Atlanta’s festival season shakes off the winter doldrums and gets into full swing — or full bloom — starting with the Atlanta Dogwood Festival. April is a time to get outdoors and enjoy the best Atlanta has to offer in spring.
Writers’ Festival, April 4 and 5
Join distinguished writers such as Gillian Lee-Fong, Nikky Finney and Ngugi wa Thiong’o as they read their works, teach and talk with students. Find this free event at Agnes Scott College.
Atlanta Film Festival, April 4 - 14
The Farewell (2019)
Celebrating its 43rd year, the Atlanta Film Festival showcases more than 200 films to more than 27,000 attendees. In addition, there are about 40 panels, talks and demos that showcase the world of cinema and focus on topics such as screenwriting, acting, producing, casting, funding and distribution.
221B Con, April 5 - 7
Calling all fans of Sherlock Holmes. This convention at the Atlanta Airport Marriott is for you. Enjoy a variety of events, panel discussions and performers, including writers Lyndsay Faye, Nancy Springer, the Atlanta Radio Theatre Co. and Fandom Nerdlesque.
Food-O-Rama, April 6
It’s the annual Food Truck Festival. Grant Park hosts trucks from all over the Southeast so people can enjoy the food, craft beers/cocktails, local arts and crafts, and live music. It's free except for what you choose to eat, drink or purchase.
Spring Festival on Ponce, April 6 and 7
Located in historic Olmsted Linear Park, visitors enjoy more than 125 displays of fine arts and crafts, folk and “outsider art,” in addition to fine arts, a children’s area and local food and beverages. It's free to enter.
Atlanta Streets Alive, April 7
Walk, run or bike down the middle of the road during Atlanta Streets Alive when the streets are closed to cars. It’s a day of free entertainment and activities for all. Join more than 100,000 Atlantans as they enjoy Peachtree Street in Midtown, Downtown and South Downtown without any vehicles.
Atlanta Dogwood Festival, April 12 - 14
The Atlanta Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park is Atlanta’s first celebration of spring, and for more than 80 years the festival has showcased live music, arts and crafts, food and family-friendly activities. A juried art competition recognizes achievement in sculpture, painting, jewelry and photography. A Kid’s Village offers arts and crafts, face painting, rock climbing and huge inflatables. There also is the U.S. Disc Dog Southern Nationals, a world-class competition starring the top Frisbee dogs in the nation. It's free to enter.
Heartbeat Festival, April 13
The Atlanta Hawks and its official jersey patch partner, Sharecare, team up for the Sharecare Heartbeat Festival, a family-friendly event to celebrate and rally Atlantans around the #SharecareMovement. The festival includes a DJ, fitness classes, yoga and food trucks. Admission is free; find the festival in Central Park.
Atlanta Grilled Cheese Festival, April 13
Restaurants from all over Atlanta converge on Atlantic Station to compete for the title of Best Grilled Cheese. General admission includes three grilled cheese samples, access to the Adult Game Zone and Bloody Mary Garden. Among the restaurants participating are: Moni’s Donuts, Daddy O’Briens, Java Saga and Coach Joe’s.
Atlanta Spring Wine Fest, April 13
Stop in at Historic 4th Ward Park to enjoy more than 50 wines as well as beer, cider, live music and DJ Qtip.
Georgia Renaissance Festival, April 13 - June 2
For eight weekends in the spring the Georgia Renaissance Festival brings to Fairburn the best of 16th-century Europe with nearly 1,000 characters wearing period costumes to thrill festival goers with such skills as jousting, glass-blowing and sword-swallowing shows. In addition there are acrobats, dancers, children’s activities and a Artisans Market.
Sweetwater 420 Festival, April 19 - 21
With headliners Widespread Panic, the Sweetwater 420 Festival promises to be full of first-rate musical performances, a lot of fun and, of course, 20 types of Sweetwater beer. The festival also includes a 5K road race, a food visit and artist’s market. It happens in Centennial Olympic Park.
Atlanta Arab Festival, April 21 and 22
Take a glimpse into the Arabic world — its flavors, sights and sounds. Enjoy musical performances, games, shopping and fantastic food, including Arabic coffee. No need to travel to the Middle East; stop in at Marjan Drive.
Atlanta Improv Festival, April 25 - 27
Come to the Village Theater to enjoy top performers from across the country performing improv. During the day, there are improv and sketch writing workshops for everyone from beginners to advanced performers. Returning this year is Atlanta Improv Battle where 27 Atlanta-based improv teams compete to determine the top team.
Cinema Italy Atlanta, April 25 - 28
Find Cinema Italy Atlanta at Plaza Theatre and see five new Italian films.
Inman Park Festival, April 26 - 28
The funky Inman Park Parade is just one of many reasons to visit one of Atlanta’s most historic neighborhoods and enjoy the festival. The festival, now in its 28th year, celebrates spring with a Tour of Homes, food, music, a dance festival, kids' zone and an arts & crafts and street market. The parade occurs at 2 p.m. on April 27. Attendance is free except for the Tour of Homes.
Great Southern Beer Fest, April 27
The Great Southern Beer Fest at John Howell Park combines craft beer from across the Southeast, country rock and Southern food.
Journalist Mary Welch writes business and lifestyle stories for local and national publications.