Weekend at the Park

Atlanta is not known to have much of a spring. We tend to go from winter to summer, however mild the winter may be. We always have a rapid weather transition that goes from lows in the 20’s to highs in the 80’s in a matter of weeks. There for while I would like to say this is a perfect spring weekend for the outdoor festivals I can’t. Better yet I’m going to say we are going to enjoy beautiful summer weather all weekend long. No pesky wind, but don’t forget the sunscreen. This weekend is jammed packed with events so get out there and see what Atlanta has to offer!

The spotlight event this weekend is the 74th annual Dogwood Festival. Back at Piedmont Park this year it is expected to be bigger than ever with something for everyone. The Dogwood Festival was originally founded in 1936 by Walter Rich who was the founder of Rich’s department store. He wanted Atlanta to be international recognized for its dogwood trees. He launched a beautification of Atlanta project planting dogwoods in parks, around businesses, and along the roads. The Junior League then started holding pageants, parades, and carnivals and the festival grew. There was a brief hiatus due to WWII that started in 1941. By 1964, however, under the guidance of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce the Dogwood Festival became the largest civic celebration in the Southeast including fashion shows, light shows , and symphonies. In the 70’s hot air balloon races, regattas, and home tours were added. By 1987 The Dog Wood Festival became a month long event including around 40 events. This year it is a 3 day event and includes Artist Markets, Kid’s Activities, and Eco Village, and International Village, Food and Wine Tasting and more than can be explored in one day!

Sweet Water 420 Fest is a newer festival in Atlanta that has exploded into one of the most anticipated of the city. The 6th annual Sweet Water 420 Fest is going to be at Chandler Park this Saturday and Sunday. The proceeds go to benefit the Chandler Park and the community. The 420 fest is attempting to raise environmental awareness. So along with the great live music and the hoopla of children’s activities there will also be seminars on how we can take little steps to improve the health of planet earth. While you’re there check out the confessional, and cleans yourself of all your wrong doing to the environment as you take the first step to becoming part of the solution.

By far hands down the best date night idea this weekend is the Dogwood Festival and the Atlanta Film Festival coming together this Saturday for Movie on the Meadow at Piedmont Park. They are brilliantly presenting Alford Hitchcock’s Psycho! So bring a blanket and get ready to cuddle up under the stars!

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Festival Season is Upon Us!

Atlanta’s festival season has officially begun! With a few new additions to the local favorites, this year is off to prodigious start. Some of the new comers include the Earth Day Family Fun Festival in Atlantic Station, and the Life & Limb Oyster Fest at Park Tavern. They will be fighting with some the more established Bacon Fest at Dad’s Garage, and of course the Cherry Blossom Festival which is in Conyers and also in Macon. It’s going to be hard to decide which one, or ones to attend this weekend.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is a long standing tradition not just in Georgia but Nationally, one that is followed closely by the Dogwood estival. It actually signifies positive relations between the United States and Japan. Nearly 100 years ago, March 27 1912 to be exact, First Lady Taft, and Mrs. Chinda the wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first Yoshino cherry tree in the West Potomac Park. 15 years later we gifted the Japanese with the Dogwood in appreciation. It wasn’t until 1937 that the first Cherry Blossom Festival was held, but suspended during World War II when tensions increased. All was water under the bridge by 1947 when the festival resumed in Washing D.C. Now it attracts 700,000 visitors over 2 weeks.

The Cherry Blossom Festival wasn’t brought to Conyers until 1981 and Macon until 1982. In Macon what started out as a 3-day festival but has grown into 2 weeks with something to please everyone, from a fashion show to hot air balloon rides, concerts to parades everyone in the family goes home happy. No wonder the Macon and Conyers Cherry Blossom Festivals have been named in the top 20 in the South, and Macon’s Cherry Blossom Festival has even been named top 50 in the country!

What about date night? As I promised we are exploring Atlanta and focusing on couple. So in keeping with the festival theme why not the Atlanta Comedy Festival! Well to be honest the Laughing Skull Comedy Festival is over, but the spirit isn’t. Plus is a great place to chill out and loosen up. They have Ryan Stout in town this weekend and it will be impossible to be nervous after a night watching him. Stout has hosted MTV shows like “Shot at Love with Tela Tiquila” and “Paris Hilton’s My New BFF”. Be prepared for the unexpected. After a night of burning calories laughing your skull off, head over to the Vortex! The Vortex is a local favorite and if you aren’t familiar be sure to read the rules online before you go! The food is amazing with surprisingly healthy options. As you walk into the skull shaped building any dating nervousness will be washed away. They serve food right up till an hour before closing so after the comedy show you and your date will have plenty of time to get to know each other.