Atlanta, Georgia



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Atlanta, GA
Events

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November

December


January:
King Week and the Martin Luther King Jr.
National Holiday
Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, 449 Auburn Ave. N.E
(404) 526-8900
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929. A national holiday was declared in his honor in 1986. King Week, held the week preceding the Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday, includes many free performances, concerts, special religious services and educational presentations. Check with the Center for specific times and places of events.

February:
African-American History Month
Atlanta, the center of the Civil Rights movement for years, marks African-American History Month with numerous educational and entertainment events. For specific dates and times, call (404) 730-1976.

Southeastern Flower Show
City Hall Exhibition Center, City Hall East
640 Ponce de Leon Ave. N.E.
(404) 888-5638
This show, held over a weekend late in the month, benefits the Atlanta Botanical Garden. It features a wide range of garden-related events including displays, demonstrations, workshops and children's activities.

March:
Atlanta Passion Play
Atlanta Civic Center, 395 Piedmont Ave. N.E.
(404) 347-8400
Since 1976, the First Baptist Church of Atlanta has annually presented this pageant portraying Christ's life, death and resurrection. Its reputation is so widespread, it now draws people from around the country. Each year's production varies slightly with different focuses on the story line and different music. The elaborately staged and costumed play is the work of more than 500 people, including a chorus and full orchestra. Due to the three-hour length, the sacred nature of the performance and the graphic portrayal of Christ's death, children younger than 6 are not admitted. The play is performed the final three weekends of Lent, not including Easter weekend.

Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival
International Horse Park
1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy., Conyers
(770) 918-2169
The month long calendar of events includes art exhibits, a road race, other sporting tournaments, a beauty pageant, music and more. Most of the events are free, but there is a parking fee. The Festival Day is usually held on the third or fourth Saturday in March at the Georgia International Horse Park on the edge of town.

St. Patrick's Day
Concerts, readings and lectures are held at various locations around town. Theatre Gael, the Celtic-inspired dramatic group, and the W.B. Yeats Foundation at Emory University usually feature special programs. The city of Decatur, a few miles east of downtown Atlanta, holds its own parade as does the City of Atlanta. Events are sponsored by the Atlanta Hibernian Society.

Baby & Kid Expo
Cobb Galleria Centre, 2 Galleria Pkwy. N.W.
(770) 395-7900
Families will enjoy this weekend exposition of products and services for the children, held in late March. Events include circus performers, a baby crawl-off, storytelling, a puppet theater, safety and product information.

April:
Easter Sunrise Services
Georgia's Stone Mountain Park
U.S. Hwy. 78 east to Stone Mountain Park exit
(770) 498-5702
As Easter morning breaks, local ministers lead an ecumenical worship service.. The weather is often windy and cold, so you might need to bring a blanket. The service is free, but there is a per car charge of about $6 to be admitted into the park.

Sheep to Shawl Day
Atlanta History Center, 130 W. Paces Ferry Rd.
(404) 814-4000
Held the first Saturday of the month, the event features demonstrations of the art of sheep shearing, followed by a demonstration of the entire process required to turn it into something wearable. Spectators observe the fresh wool through the washing, spinning, dyeing and weaving cycles. The completed process produces a new shawl. Displays are ongoing throughout the day. The center is open from 10 AM to 5:30 PM the day of the event.

Atlanta Dogwood Festival
Piedmont Park, 10th St. and Piedmont Ave.
(404) 875-7275
The Dogwood Festival celebrates a new season of dogwood in flower. (The dogwood may or may not flower at the exact time of its festival). Highlights include a colorful hot-air balloon race, concerts, children's parades and dog Frisbee championships. Most events are free.

Druid Hills Home and Garden Tour
Various Druid Hills Homes
(404) 524-TOUR
The elegant Druid Hills neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This weekend event in late April affords a rare opportunity to tour selected homes and gardens in the $300,000 to million-dollar range. Tickets are available for the entire tour or for individual homes.

Inman Park Festival
Edgewood and Euclid Aves. and other Inman Park streets
(770) 242-4895
Two miles east of Five Points, Inman Park was developed in the 1880s as Atlanta's first suburb. Along its broad, tree-lined streets are imposing Victorian mansions and charming bungalows. Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler lived here in the early 1900s;. There is a parade, a tour of homes, antiques, food, crafts and music at this two-day street party held the last weekend of the month.

WalkAmerica
Various metro Atlanta streets
(404) 352-WALK
Benefiting the March of Dimes, this walkathon annually attracts some 20,000 participants who sign up pledge donors and walk one of eight routes throughout the metro area. The event is held on a Saturday in late April.

