There are plenty of free festivals to look forward to this spring. Free concerts will compliment the artwork and food for sale. Some of these events are a one-day party, some will last through the weekend and others will be here for months.
Bluegrass Roots Music And Art Festival
Stone Mountain Village
922 Main St.
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Dates: March 23 and 24
This weekend event combines art and music, performance and participation, old-time tradition and contemporary fun. Unlike dancing shows at other festivals, the Contra dancing at Stone Mountain welcomes visitors to join. Contra dancing, similar to square dancing, features a leader who calls out the moves and you won’t even need to bring your own partner. The music and art of bluegrass is a throwback that never really went away. New or transfer Atlantans can expect to see classic Southern pride on display.
77th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival
400 Park Drive N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30306
Dates: April 19 to April 21
This art and music exhibition is arguably Atlanta’s greatest festival. There are all kinds of artists showing off work in the tents, talented musicians playing in the background and plenty of tasty food to purchase. This festival has been going on for decades, with pause only from World War II and the occasional act of god. Features include a high school art gallery, an international art gallery, a kid’s village and a “disc dog” show. For music there is a main stage, international stage and acoustic stage. The Saturday Night Concert is probably the climax of the event, but most people consider casually touring the art markets, open until 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night, to be the main attraction.
Centennial Olympic Park
265 Park Ave. W. N.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30313
Date: May 15
Fiesta Atlanta is a Hispanic festival and huge Cinco de Mayo party. This is anything but a niche interest as there will be music, dancing, food and even a 5k race. There will be something for everyone at the arts and crafts display, but there will also be unique cultural input like mariachi bands, Mexican folk dancing and plenty of Latino food.
Atlanta Jazz Festival
400 Park Drive N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30306
Dates: May 25 to May 27
Piedmont Park will host three days of free jazz music in the park. An incredible collection of musicians and their orchestras will play from morning into night. If you are not very familiar with the genre, you might recognize the name Tito Puente Jr. Yet, even if you don’t know any of the names, the venue makes the music very accessible. Aficionados and dabblers are equally welcome to spread a blanket and enjoy good music.
Orchid Daze: Surreal Beauty
Atlanta Botanical Garden
1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30309
Dates: Feb. 9 to April 4
The Atlanta Botanical Garden will be transforming its lobby into a celebration of orchids. Inspired by surrealist artists, there will be a “funhouse” of color and flowers. This is the only event on the list with an admission fee: $18.95 for adults and $12.95 for children ages three to 12. However, this event is also unique because it will be available for three months. For those inflexible schedules, this showcase of flowers will be a reliable backup plan.
Related: Most Iconic Works of Art in Atlanta
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With a BFA in Digital Media, Sean Mills has worked for design firms with clients across the United States. He has worked as an illustrator and visual designer, and has shown paintings in juried exhibitions. He currently works as a studio artist and writer in Atlanta, Georgia. His work can be found at Examiner.com.