Atlanta Events
Atlanta Food & Wine Fest is BACK!

This town is all about food and one of the best events of the year is coming back for 4th time - the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival! This event really shows off the best the south has to offer the country and the world when it comes to top chefs, mixologists and culinary experts.

Details: May 29-June 1 in Midtown Atlanta. $100+.

The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is a weekend experience for guests who want to sip, savor and learn about the rich food and beverage traditions of the South. All activities were carefully crafted by the Festival Advisory Council to take guests through a one-of-a-kind culinary journey through the South.

The weekend offers three distinct activities: Learning Experiences, Tasting Experiences, and Dinners & Events. The Learning Experiences include smart and entertaining cooking and cocktail demonstrations, tasting seminars and panel discussions all designed by industry. The daily learning sessions are rounded off with the Festival’s delicious Tasting Tents.

Unlike any other Festival tasting tents, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festivals are curated by chefs and feature a variety of tasting trails including; Barbecue, Bourbon, Breakfast, Breads & Sweets, Chicken, Craft Beer, Imports & Inspirations, Pork, Seafood, Snacks & Cheeses, Southern Grown and Southern Wines & Spirits. There will be more than 100 exhibitors at the event and more than 60 Trail Chefs – award-winning talent that rotates daily.

So get your tickets today for what will be one of the ultimate foodie events of the year!

** Photo from Forbes.com, Video from Atlanta Food and & Wine Festival

Smyrna’s Jonquil Fest and Atkins Park Crawfish Boil

For those living OTP - there is another fantastic neighborhood festival is happening next weekend  - Smyrna’s Spring Jonquil Festival! This free festival actually takes place twice a year, in the spring and fall in the Smyrna Village Green.

Details: Sat 4/26 & Sun 4/27 in Smyrna. FREE! 5K/1K Run/Walk at 8am on Sat. $15+.

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What is a Jonquil? It’s a flower that looks a lot like a daffodil and being a local favorite, Smyrna also calls itself ‘Jonquil City’. The 2-day festival features 175+ arts and crafts booths, food court, live music, puppet shows by Peter Hart, a book sale benefiting the Smyrna Public Library (great place to get cheap paperbacks for summer reading), and a huge area of kids activities.

The Jonquil Jog 5K Run/Walk takes place on Saturday 4/26 at 8am and day of costs up to $38 for timed racers/$30 for untimed adult racers. See the link above for current registration prices and info.

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While you’re at the fest, you can also wander over to the Marketplace where the Smyrna location of Atkins Park is hosting their 12th Annual Crawfish Festival! Starting at 1pm on Sat 4/26 - enjoy live music, lots of Abita beer, and great Cajun food all day long! $5+ admission, which benefits Team in Training.

So head OTP and enjoy a fun local festival in the heart of Jonquil City!

Inman Park Festival - 2014

I love all the neighborhood festivals, but for some reason I can’t miss the Inman Park Fest each year. It’s on my list of must attend events and I always leave with a smile on my face.

Details: Fri-Sun 4/25-27. FREE! Tour of Homes tix: $15+. Parade Sat at 2pm

This annual festival and neighborhood has a rich history - the land it sits on was the site of the Battle of Atlanta during the Civil War. After the smoke had cleared, it became Atlanta’s first planned neighborhood and saw many ups and downs since the 1880s. Today it’s one of Atlanta’s most vibrant communities with gorgeous houses, tree-lined streets and local stores and restaurants.

The festival itself features over 150 artists, live music on Sat night, food and drinks, kids zone and a Tour of Homes. Also a must-do is the Parade that is happening on Sat at 2pm - rain or shine! If you’re not grinning ear-to-ear after watching this colorful campaign make it’s way across Inman Park, I’ll be shocked.

The spirit of community is alive and thriving in Inman Park. Come to the best street festival in Atlanta!

Sweetwater’s 420 Fest - 10th Anniversary!

Atlanta’s own SweetWater Brewing is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of their annual 420 Fest this coming April! They are partying in a new location this year - Centennial Park.

This multi-day earth celebration blends entertainment with environmental awareness, bringing together an exciting line-up of talented live musical/comedy performers, craft beer, art, cuisine and engaging, earth-friendly activities that the entire family is sure to love.

Be sure to check the FAQs for info on fest details, ticket price changes, etc. No dogs are allowed at the event.

Details: Fri-Sun 4/18-20. $10 for a single day admission (walk-up only, no online sales). 3-day pass = $18. Single Day VIP = $60. 3-Day VIP $135.

A really fun event for all - attendees can participate in a 5K Walk/Run, get a good laugh from the Relapse 420 Comedy Tent, Kids Zone and more details to be announced.

So celebrate Earth Day in a very Atlanta way with SweetWater Brew!

Music Schedule By Day Listed Online

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New Modern Choreographic Show from Atlanta Ballet

Enjoy a special night with the Atlanta Ballet as they present three very different and innovative performances with their Modern Choreographic Voices show this month. I’m a huge fan of Tara Lee and got a sneak preview of ‘the authors’ featuring Christine W

Details: 3/21-23. $20+. Cobb Energy Center.

Featuring Secus by Ohad Naharin,
Seven Sonatas by Alexei Ratmansky
and the world premiere of the authors by Tara Lee

Ohad Naharin is back this season with the Atlanta Ballet premiere of the incendiary Secus after electrifying audiences last year with Minus 16

From Alexei Ratmansky, the current artist in residence at American Ballet Theatre and former artistic director of the legendary Bolshoi Ballet, Atlanta Ballet presents the hypnotic Seven Sonatas

Tara Lee returns with a world premiere after awing audiences with 2012’s Pavo. Lee, also an accomplished dancer entering her eighteenth season with Atlanta Ballet, has proven that she is a multi-dimensional and distinctive emerging choreographer.

