This past weekend marked the beginning of festival season in Atlanta with the 79th annual Dogwood Festival held at Piedmont Park. This event is always fun and well attended, but my favorite aspect of it is that it means that Spring is here and our great city is emerging from it’s Winter slumber and everyone is in great spirits, ready to embrace the weather and all the festivities. This year’s Dogwood Festival was very well attended, perhaps more than I can remember in years past and aside from a rainy start on Friday, the rest of the weekend proved to be great for art strolling, people watching, and sun soaking. All these, by the way, are some of my favorite things and why I love a good festival!
This is just the beginning though as Atlanta loves it’s festivals. Every weekend from now until next Winter there will most likely be an outdoor, or indoor, festival or event to attend, with some weekends offering several. The pressure of deciding on what to do and not do can be daunting as there is so much going on and if you are like me you don’t want to miss anything. So, to make it easy, I have narrowed the list down to four festivals that I will attend this Spring. All are fun and different, offering unique crowds, different activities, and plenty of people watching. These are in order by date, not by preference, and all are top notch.
Georgia Renaissance Festival: (April 18 – June 7, 2015)
Yes, I know what you are thinking, the Georgia Renaissance Festival is a must do? If you like to mix things up, then yes! I went last year and had a great time. Whether you are taking your family, on a date, or just with a group of friends this is an experience unlike any other that I have been to. Somewhere between kitsch and Game of Thrones is this festival, tucked into the woods just south of the city. If nothing else, you should be able to appreciate the dedication of the staff who take their roles very seriously, but I think you will find plenty to entertain you, from jousting to wenches. I suggest getting a turkey leg, it’s just one of those things you need to experience.
This marks the 30th year of the festival and they are currently offering Buy One Get One Free adult tickets so get your now!
Inman Park Festival: (April 24-26, 2015)
Spread throughout one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city, this sprawling festival is always a great time. Food, art, entertainment and lots of people watching make this one of the most fun and well attended festivals in the city. I like going early when it isn’t too crowded and parking is always an issue so take Marta if you can. The vibe is chill and everyone is in a great mood. Also there are a lot of house parties going on that you can stroll in and out of making new friends. My favorite thing to do is to sit in the park and just take it all in, there is always a lot going on.
Also, if you like homes there is the Inman Park Festival Tour Of Homes that always offers a peak into some of the stunning homes in the neighborhood. It is a good way to experience the festival and get a feel for the neighborhood. Definitely worth it!
Atlanta Jazz Festival: (May 22-24, 2015)
Known as one of the largest free Jazz Festivals in the country, there are actually events throughout the entire month of May leading up to Memorial Day Weekend where the festival ends with a music and food filled festival in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. If you aren’t traveling that weekend this is a good, chill way to spend your time. I go in the evenings when many of the most anticipated performers start. I really don’t sit and watch any one stage, but jump around and just enjoy the music and atmosphere. The music is incredible and I love watching every0ne dance and get into the energy of the festival and the spirited tradition of jazz music.
Atlanta Food and Wine Festival: (May 28-31, 2015)
Calling all foodies and wine connoisseurs or anyone that just likes good food and a great time. If there is one festival not to miss I would say it is this one. From dinners to tastings with some of the best chefs anywhere, you can eat and drink your way through this weekend of pure bliss. From day passes to weekend passes to “connoisseur” passes there are lots of ways to experience some or all of this event located in Midtown Atlanta. Check out tickets and what they include HERE.
I often hear complaints from people that “there isn’t anything to do in Atlanta”. Well, that just isn’t true. Nearly every weekend or weekday there is so much going on in this great city of ours, many of which is free to enjoy. There is no excuse not to indulge, soak up the sun, people watch, and enjoy what Atlanta has to offer. And if these festivals don’t suit your fancy, there are so many more to choose from. So, get out and get into it!
I will let you know my picks for Summer Festivals in Atlanta as soon as I get through these – pace yourself, there is a lot of fun to be had!