ first black-owned pharmacy.

“Supporting Oakland Cemetery on Georgia Gives Day makes it possible for us to restore and maintain this treasured area, as the families originally intended,” said HOF Executive Director David Moore. “Our Foundation works every day to keep Atlanta’s history alive through a diverse range of programming and projects, and community support is critical to our success.”

Run Like Hell 5K F.A.Q.

Get a head start on registration before it closes on Oct. 11!

Q: Can I register for Run Like Hell on race day? 
A: No. Race registration closes on Wednesday, October 11 and race day registration will not be permitted.

Run Like Hell 5K is capped at 1,600 participants, and registration is filling up quickly. Please do not wait to register, as additional capacity is not guaranteed.

Q: Where do I get my race number?
A: Race packet pickup is available in advance of Run Like Hell, or on race day. Early pickup is available at Big Peach Running Company.

Early pickup at the Decatur location is available from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 12
114 East Trinity Place
Decatur, GA 30030

Early pickup at the Midtown location is available from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Friday, October 13
800 Peachtree Street
Suites B&C
Atlanta, GA 30308

Race day packet and T-shirt pick up is from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at Lion Square.

Check out the Memorial Drive Greenway at Run Like Hell!

Q: How early can I arrive at Oakland Cemetery on race day?
A: Oakland Cemetery opens at dawn, and race day packet and t-shirt pickup is available from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at Lion Square.

Q: Why is the route different this year?
A: Run Like Hell is now in its 10th year, and on this milestone anniversary we’re excited to show off an exciting new development happening just outside of Oakland Cemetery’s gates! The new route is faster, and highlights the Memorial Drive Greenway project that leads up to the Georgia State Capitol.

Click here to view and download a Run Like Hell 5K route map.

Q: Who benefits from Run Like Hell?
All proceeds from Run Like Hell benefit Historic Oakland Foundation’s mission to preserve, restore, enhance, and share Oakland Cemetery.

New this year is the opportunity for participants to help HOF fundraise in support of the cemetery’s African American Grounds restoration project. Individual and group participants can fundraise toward HOF’s $5,000 restoration goal.

Q: How do I get my race results?
A: Results will be posted on Oakland’s website and the It’s Your Race registration page by the end of day on race day. Participants can receive results in real time by downloading the It’s Your Race mobile app, available on iOS and Android devices.

May the best costume win!

Q: Can my child participate in Run Like Hell?
A: Yes. Please note that although the Run Like Heck kid’s 1K has been eliminated, children are still welcome to participate in the main race. Awards will be given to kids with the fastest times in the 10 & under and 11-14 age groups.

Children in strollers do not need to be registered as race participants.

Q: How do I get to Oakland Cemetery?
A: For directions to Oakland Cemetery, please click here.

We strongly encourage race participants to utilize public transportation or rideshare service, carpool, bike, or walk to Oakland Cemetery. Bike racks will be available adjacent to Oakland’s main gate at the intersection of Oakland Avenue and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.

Q: Where do I park?
A: Parking is available at the gravel lot near Oakland Cemetery’s main gate at the intersection of Oakland Avenue and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. Please note that lot parking is available on a first come, first serve basis and off-street parking is limited. Handicap parking is available in the lot at Oakland Cemetery’s gates.

We strongly encourage attendees to walk, bike, carpool or utilize MARTA. Oakland Cemetery is conveniently located just minutes away from the King Memorial rail station. 

Q: Will Run Like Hell be cancelled if it rains?
A: No, Run Like Hell 5K is a rain or shine event.

Q: Can I bring my dog to Run Like Hell?
A: Yes – and costumes are encouraged! The best-dressed dog will take home a prize during the Run Like Hell costume contest. Please keep your dog on a leash at all times, and always pick up after your pet.

Light snacks will be on hand, but be sure to carbo-load before the race!

Q: Can I be a part of Run Like Hell without being in the race?
A: No 5K is complete without a cheering section! Invite your friends, family, and other well-wishers to cheer you along the route with signs and noisemakers. The Memorial Drive Greenway makes for an ideal location for spectators, who are also invited to check out the activities happening inside Oakland Cemetery before and after the race.

Q: Will there be food and drink at Run Like Hell?
A: Complimentary water, bananas, and Muscle Milk bars will be available for race participants. Light refreshments will also be available for purchase from Brown Boys Lemonade, King of Pops, and Wag-A-Lot, which offers doggie ice cream.

Q: How does the costume contest work?  
A: The best-dressed racer will be selected by way of audience participation, so get creative with your costuming! Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Best Adult Male, Best Adult Female, Best Group, and Best Dog.

Norcostco Atlanta Costume offers Run Like Hell registrants 10% off retail costumes and makeup (excludes tech items and rentals) & $5 off costume rental.

Q: What else is there to do at Run Like Hell?  
A: After the race stick around for the awards ceremony and costume contest. Corepower Yoga will offer race participants a free 30-minute yoga session — feel free to bring your own yoga mat! Guided mini-tours of Oakland Cemetery will also be available.

Show your race number at the Oakland pop-up shop at Lion Square for 10% off your purchase. HOF members receive an additional 10% off on purchases.

Get into the spirit with Run Like Hell’s playlist on Apple Music and Spotify!

Get the latest Run Like Hell 5K updates by joining the event Facebook page. 

Thank You to our Sponsors!