skip to Main Content
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Illumine 2019

May 9, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on May 10, 2019 at 7:00 pm

One event on May 11, 2019 at 7:00 pm

One event on May 12, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Click here to learn about Illumine 2020

lllumine 2019 is an unforgettable interactive evening event for the whole family designed to (literally) shed light on the fascinating untold stories and unique beauty of Atlanta’s historic Oakland Cemetery.

From May 9 – 12, ticket holders can grab a craft cocktail or soft drink as the sun goes down and wander with friends and family through a historic landscape alive with light and art.

Conceptualized by local artists and designers, Illumine’s ethereal tableaux and botanic displays from the cemetery gates to the greenhouse will educate, enlighten, and inspire you with the breathtaking lights of the Atlanta skyline as a backdrop. In addition to the mile-long light display, this rare after-hours experience at a treasured Atlanta landmark will offer live music from The Shoal Creek Stranglers, a bar featuring signature craft cocktails from Old 4th Distillery, an Oakland pop-up shop, and more.

Entrance to Oakland Cemetery for Illumine 2019 begins at 7:00 p.m., and last entrance is at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday 9 May and Sunday 12 May and 10:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11. Illumine ends one hour after last entry.


  • Adults:$20 advance / $25 at the gate plus taxes and fees
  • Students, Children, Seniors: $15 / $20 at the gate*
  • Children 3 and Under: Free

Please note: Saturday night’s Illumine event has sold out. We still have tickets available for Sunday.

Buy Your Tickets at Freshtix!

Each evening of Illumine 2019 has a limited number of tickets to ensure the best experience for each visitor. Buy your tickets in advance to guarantee that you can experience Illumine 2019.

Download or view our Frequently Asked Questions

What you will see

  • Dozens of displays including lanterns, light-boxes, illuminated headstones, mausolea, and botanicals
  • Archival images and film projected throughout the Cemetery
  • Lighting effects to shine a light on many previously untold stories of Oakland Cemetery, including a poignant and provocative tribute to the people buried and then removed from “Slave Square” and a display highlighting the individuals buried in unmarked graves in North Public Grounds

Dinner Deals at Local Restaurants

Ticket holders will receive a significant discount at nearby restaurants:

Know Before You Go

  • Advanced tickets are a better value and are strongly encouraged for faster entry to the Cemetery as well as to ensure that you can attend on your preferred day.
  • General Admission tickets purchased at the gate are subject to a $5 walk-up fee plus taxes and fees.
  • Ticket price does not include tax or fees.
  • Weapons of any kind are prohibited.
  • Illumine’s route covers approximately one mile of roads and historic pathways. Although there are no steps on the route, historic gutters, slopes, and brick walkways might make experiencing Illumine 2019 difficult for those with limited mobility. If you are unsure if Illumine 2019 is suitable for you, please contact Richard Harker at to discuss your particular circumstances.”

Illumine FAQs

What time is Illumine?

Entrance to Oakland Cemetery for Illumine 2019 begins at 7:00 p.m., and last entrance is at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday 9 May and Sunday 12 May and 10:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11. Illumine ends one hour after last entry.

Please have your ticket (printed or on your phone with your screen set to its brightest setting) ready when you arrive at Oakland Cemetery’s main gate to speed-up entry to Illumine 2019.

What if it rains?

Illumine is a rain or shine event, and tickets are non-refundable; valid only for date selected at time of purchase. In case of serious inclement weather forcing an evening to be canceled, ticket-holders will be notified of how to transfer their ticket to another evening.

Is Illumine a guided walking tour?

No, unlike Oakland Cemetery’s walking tours, Illumine is a self-guided experience throughout Oakland Cemetery’s original Six Acres, Bell Tower Ridge, and Greenhouse valley, including the Beaumont Allen Greenhouse. As the sun sets lights transform the cemetery, highlighting previously unseen elements of Oakland’s landscapes, gardens, and history.

The route will be illuminated, and visitors are asked to please stay within the designated route.

When you arrive at Illumine you will receive a route map. Additional Illumine 2019 content—including some more detailed history—will be available through the Oakland website and Instagram feed during the event.

Can I add dinner to my Illumine experience?

We encourage you to spend your entire evening nearby and enjoy dinner at one of our local partner restaurants who are offering discounts and deals for Illumine 2019 ticket holders:
• Tin Lizzy’s Grant Park – 25% off your check (in-store only)
• YourPie Grant Park – 50% off (in-store at YourPie Grant park only)

I attended Illumine 2016 – what’s different this time?
Each year HOF has listened to our visitors and learned lessons from previous experiences, especially Illumine 2016 and Golden Hour (2018). This year’s Illumine event has a limited number of tickets available each evening to ensure that there is enough space on the route for visitors to truly enjoy their experience. This year’s event visits different areas of the Cemetery and includes new lighting elements from a range of Atlanta artists and lighting designers.

How do I get to Oakland Cemetery?
Click here for directions to Oakland Cemetery.

Where should I park?

Limited parking is available in the Oakland lots on Martin Luther King Dr and Grant Street. Please consider other means of transportation including MARTA (the King Memorial station is a very short walk from the main gates of Oakland Cemetery), rideshare apps, or taxis.

What should I wear?

Dress appropriately for this outdoor walking experience and wear appropriate footwear for Oakland’s historic walkways.

Is Illumine family-friendly?

Absolutely. We encourage families and friends to experience Oakland Cemetery together.

Are outside food or beverages allowed?

No outside food or beverages are allowed at Oakland Cemetery during Illumine. Beer, wine, and cocktails (from Old 4th Distillery), as well as soft drinks and snacks, will be available for purchase at three bars throughout the Cemetery.

Is it OK to bring my dog?

With the exception of service animals, pets are not permitted at Illumine. Because this is a nighttime event, and with large crowds expected, please leave your four-legged friend at home.

Is Oakland Cemetery cash only?

No. Cash and all major credit cards are accepted.

What time does Oakland close to prepare for Illumine?
All visitors to the park are asked to exit by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday 9, Friday 10, Saturday 11, and Sunday 12 May to allow Foundation staff to set-up for Illumine 2019.

The park will also close at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday 8 May for pre-event rehearsals.

Who benefits from Illumine?

All proceeds from Illumine (and all of Historic Oakland Foundation’s tours, programs, and events) support Historic Oakland Foundation’s mission to preserve, restore, enhance, and share Oakland Cemetery in partnership with the City of Atlanta.

How can I share my Illumine experience?

Use the hashtag #Illumine2019 and tag @oaklandcemetery to share your Illumine experience with your friends and family.

Thank you to our Illumine sponsors:

Mailchimp | PC&E Atlanta | Southern Lighting Source | Eventide | Riot Creative Imaging | Ramen Station


May 9, 2019
3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


Oakland Cemetery
248 Oakland Avenue Southeast
Atlanta, GA 30312 United States
+ Google Map
Back To Top