Georgia Renaissance Festival
I-85 at Exit 12, Fairburn
(770) 964-8575
English Renaissance features more than 100 performances daily on 10 stages scattered across the 93-acre festival grounds. Strolling musicians, minstrels, magicians and other costumed characters are all part of the fun, along with knights in armor jousting on horseback. The festival is open seven consecutive weekends (Saturday and Sunday only) beginning in late April and lasting through the end of May or early JuneIt's such a popular event that it's presented again in October.

May:
Lasershow
Georgia's Stone Mountain Park
U.S. Hwy. 78 east to Stone Mountain Park exit
(770) 498-5690
Seven nights a week from early May through Labor Day, the sky over Stone Mountain explodes with a rainbow of laser light. To stirring musical accompaniment, lasers are projected on the mountain's north face, which becomes a natural million-square-foot screen. After Labor Day through late October, the show is presented on Friday and Saturday nights only. The show is free with admission to the park.

Springfest and the Corporate Garage Sale
Georgia's Stone Mountain Park
U.S. Hwy. 78 east to Stone Mountain Park exit
(770) 498-5690
Cooks from around the South compete in a barbecue cookoff for thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. In addition to live music, the weekend in early May includes a huge garage sale.

Bed and Breakfast Tour
Edgewood and Euclid Aves. and other Inman Park streets
(404) 876-2041
The Atlanta Preservation Center celebrates Mother's Day with an offering of tea and cakes at four charming Victorian bed and breakfast inns. Tour-goers arealso escorted through the exquisitely decorated and restored mansions.

National Historic Preservation Week
Various Locations
(404) 876-2040
During a week in mid-May, the Atlanta Preservation Center offers walking tours of historic Atlanta districts free of charge.

Atlanta Celtic Festival
Oglethorpe University
4484 Peachtree Rd.
(404) 261-1441
This two-day event, held the third weekend of the month, celebrates the history and cultural heritage of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. International, national and local musicians, dancers and speakers are on-hand, along with Celtic crafts, foods and merchandise. There are free lessons in Scottish country dancing, children's games and sheepdog demonstrations. Members of Atlanta's Theatre Gael perform short works and entertain with storytelling. Hours are 10 AM to 10 PM Saturday and noon to 6 PM Sunday.

Midtown Music Festival
Peachtree and 10th Sts.
404-872-1115
Usually held the first weekend in May. Tickets are available through TicketMaster; call (404) 249-6400

Atlanta Jazz Festival
Grant Park
Georgia and Cherokee Aves.
(404) 817-6815
Started in 1977, this showcase of local and national jazz talent is one of the largest of its kind in the city. All events on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of Memorial Day weekend are free and run from 1 to 10 PM. On the days before the event, various jazz artists give free, brown-bag lunchtime concerts in Woodruff Park, at Marietta and Peachtree streets downtown. The festival is sponsored by the City of Atlanta.

Atlanta Peach Caribbean Festival
Various Locations
(404) 220-0158
Atlanta is home to many people who trace their roots to the Caribbean islands. This festival, held over Memorial Day weekend, celebrates Caribbean culture with a parade, a soccer tournament, parties, art shows and performances. Most events are free.

Decatur Arts Festival
Decatur Town Square and Other Locations
(404) 371-9583
The city of Decatur, 6 miles east of downtown, hosts this popular festival, which has grown substantially in recent years. Among the many activities offered over Memorial Day weekend are art exhibits, a children's festival, storytellers, jugglers, magicians, pony rides, international music and dance and literary events.

Taste of the South
Georgia's Stone Mountain Park
U.S. Hwy. 78 east to Stone Mountain Park exit
(770) 498-5590
Each Southern state shows off its best offerings in food, entertainment, travel and more over Memorial Day weekend.

June:
Virginia-Highland Summerfest
John Howell Park
Virginia Ave. at Ponce de Leon Pl.
(404) 222-8244
Founded in 1916 and originally called North Boulevard Park, the Virginia-Highland neighborhood annually throws this popular, free party featuring bands, food from area restaurants and lots of fun for the children. It's held the first full weekend in June.

Willie B's Birthday Party
Atlanta Zoo
800 Cherokee Ave.
(404) 624-5600
Willie B., the silverback Western lowland gorilla named after a former Atlanta mayor, has been one of the city's main attractions since he was a baby. Each year on a weekend in early June, his birthday is celebrated with an enormous cake, cupcakes, a huge card for visitors to sign, music, and face painting . Guests eat the cake; Willie B. eats fresh fruit and vegetables. The celebration is free with a regular Zoo admission.

