As one of the South’s biggest cities, and with one of America’s most vibrant cultures, Atlanta has a lot to offer when it comes to spring events. The city’s events range from beer festivals to animal encounters and beyond. Read on for a quick overview of the best spring events in and around Atlanta.
Atlanta Film Festival
The Atlanta Film Festival hosts 25,000 visitors per year, making it one of the most popular events of the season. The event is densely packed with films: 150 of them run over seven days, running the gamut from documentaries to foreign films, experimental films, and locally produced films. And visitors can do more than just watch—through the Festival Genius app, participants can rate what they watch. The Atlanta Film Festival also has a variety of networking and mingling events throughout the week, as well as workshops for aspiring filmmakers.
In 2014, the festival runs from March 28 to April 6. Several Atlanta theaters and art centers serve as venues for the films and events.
Animal Encounters at the Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium is an impressive Atlanta institution. To date, it has hosted 11 million visitors. The aquarium aims to be the leading facility for aquatic animal conservation and research. Currently the aquarium is providing three new programs: dolphin, otter, and penguin encounters. During each encounter, visitors can get up close with the animal. Tickets are $59.00 to $64.95 in addition to general admission.
SweetWater 420 Fest
The SweetWater 420 Fest takes place from April 18 to 20 in Centennial Olympic Park. Organized by the SweetWater Brewing Company, the festival is named for the brewery’s flagship beer, an extra pale ale. Attendees can enjoy all of SweetWater’s brews, and also attend workshops on topics like brewing and food pairing with beer.
But beer isn’t the only thing to enjoy at this festival, as musicians and entertainers will be everywhere. 2014’s festival performers include Steel Pulse (a reggae band), Chris Robinson Brotherhood (a blues rock outfit), and improvisational and standup comedians.
Atlanta has exciting restaurant events befitting its great eateries. During the Inman Park restaurant week (March 17 to 23, 2014), visitors can enjoy fixed-price ($15 to $35), three-course meals from over a dozen different restaurants. Cuisines represented include brewpub food, Mexican food, sophisticated Spanish plates, and delicious steaks.
There’s a Buckhead restaurant week as well, from March 9 to 17, 2014. This is an annual event that has been fine-tuned to give visitors a great eating experience. It has similar price tiers to the Inman Park Restaurant Week, and also a wide variety of restaurants: Diners can enjoy seafood, bar and grills, Italian restaurants, and more. This event has similar price tiers to the Inman Park restaurant week. In addition, downtown and midtown restaurant weeks happen during other parts of the year.
Inman Park Festival
From April 25 to 27, Inman Park will host one of Atlanta’s most famous festivals. The Inman Park Festival features a giant street market where vendors and artists sell antiques, handcrafted objects, sculptures, painting, and photography. A giant parade takes place on April 27 and runs to the Little Five Points neighborhood.
No festival would be complete without great food, and the Inman Park Festival doesn’t fall short there. Classic festival fare includes barbecue, pizza, gyros, sandwiches, and desserts. Inman Park is MARTA accessible, and admission to the festival is free, making this event easy and cheap to enjoy.