The Southeast’s official kick-off to spring, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival celebrates its 80th anniversary next April. Held in beautiful Piedmont Park, the festival welcomes hundreds of fine artists and hundreds of thousands of visitors to three days of festivities including live music – expect some tunes from the 80s, international performances, gourmet and festival fare, midway rides and games, the popular disc dog competition and much more.
AT A GLANCE
The 80th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival takes place in Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta Friday through Sunday, April 8 – 10, 2016. www.dogwood.org
Atlanta visitors and local “staycationers” can get special rates at Midtown partner hotels including: Hyatt Atlanta Midtown, Atlanta Marriott Suites Midtown, Courtyard Atlanta Midtown/Georgia Tech and W Atlanta Midtown. More information is available at http://www.dogwood.org/Hotels.
Each year, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival features a diverse juried fine art Artist Market with 260 artists selected from more than a thousand entries. Works included range from painting to jewelry, from fiber arts to sculpture and much more.
Nothing says happy anniversary like drinking in the morning, and revelers and runners can hit the pavement for the Atlanta Dogwood Festival Mimosa 5K on festival Saturday. The delightful course through historic Midtown culminates in a champagne and OJ celebration in the park. Registration is available at www.dogwood.org.
For the seventh year, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival offers global entertainment on the award-winning International Stage. Welcoming more than 200 performers throughout the weekend from the many communities that make Atlanta a cosmopolitan city, the International Stage is flanked by the Cultural Exchange Pavilions, edutainment booths broadening cultural understanding with fun activities and offerings.
Back for year three, the popular ticketed VIP food and drink experience Backyard Barbecue & Brews takes place on Saturday and Sunday at the festival. This event sells out each year, as the Atlanta Dogwood Festival brings together restaurants, chefs and local breweries to serve up a special taste of the South! Tickets go on sale in early 2016 on www.dogwood.org, and the limited number will sell out fast.
Blues, rock, country, R&B – the Atlanta Dogwood Festival has it all! Live music fills the air throughout the entire weekend on the Main Stage. Festival visitors can listen out for special 80s music in 2016 in honor of the festival’s octogenarian status.
The Atlanta Dogwood Festival has brought home top honors for its green event program, and each year the festival strives to improve upon this initiative. The festival recycles all cooking oil, requires vendors to use only compostable serving ware and hosts the Eco-Village where guests can meet “green” companies, learn about taking eco-friendly practices home and find out about the latest green developments.
The Atlanta Dogwood Festival gives high school artists an opportunity to compete, exhibit their work and earn prizes like scholarships and art supplies. The Atlanta High School Art Exhibition is a juried competition and exhibit drawing upwards of 700 entries each year. The high school art exhibit is one more vital way the non-profit festival’s funds are used to benefit the community.
KIDS & RIDES
The much-visited Kids Zone is situated in the Mayor’s Grove close to the children’s playground and a variety of rides can be found in the Piedmont Park Meadow. Children and adults can spend hours having fun, jumping on the inflatables, riding the merry-go-round or perhaps choosing one of the thrill rides.
Calling all families who like to have fun – the Atlanta Dogwood Festival will offer a special Family Friday package featuring unlimited rides and discounts on food and (non-alcoholic) beverages on festival Friday. Family Friday wristbands can be purchased in advance for $10 per person or onsite for $12 per person.
A festival favorite, 26th Disc Dog Southern Nationals – USDDN World Finals Qualifier takes place on Saturday and Sunday during the festival. The competing canines amaze and astound as they literally fly through the air. (Other than competing dogs, no pets are allowed in the park during the festival, per a City of Atlanta ordinance.) Competition registration information is available at http://www.dogwood.org/Disc_
ABOUT THE ATLANTA DOGWOOD FESTIVAL
The city’s longest-running festival, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing the annual springtime celebration of arts and entertainment. The festival has earned significant recognition for the overwhelming success of its Green Festival Initiative, which in 2011, 2012 and 2013 received a Gold Award for Best Festival Environmental Program from the International Festivals & Events Association. The Society of American Travel Writers named the Atlanta Dogwood Festival as one of the Top 10 Spring Festivals in 2012 and Sunshine Artist magazine named the festival the 28th best in the country in 2015. The Art Fair Sourcebook ranked the Atlanta Dogwood Festival in its list of Top 25 Fine Art Festivals in the country for 2013. www.dogwood.org.