The 77th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival takes place in Midtown’s Piedmont Park April 19, 20 and 21, 2013. Entrance to the festival is FREE, but some areas/events are ticketed. Donations are always accepted for this non-profit organization. www.dogwood.org (http://www.dogwood.org)
It starts with the art! The Atlanta Dogwood Festival Artist Market welcomes fine artists from throughout the country each year and includes a special section featuring Georgia artists. Selected from nearly a thousand entries, the juried Artist Market presents the best of over 250 in a variety of media, from oil painting to jewelry to sculpture and fiber.
HIGH SCHOOL ART
The festival is also thrilled to sponsor the Atlanta High School Art Exhibition (AHSAE), which accepts more than 600 entries from talented young artists throughout Atlanta and Georgia. Providing winners with $40,000 in scholarships and prizes, the AHSAE is a community-oriented feature of the festival that fills a growing gap in creative opportunities for youth. Held in the Community Center in Piedmont Park during the festival, the AHSAE highlights the variety and breadth of young Atlanta artistic talent and has received national recognition for its impact on young artists. The AHSAE includes the “Art Throwdown,” a fast-paced onsite competition of area high school teams who compete in ceramics, collaborative sculpture, still life painting, timed sketching, landscape drawing and themed performance.
Visitors can plan to spend the whole weekend at the festival and make it a vacation by staying in Midtown. Special Atlanta Dogwood Festival rates are available at several Midtown hotels. Participating hotels can be found at www.dogwood.org.
With new acts and performers each year, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival International Village and Stage celebrates the diverse communities that make up the city’s population. Featuring more than 500 performers on the International Stage representing over 20 countries as well as local community organizations, and an interactive edutainment area, the International Village is an inspiring aspect of the festival. For 2013, audiences can expect to see some special performances from groups visiting Atlanta from around the world. This area also includes a culturally decorated golf cart competition, and it kicks off on Friday night with La Fête, a ticketed international food and wine tasting that supports the International programming.
With a live music stage keeping the tunes going throughout the festival, and a Saturday night big-name concert, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is a perfect fit for music lovers.
DISC DOG SHOW
The festival is named after the Dogwood tree, but the disc dog competition canines are still always a favorite festival feature. Each year, these talented canines take to the field to run, jump and catch special dog discs. This is a competition, so pre-registration is required, and the city does not allow non-competing pets in the park.
FARE (NOT FAIR)
While many festival attendees are completely satisfied with the array of food available from the food vendors, diners looking for an upscale experience can head to some of the food events hosted in the bathhouse Pavilion. Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and Sunday feature special ticketed tasting events that spotlight some of the city’s finest chefs and restaurants.
The festival’s award-winning Eco-Village is a partnership with Live Thrive that adds sustainable operations to the three-day event. Important aspects of the Sustainability Initiative include requirements for food vendors to use only recyclable and compostable serving ware and the use of bio-diesel and/or bio-fuel for all generators at the festival, visitors learn about sustainability practices and meet organizations and businesses that can help make homes, offices and the city in general a “greener environment.”
Each year, the festival connects with some of the city’s most vibrant arts organizations and welcomes them as Cultural Alliance Partners. These organizations can be found onsite during the festival and also offer special benefits to festival attendees like free admission festival weekend or discounts on merchandise. The 2013 partners are the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) as Lead Cultural Alliance Partner and Atlanta History Center and Margaret Mitchell House, Mudfire and Smart Glass Jewelry.
Designed just for the younger festival visitors, the Kid’s Village is always a festival favorite for families. This interactive zone comes complete with hands-on art projects, special kid-friendly displays and hours of entertainment for children. With anything from rock climbing to the popular spider jump, parents will find this area the ideal place for their children to let out some energy and have some fun. Kids and adults can also enjoy the Euro-style rides included at the festival since 2011.
Just as it has been for the past 76 years, the 77th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival is free!
While the festival is free to attend, it costs a lot to put it on! Donation booths are located at each entrance, and volunteers are always appreciated to help with many facets of the event. Volunteers may sign up on the website. As a registered 501-C3, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival thanks its sponsors and also encourages to the purchase of tickets to the special events that support this Atlanta tradition. All help is greatly appreciated.
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 and 2012 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 (http://www.facebook.com/
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