From April until October there is at least one festival every weekend in and around the Atlanta area. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that as soon as the calendar points towards warm weather people in this town throw on a pair of shorts and flip flops and commence to festivaling (yes I just made that word up.) Everything from flowers (Jonquil, Dogwood, Yellow Daisy) to edibles (Ice Cream, Tacos, Beer) is put on a pedestal and showcased. If you are lucky enough to live in the area or will be visiting at anytime during this celebratory season, I invite you to check out a few of top Atlanta festivals for the Summer of 2016. Here in Decatur we celebrate quite a bit and so you will notice a few hometown parties on the list. Start blocking off some weekends.
- The Decatur Beer Festival was chosen as one of the 10 Best Beer Festivals in America by USA Today’s 10Best team. A small number of tickets are sold which means the lines aren’t long and you are able to enjoy everything that is offered. I haven’t seen their 2016 festival date yet but stay tuned to their website and follow them on social media for announcements.
- Georgia Renaissance Festival, April 16-June 5 – Celebrate spring with cosplay, jumbo turkey legs and jousting. This festival is celebrating its 31st year and has a huge following of fans. Look for not only RenFest staff, but attendees to be dressed in period gear and getting lost in the fantasy of the Renaissance.
- Atlanta Taco Festival, May 1 – This is the first year of this festival benefitting Chris Kids. What better way to support such a great organization than with binge eating tacos. When I saw the map with ALL OF THE TACO VENDORS I squealed. The husband said, “That’s too many tacos.” Who did I marry?
- East Atlanta Beer Festival, May 21 – Featuring more than 200 beers this is one of my favorite craft beer festivals in town. Each year that I’ve attended there have been quality beer and (very important)knowledgable volunteers. There are few things better than talking beer with the person who is pouring your beer. I’ve already purchased out tickets and I highly recommend splurging for VIP.
- SweetWater 420 Fest, April 22-24 – This festival celebrates the environment through art music and beer. Started 12 years ago as an Earth Day gathering, organizers urge you to be green in your travel plan to the party. The Olympic Park location is easily reached by MARTA, bike, or on foot if you live close enough. Lyft is also an event sponsor if you are a car service fan.
- Inman Park Festival, April 30 – May 1- This is my favorite of all of the community festivals that happens in Atlanta. As a seasoned veteran allow me to offer some advice:
1. Take MARTA/Uber/Lyft, parking can be pricey.
2. Bring cash to avoid the ATM lines.
3. Be prepared to spend money. Great art at even better prices.
4. Don’t miss the parade!
- Atlanta Gay Pride, October 8-9 – Midtown Atlanta becomes a big glowing heart of love every October during Pride weekend. The highlight for me is the PFLAG float during the parade. Seeing those great grandmas holding signs saying how much they love their LGBTQ great grandchildren makes my heart swell overtime.
- Decatur Book Festival – September 2-4 – This book nerd celebration brings in readers and writers from all genres and is the largest independent book festival in the country. Build your schedule carefully so you don’t miss any of your favorites.
Don’t celebrate too hard!