Brook Run Park in Dunwoody was packed Saturday, April 21, as festival goers made their way to the annual Dunwoody Lemonade Days festival.

Peachtree Charter Middle School’s parking lot was filled and then some as people made the short hike to the park on North Peachtree Road. Across the street from the park, members of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church’s youth group were accepting donations to park in their lot. They were also allowing people to use the church building’s restroom and diaper changing stations.

Dunwoody Preservation Trust President Jim Williams, left, and Vice President of Development Jack Lane seated at the DPT booth. (Dyana Bagby)

This is the 19th year of the festival that was started to help Dunwoody rebuild and replant trees after the city was struck on April 9, 1998, by a powerful tornado that resulted in the loss of one life, acres of damaged land, ruined homes and thousands of acres of downed trees. The first year of the festival was in April 1999 and it is now the largest annual fundraiser for the Dunwoody Preservation Trust, a nonprofit that works to preserve the city’s history and heritage.

“The first year it was down at the Cheek Spruill House on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road and it was just a small thing, maybe some bouncy houses,” Dunwoody Preservation President Jim Williams said while seated the the trust’s booth.

Williams said the large crowds are proof the community appreciates coming together. “People are really coming out this year,” Williams said. “Especially after being cooped up by the [bad] weather.”

DPT’s Vice President of Development Jack Lane said he liked seeing how happy people were at the festival.

“I like seeing people coming off the rides and just kind of running and smiling,” he said.

“With everything that’s going on around in the world today and some news that may not be as pleasant to some people, it’s just fun. I feel like people can really let their hair down … it just seems very free. It feels good to me to see people feeling safe, feeling free and laughing.”

Photos Dyana Bagby.