Georgia Shakespeare Festival
Oglethorpe University
4484 Peachtree Rd.
(404) 264-0020
The season opens in mid-June, with productions going on through October. About 90 minutes before each evening's performance or Sunday matinee, show goers are invited to picnic on the lawn around the Center.

National Black Family Reunion Celebration
Grant Park and Atlanta Marriott Marquis
(404) 524-6269
This three-day event in mid-June, presented by the National Council of Negro Women, begins with a leadership forum on Friday. On Saturday, there's a parade and a free expo in Grant Park with seminars, health screenings and merchandise vendors.
On Sunday, again in Grant Park, the expo continues with the event culminating in a gospel concert at 3 PM. Food and merchandise are available, and all activities and festivities except an ecumenical prayer breakfast that is held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis (265 Peachtree Center Avenue, N.E.), are free.

Arts Festival of Atlanta
Centennial Park
Woodruff Park and other venues
(404) 589-8777
The largest annual event of its kind in the city, the Arts Festival draws 2 million visitors during its nine-day run. Irt is held in mid-June.
There are concerts, dance performances and movie screenings that have admission fees. Paid parking is available all around the park. Public transportation is the best deal solution. Take MARTA and exit at Peachtree Center Station. Then walk downhill to Centennial Park.

Atlanta Virtuosi's Hispanic Festival of the Arts
Atlanta Cuban Club
5797 New Peachtree Rd., Doraville
(770) 938-8611
At the end of June and in early July, the Atlanta Virtuosi sponsors this festival of the arts from Hispanic-speaking people of Colombia, Peru, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Panama and many other nations. Lectures, displays of fine arts, storytelling, dance performances, photography exhibits as well as concerts and food complete the event.

July:
Fantastic Fourth Celebration Georgia's Stone Mountain Park
U.S. Hwy. 78 east to Stone Mountain Park exit
(770) 498-5702

Independence Day
Various Locations
200,000 spectators line Peachtree Street at dawn to watch 50,000 runners compete in the annual Peachtree Road. Midday there's WSB-TV's Salute 2 America Parade with bands, balloons and celebrities; it's the largest Independence Day parade in the nation.
The Southeast's largest fireworks display is at Lenox Square, 3393 Peachtree Road, (404) 233-6767; it's always free. Live bands start playing at 6 PM, and the fireworks begin at 9 PM. There's also a children's entertainment area and food and drink concessions.
Braves fans see a fireworks display at Turner Field, 755 Hank Aaron Drive, following the ball game, call (404) 522-7630.

National Black Arts Festival
236 Forsyth St. S.W.
(404) 730-7315
The National Black Arts Festival is presented biannually in early July. Events are held at various venues throughout the city. The celebration spotlights the work of artists of African descent in: music, dance, theater, film, folk art, visual arts, performance art and literature. Works by artists from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and South America are featured.

September:
Montreaux Atlanta International Music Festival
Piedmont Park
1085 Piedmont Ave.
(404) 817-6815
Famous jazz acts perform at this free outdoor festival sponsored by the City of Atlanta. The event kicks off the week prior to Labor Day with local groups performing at afternoon concerts at either Woodruff Park or Centennial Park, both in downtown Atlanta. The three days of Montreaux concerts are held at Piedmont Park in Midtown and feature jazz, reggae, blues, rock and country music. Admission is free.

Tour D'Town
Bolling Wy. and E. Paces Ferry Rd.
(404) 841-0700
This bicycle race, which raises money for the American Cancer Society, is an annual Labor Day event that attracts more than 3,000 bikers, in-line skaters and wheelchair racers.

U.S. 10K Classic and Family Sports Festival
The Cobb Galleria Centre
I-285 and Cobb Pkwy.
(770) 432-0100
This annual Labor Day event begins at Cumberland Mall and ends at White Water Park, and features pony rides, exhibits and other activities from 10 am until 5 pm.

Yellow Daisy Festival
Georgia's Stone Mountain Park
U.S. Hwy. 78 east to Stone Mountain Park exit
(770) 498-5702
For more than 30 years in early September, Stone Mountain Park has staged this celebration of the Confederate Yellow Daisy, which blooms at about this time. Arts and crafts booths line the wooded paved trails in the Special Events Meadow and Woodlands. There are more than 400 vendors, live entertainment, a flower show, and lots of food.

