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Stroll around town tonight to see exhibits at various shops and restaurants and enjoy complimentary snacks and drinks. Beer will be on sale at East Court Square so drop by to visit beer sponsors Red Brick and Starr Hill, plus local brewers Three Taverns, Wild Heaven, Blue Tarp, and Twain’s.

Participating Business:

Click here for details or pick up an Arts Festival program at one of the participating businesses for a map.

The USDA sent a press release with the following food safety tips as the weather warms up:

Offers Summer Food Safety Tips in Advance of Memorial Day Weekend

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2015 – Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer, and many Americans will celebrate with cookouts, camping, road trips, and other activities that involve food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is reminding families to take extra care not to let foodborne bacteria, which grows more quickly in hot weather, ruin the fun.

“This Memorial Day weekend and all summer long, I encourage families to get outside and enjoy our natural resources, national parks and forests, and the variety of food America’s farmers are able to provide,” said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. “It’s important to remember that bacteria grow faster in the same warm temperatures that people enjoy, so extra care needs to be taken to prevent food poisoning when preparing meals away from home. USDA reminds everyone to use a food thermometer, and take advantage of resources like our FoodKeeper app to help with any food handling questions.”

Last month, USDA launched its FoodKeeper mobile app, which contains specific guidance on more than 400 food and beverage items, including safe cooking recommendations for meat, poultry and seafood products. The app provides information on how to store food and beverages to maximize their freshness and quality. This will help keep products fresh longer than if they were stored improperly, which can happen more often during hot summer days. The application is available for free on Android and Apple devices.

Due to a variety of factors, including warmer temperatures, foodborne illness increases in summer. To help Americans stay healthy and safe, USDA offers the following food safety recommendations.

Bringing food to a picnic or cookout:

• Use an insulated cooler filled with ice or frozen gel packs.  Frozen food can also be used as a cold source. • Foods that need to be kept cold include raw meat, poultry, and seafood; deli and luncheon meats or sandwiches; summer salads (tuna, chicken, egg, pasta, or seafood); cut up fruit and vegetables; and perishable dairy products. • A full cooler will maintain its cold temperature longer than a partially filled one.  When using a cooler, keep it out of the direct sun by placing it in the shade or shelter. • Avoid opening the cooler repeatedly so that your food stays colder longer.

Cooking on the grill:

• Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat and ready-to-eat items like vegetables or bread. • Keep perishable food cold until it is ready to cook. • Use a food thermometer to make sure meat and poultry are cooked thoroughly to their safe minimum internal temperatures: o Beef, Pork, Lamb, & Veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145 °F with a 3 minute rest time o Ground meats: 160 °F o Whole poultry, poultry breasts, & ground poultry: 165 °F • Always use a fresh, clean plate and tongs for serving cooked food. Never reuse items that touched raw meat or poultry to serve the food once it is cooked.

Serving food outdoors:

• Perishable food should not sit out for more than two hours.  In hot weather (above 90 °F), food should NEVER sit out for more than one hour. • Serve cold food in small portions, and keep the rest in the cooler.  After cooking meat and poultry on the grill, keep it at 140 °F or warmer until served. • Keep hot food hot by setting it to the side of the grill rack, not directly over the coals where they could overcook.

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Follow FSIS on Twitter at twitter.com/usdafoodsafety or in Spanish at twitter.com/usdafoodsafe_es. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

If you would like to help place flags and/or flowers on the graves or memorials in the Decatur Cemetery for those who were killed while serving in the military as part of your Memorial Day Weekend activities, please contact Chris Billingsley at cbillingsley1823@gmail.com. You can also show up for any of the following:

6:00 p.m., Thursday, May 21
Place flags on graves. Meet at the Veteran’s Rock in the new cemetery (enter Church St. gate and go to area above pond).

6:00 p.m., Sunday, May 24
Place Flowers On Graves. Meet at Veterans’s Rock.

5:00 p.m., Monday, May 25
Brief Remembrance Ceremony. Afterwards volunteers will pick up all flags and flowers from graves.

1945 Harold Byrd plaque

Come out and join us for a Blue Sky Concert today at noon. The Beulah Boys will be entertaining the crown with dancing and singing-you don’t want to miss it! And don’t forget, it’s senior day!

Decatur elders, boomers, and seniors are a multi-generational audience that is on the move and living with energy! We plan these events so you can meet socially several times a year with other seniors to connect and enjoy. These outings are a collaboration of Lifelong Community, Active Living, and Police Outreach teams.

*Bring a sack lunch; Chairs will be set up for seniors
*Decatur seniors are all invited!

Tuesday, May 19 • 5:15-7 pm
Dalton Gallery • Dana Fine Arts Building • Agnes Scott College • 141 E. College Ave.

Be among the first to view an intriguing collection of paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture and mixed media selected by this year’s distinguished jury – Molly Rose Freeman, Ben Goldman, and Amanda Hellman. Meet the artists and enjoy refreshments. Held in conjunction with the May meeting of the Decatur Business Association. Free parking in the Agnes Scott Parking deck (entrance on South McDonough Street). Get a sneak peek and more info on the exhibition here.

Budgeting is fun!

Budget 2015Come join us!

This year’s community budget gathering will be held tonight from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Decatur City Hall, 509 N. McDonough Street. This is your chance to find out how the budget process works and give your input.

WorldwideWhiskyday

Tomorrow, May 16, 2015 is World Wide Whisky Day. Yes, that’s a thing, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate it in Decatur.

The Marlay House is offering a special selection of four Irish whiskeys and a cheese plate.

Brick Store, Leon’s and Kimball House have all said they’ll be celebrating – especially since every day is pretty much whisky day for them.

And then of course, you cannot mention whisky in Decatur without thinking of Mac McGee. The pub has more than 100 Whisk(e)ys to choose from. So belly up to the bar, order your favorite and #ShareADram.

And if having a wee dram gets you in the mood to shop, visit Trinity Mercantile & Design for all things whisky. Pick up a copy of  A Guide to Urban Moonshining: How to make and drink whiskey and stock up on some bar items/accessories.

Sláinte!

lantern-parade-group-e1420496845476

Let your light shine and wind through downtown Decatur during this free community event. Gather at Color Wheel Studio at 508 E. Howard Ave. after 8 pm, then parade to the downtown square along with the Black Sheep Marching Ensemble.

Make your own lantern at home or attend a lantern-making workshop where supplies and guidance are provided. Start dreaming up your lantern now! For more info and lantern making resources visit decaturlanternparade.com.

See the parade route here. Please note the Decatur Lantern Parade is battery powered. Flying lanterns are forbidden.

The parade is a joint venture with Decatur Education Foundation.
Photo credit: Beate Sass

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The City of Decatur has issued a film permit to Shadowlight Pictures for a television project today.  The project will film at Ebster Recreation Center as well as on the Decatur Housing Authority property at the corner of Trinity and Electric Avenue.  Decatur police will be present at both locations.  We do anticipate intermittent traffic control for about twenty minutes in the afternoon. Your patience is greatly appreciated.

Blue Sky Concert today

Blue Sky Sept2014-poster