When winter ends and lovely shades of green start to appear all over, it’s the start of springtime celebrations in Atlanta. Here are some of the events and festivals to look forward to in the next three months:
St. Patrick’s Day Parade – March 12, 2016
Considered one of the South’s biggest and oldest celebrations of its kind, it features over 2,000 Irish dancers, musicians, floats, balloons, and more. As the parade winds through Midtown, the festivities continue with live entertainment, food, and dancing throughout the city’s numerous bars and taverns.
2016 is a particularly significant milestone in Irish history, as it marks 100 years since the Easter Rising, a critical moment on the path to Irish independence that occurred in 1916, which led to the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922.
Atlanta Film Festival – April 1-10, 2016
Started in 1976, the Atlanta Film Festival has grown into one of the largest and longest-running film festivals in the country. Drawing more than 25,000 independent film enthusiasts, movie fans, and filmmakers each year, the more than a week-long event screens films from a variety of genres, including documentaries, narratives, foreign films, experimental film, animation and local productions.
Participants can view top-notch independent films from around the globe and mix and mingle with filmmakers and industry professionals during festival events like workshops and awards ceremonies.
Atlanta Dogwood Festival – April 8-10, 2016
For more than 75 years, the Dogwood arts festival has filled Midtown Atlanta’s Piedmont Park with live music, arts and crafts, food booths and family-friendly activities, and has evolved into one of the largest events in the Southeast.
This annual event celebrates the blooming of Atlanta’s native dogwood trees, and showcases the country’s best painters, sculptors, photographers, jewelry makers and glass blowers. There are also performance art exhibitions, interactive music workshops, and a food festival, as well as the U.S. Disc Dog Southern Nationals, a world-class competition starring the top Frisbee dogs in the nation.
Georgia Renaissance Festival – April 16 to June 5, 2016
Every spring, The Georgia Renaissance Festival brings a 16th century European country fair to the Atlanta area. For the next eight weekends, visitors will be treated to the sights of more than a thousand characters wearing colorful medieval costumes, feast on hearty food and drink, shop for hand-crafted treasures, and watch creative artisans host demos that include weaving, spinning and coin minting.
Acrobats, jugglers, magicians, dancers, and wandering minstrels will be on hand to entertain, and there are also jousting tournaments, music, rides, and a host of children’s activities.
Inman Park Festival – April 30 to May 1, 2016
Taking place in one of Atlanta’s oldest and most striking neighborhoods, the Inman Park Festival was initially started by residents during the 1970s as a way to highlight the neighborhood and promote restoration. Since then, the annual event has grown into one of the city’s most spirited and colorful celebrations.
The festival features the Inman Park Tour of Homes that showcase the stunning Victorian homes in the area built in the late 1800s; a well-known and eclectic Inman Park Festival parade; a 5K run where participants are encouraged to come in costumes; as well as Atlanta’s biggest street market. There are also children’s activities, and live music and dance with some of Atlanta’s finest ballet and modern dance companies.
Sweet Auburn Springfest – May 6-8, 2016
The largest free outdoor festival in the Southeast is celebrating more than 25 years of great festivals on Auburn Avenue this year. This event attracts thousands of attendees each year to Atlanta’s historic Sweet Auburn District.
It offers something for everyone along the mile-and-a-half avenue: stages with live music and entertainment, dozens of vendors with art, jewelry and fashion, an international food court, and rides and games in the Fun Zone for children.
Atlanta Jazz Festival – May 27-29, 2016
More than 100 of the best jazz performers showcase their talents in venues throughout the metro area during the entire month of May, before coming together in a huge weekend celebration at Piedmont Park.
This annual event was started in 1977, and is now regarded as one of the country’s largest free jazz festivals in Atlanta that celebrate jazz legends and up-and-coming jazz greats. In addition, Piedmont Park plays host to vendors displaying some of the city’s finest arts and crafts, food and drinks, and other merchandise.