Olde English Festival
St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church
1790 LaVista Rd.
(404) 634-3336
Renaissance festival on the wooded grounds of St. Bart's Church on a weekend in mid-September.

Street of Dreams
Locations vary annually
(770) 614-7841
The Street of Dreams is always held at a new subdivision. A half dozen expensive model homes are decorated by local designers and then opened for viewing. The homes are open for viewing every day except Mondays throughout the entire month.

Alpenfest
Georgia's Stone Mountain Park
U.S. Hwy. 78 east to Stone Mountain Park exit
(770) 498-5702
Attractions at this two-day party include a German beer and wine garden serving wursts, kraut and strudel and a Festhalle with polka music and other entertainment.

Ansley Park Home Tour
Various homes
(404) 872-TOUR
On a weekend in late September, owners of some of Atlanta's most distinctive older homes open their doors to visitors so that their neighborhood association can earn funds.

Atlanta Greek Festival
Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation
2500 Clairmont Rd.
(404) 633-5870
This tribute to Greek culture attracts more than 50,000 people over four days in late September. There's Greek music, dancing, wine, and food: souvlaki, moussaka, gyros and honey-dripping baklava are made by members of the church.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Barbecue Fest
Gwinnett County Fairgrounds
2405 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Lawrenceville
(770) 963-6522
Held on a weekend in late September this annual event features blues bands and barbecue. Participants vote on their favorite barbecue, stroll around and watch cooking demonstrations, and enjoy children's activities.

Grant Park Tour of Homes
Various homes
(404) 522-7131
Grant Park is named for Col. Lemuel P. Grant, the Yankee civil engineer who designed the elaborate fortifications around Atlanta during the Civil War and who later donated 100 acres of wooded, hilly land near his home for a city park with no racial restrictions. The neighborhood around the park has many historic Victorian homes. Tickets are distributed on the day of the tour in late September.

Sweet Auburn Heritage Festival
Auburn Ave.
(404) 525-0205
For nearly a century Auburn Avenue has been the backbone of black Atlanta. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth home, church and tomb are part of a National Historic Site on Auburn. The famous Royal Peacock Lounge once showcased soul music stars such as James Brown and Stevie Wonder; it continues to operate today. This festival in late September celebrates the street's rich heritage with three days of music, food, fun and shopping. No admission charged.

October:
Georgia Renaissance Festival
I-85 at Exit 12, Fairburn
(770) 964-8575
More than 100 daily performances take place on 10 stages, and food concessions abound. A special attraction at the fall celebration is the Haunted Castle. The festival is open Saturdays and Sundays only.

AIDS Walk Atlanta
Piedmont Park and various streets
(404) 876-WALK
Held on a Sunday in mid-October, this annual walkathon raises more than $1 million for AIDS service organizations. Stars appearing at the post-walk concert have included Atlanta's own Evander Holyfield and PC Carson and part-time Atlantan Elton John.

Tour of Southern Ghosts
Georgia's Stone Mountain Park
U.S. Hwy. 78 east to Stone Mountain Park exit
(770) 498-5702
In mid-October in the mansion at Stone Mountain, storytellers spin webs of horror during evening candlelight tours of the antebellum plantation. Tours begin at 7 PM; the last tickets are sold at 9 PM.

Japan Fest
Georgia's Stone Mountain Park
U.S. Hwy. 78 east to Stone Mountain Park exit
(770) 498-5702
In late October this daylong celebration of Japanese culture offers a wide variety of demonstrations as well as performing arts workshops and exhibitions.

Oktoberfest
Helen
(800) 858-8027
Hidden in the mountains just 70 miles northeast from Atlanta is an Alpine village look-alike. For more than 28 years during the last two weeks in October, the village of Helen stages an Oktoberfest . Alpine Helen, decorated like a Bavarian village, has lots of interesting shops along its cobblestone alleys that sell imported woolens and trinkets. Restaurants abound.. To get there from Atlanta, proceed north on I-85 to I-985; follow U.S. 129 to Cleveland, Georgia, until Ga. 75, which takes you directly to Helen.

Scottish Festival and Highland Games
Georgia's Stone Mountain Park
U.S. Hwy. 78 east to Stone Mountain Park exit
(770) 498-5702
The military band starts at 8 PM in the Coliseum. There are also pipe and drum bands and brass bands, highland dancers and country dancers.

Latin American Film Festival
Rich Auditorium of Woodruff Art Center
1280 Peachtree Rd.
(404) 733-4570
Sponsored by the Latin American Art Circle of the High Museum of Art, this film festival is held at the end of October and extends through the beginning of November. It features Atlanta premieres of recent feature films from Latin America. Frequently, talent from the films are present, and free receptions accompany the movies.

