Whether you want to stroll through a quiet arts festival or party all day and night at Shaky Knees, there are plenty of options around Atlanta this spring. The city loves to celebrate, and May and June see Atlanta hosting artists, foodies and musicians in a variety of venues around town. For most popular experiences, parking can be challenging, so it’s a good idea to take MARTA or Uber whenever possible. Best of all, several of the events are free. So feel free to come and go as you please while enjoying the glorious weather.
Decatur Arts Festival
101 East Court Square
Decatur, GA 30030
Decatur is one of Atlanta’s artsiest neighborhoods and of course the arts festival here is one of the highlights of the summer season. This year the festival will be held on May 28 and 29. The festival will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It is one of the most convenient festivals for public transportation, as the MARTA station is located right on the square, in the middle of all the action. Trust us, you don’t want to try to park there during the fest, so MARTA or Uber are your best bets. In addition to the artist market, there is also a performing arts stage, a big section just for the kiddos and a fun theater and a literary arts tent. There is also a silent auction where you may be able to get works by your favorite artists at a bargain.
Atlanta Food & Wine Festival
Midtown Atlanta, various locations
This is the big annual event for Atlanta foodies, a festival that takes place at several locations around Midtown Atlanta from June 2 – 5. If you’re on a budget, you can purchase a ticket to the Dinner & A Cause event for only $60 in addition to several other events in the $100 range. For big spenders ready to take on the entire weekend, the Connoisseur 3-Day ticket is $2,000, or you can purchase a regular 3-Day Pass for $585. Guests can attend cooking master classes or tasting events celebrating flavors from all over the South, not just Atlanta. It’s a great opportunity to check out a lot of different traditions in one weekend.
Alpharetta Arts Streetfest
Alpharetta Historic District
2 North Main Street
Alpharetta, GA 30009
This annual arts festival takes place over Memorial Day Weekend, May 28 – 30, 2016, in the Alpharetta Historic District. This is the 12th annual fest in Alpharetta, featuring over 90 artists, both local and from around the country offering their wares. Admission is free and you can bring your pets if they are leashed. It opens at 10 a.m. all three days, closing at 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and 5 p.m. on Monday. Expect plenty of food options and entertainment for the kiddies in addition to the artwork and bands playing throughout the weekend.READ MORE: Board Of Health To Transition Appointments To New State System
Atlanta Jazz Festival
1342 Worchester Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30306
The Atlanta Jazz Festival is another great option if you are spending Memorial Day Weekend in Atlanta. Just head out to Piedmont Park and kick back on a blanket, enjoying some of the country’s best musicians at this free festival. Again, don’t expect to be able to park anywhere near this event without frustrating traffic, so public transportation and car services are the way to go. Expect to see some of the industry’s legends as well as those on their way up. There are performances around town throughout the entire month of May in connection with the festival, but the main event happens in the park throughout the final weekend.
Shaky Knees Music Fest
Shaky Knees is one of Atlanta’s most popular music festivals, and this year it will take place at venues around town from May 13 – 15. Headliners include Florence + The Machine, My Morning Jacket and Jane’s Addiction, among others. There are chances to see bands play starting at noon and running late into the evening. You can hang out in one spot or hop around town catching your favorite acts. Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time, as Uber drivers are likely to be very busy. Regular tickets range from $97 for a day pass to $215 for all three days purchased in advance, and of course there are pricier VIP options with extra perks.
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Keely Herrick is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com. “