November:
Lighting of Rich's Great Tree
Underground Atlanta, 50 Upper Alabama St.
(770) 913-5551
Even though Rich's once-proud downtown flagship store is gone, this holiday tradition begun in 1948 still continues. At 7 PM on Thanksgiving night, thousands of Atlantans gather to sing carols with mass choirs and await the lighting of Rich's Great Tree, an enormous evergreen decorated with basketball-size ornaments atop Underground Atlanta's parking garage. During the highest note of "Oh, Holy Night" the switch is thrown, and the huge tree explodes with light.

Holiday Celebration
Georgia's Stone Mountain Park
U.S. Hwy. 78 east to Stone Mountain Park exit
(770) 498-5702
The park's holiday party goes on seven nights a week, with horse-drawn carriage rides, a decorated plantation home, Christmas music and a holiday laser show. The guest of honor, is Santa, accompanied by his elves. More than two million lights are strung throughout the park, and you can go on a driving tour to see all the designs. The lights are displayed from the Friday after Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve.

December:
The Atlanta Ballet-The Nutcracker
The Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E.
(404) 873-5811
The Atlanta Ballet's annual production of The Nutcracker, staged from early December through Christmas, has been a holiday tradition for more than 30 years) The production features an orchestra, a full company of dancers and more than 200 children. Tickets go on sale at the beginning of October.

Atlanta Botanical Garden Country Christmas
1345 Piedmont Ave., at The Prado
(404) 876-5859
Since 1979, the Atlanta Botanical Garden has presented this one-day event, which attracts more than 2,000 visitors, as its gift to the city. The event is held the first Sunday afternoon in December. The garden and conservatory are decorated beautifully and the family fun includes face painting, dancing, other entertainment and storytelling. Vendors sell a variety of foods and greenery, and Santa visits. Admission is free.

Atlanta History Center Candlelight Tours
130 W. Paces Ferry Rd., N.W.
(404) 814-4000
In early December, hundreds of candles illuminate acres of gardens and nature trails at the History Center in the heart of Buckhead. Traditional music and a bonfire are featured at the Tullie Smith farm house; the 1928 Swan House mansion enhances its period decorations with jazz music.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concerts
Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center
1280 Peachtree St. N.E.
(404) 733-5000
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra presents holiday concerts for both adults and children. A New Year's Eve concert showcases favorite waltzes and marches.

Christmas at Callanwolde
980 Briarcliff Rd. N.E.
(404) 872-5338
During the first two weeks of December, the mansion that was once home to the eldest son of Coca-Cola's founder; and is now operated as a fine arts center, is lavishly decorated. Some 20,000 people tour the home during this two-week event. A special attraction is holiday music played on the gigantic 3,752-pipe, 20,000-pound Aeolian organ, the largest of its kind still in playable condition, around which the house was built. Admission charged.

Egleston Children's Christmas Parade
Downtown Atlanta streets
(404) 264-9348
Egleston Children's Hospital sponsors this annual Christmas parade through downtown Atlanta. Held the first Saturday morning in December, the parade features giant balloons, celebrities, bands, floats and Santa Claus.

Festival of Trees, Festival of Lights
Georgia World Congress Center
285 International Blvd.
(404) 325-NOEL
For nine days in early December the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) sparkles with more than 200 trees and holiday vignettes created by noted interior designers as a fund-raiser for Egleston Children's Hospital. Also featured are an antique carousel and a child sized train.

Peach Bowl Parade
Downtown Atlanta streets
(404) 586-8500
The Peach Bowl is played in the Georgia Dome around New Year's Eve each year. A big downtown parade preceding the game honors the collegiate contenders. Usually 20 to 30 high school marching bands from across the United States perform. Interspersed among floats and baton groups and old-fashioned cars are clowns and other street entertainment.

Firstnight Atlanta
Midtown streets
(404) 881-0400
Midtown businesses sponsor this alcohol-free, family-oriented New Year's Eve celebration, which features music, art, theater and dance. Peachtree Street is closed for several blocks in Midtown, and patrons buy a button that entitles them to attend the performances being offered continuously throughout the evening.

Atlanta Rings in the New Year
Underground Atlanta
50 Upper Alabama St.
(404) 523-2311
A huge throng gathers every New Year's Eve to ring out the old and ring in the new on the plaza at Underground. An electrified peach is dropped at the beginning of the New Year.

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