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in ATL

Atlanta has an amazing International history and everyone is ‘Irish’ on St. Patrick’s Day! Lots of events happening that you can have fun at with you family or tear it up with friends - don’t forget to wear green!

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Atlanta St. Patrick Day Parade - Sat 3/15 12pm - downtown. FREE! A family-friendly event where bands, floats, dancers, Bagpipe and Drum Corps and more entertain the crowds! This event is one if the oldest in Atlanta, dating back to 1858.

ShamRock the Station - Atlantic Station - Sat 3/15 2-9:30pm. FREE! A family-friendly event, The Ruckus headlines a day of live music, face painting, activities and more! Food and drink specials at Meehan’s as well.

Fado Atlanta Buckhead- A whole week of festivities are planned leading up to the big day!

Weds 3/12 - 8pm: Super Paddy’s Day Pub Quiz! $500 1st place cash prize, 2nd place-$200 Fado Bucks, 3rd place-$100 Fado Bucks. Three week tournament starts on Feb 26th. Featuring Heineken pitcher specials for the tournament.

Thurs 3/13 - 9pm: Live Music with the Mike Magno Band. No cover.And, for Guinness lovers, its lucky pint night. Prizes given at random all night long!

Fri 3/14 - 2:15pm - 6:18pm: St Baldrick’s Charity Event. An annual head-shaving event where the community raises money and awareness to help fight children’s cancer. Drink specials include Heineken and Heineken Light Bottles and 20 cents from each bottle sold will benefit the St Baldrick’s Foundation. Party goes late with “Just Press Play” kicking off at 10 p.m. playing cracking pub tunes, new and old.  Fun Fact: “craic” is an Irish term meaning good times”. So we like to always say that this event is “great craic for a great cause”.  We have a $125,000 fundraising goal and over 35 shavees signed up so far. Go here and find out how you can participate. Or, just go here to donate

Sat 3/15 - ALL DAY! Outdoor Block Partyy co-hosted by Atlanta’s own, A Social Mess who will be featuring the main stage contests, games and other amazing nonsense to infuse some wild into the festival this year.  Live music from 1 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. and includes Andy Birdsall cover band, Mike Magno Band, Desire (U2 cover band), and Geek Band (80’s cover). DJ Just Press Play inside starts at 9 p.m. Food tents and multiple beer and cocktail stations, including the Tullamore Dew signature cocktail; “The Paddys Punch”. Cover starts at noon.  21+ after 2 p.m. $20 at the door.

Sun 3/16 - Doors open early with European sports, featuring Liverpool v Manchester United 9.30am. Brunch menu available until 3 p.m. and full menu, including Traditional Irish food, available all day. Guest bartender charity event from noon to 3 p.m. hosted by Leukemia & Lymphoma Team in Training. Irish dancers to perform throughout the day. Traditional Irish Music from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m and Andy Birdsall Acoustic. to perform from 4.30 p.m. to 8 p.m. No cover.

Mon 3/17 - St. Patrick’s Day!!! ALL DAY EVENT - Doors open at 7 a.m. Full menu available. Outside event starts at 12pm with traditional Bag Pipers and Irish Dancers performing throughout.  Live music from 2 p.m. to 9.30 p.m. with Geek Band, Andy Birdsall Band, Desire, the greatest U2 cover band in the world! DJ Just Press Play inside from 4 p.m. playing “cracking” pub tunes until 9 p.m.! 21+ only after noon. $20 cover at the door starting at noon.

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Limerick Junction St. Patrick’s Day Block Party - Sat 3/15-Mon 3/17. Live music, food & beer! Outdoor block party on St. Patrick’s Day (Mon) - $10 cover inside, free outside.

Cypress Street St. Patrick’s Day - Sat 3/15 ALL DAY! $5 corned beef & cabbage, $5 Irishman & Guinness, $5 Irish Car Bombs and lots of shenanigans!

Green Mile Midtown Pub Crawl - Fri 3/14 7pm. $20. Register at RiRa Irish Pub, 4 hosted drinks/shots, beads, general good times. Participating Bars: Front Page News, Cosmo Lava, RiRa, Flip Flops, Deadwood Saloon.

Meehan’s Shamrock & Roll - (Sandy Springs Location)  Sat 3/15 12pm to Mid. $10+. Rock 100.5 is on hand with music for this pre-St. Patty’s event that features beer stations, live bands performing all day, St. Baldrick’s fundraiser and more!

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D.B.A. Barbecue - BBQ Sauce Making Class

There are some events that I feel compelled to tell all my friends about and this new BBQ Sauce Making Class at D.B.A Barbecue is definitely one!

Info: Monthly! Next one is on 3/26 7pm. $40 for one, $70 for 2. Call for bigger groups.

This event is perfect for so many different groups - date night, girls/bros night out, team building - everyone will love this cool hands on class that you actually leave with your own signature sauce!

Matt Coggin, chef and owner of D.B.A. Barbecue, is your host and obviously an expert on all things booze and BBQ. Enjoy a flight of moonshine and some eats while he preps you for your sauce journey with tips on how to make yours sweet, tangy, hot, mild, etc.

Craft your sauce and Matt will be on hand to help perfect it! Then you can taste test your sauce and your friends on some yummy ribs, chicken wings, pulled pork and brisket. Also top off your night with some tasty banana pudding.

At the end of the class, you transfer your sauce to a squeeze bottle and name it! Seriously, this was such a fun time and as we’re getting into BBQ season, it’s a great excuse to serve up your own signature sauce at upcoming cookouts! Classes are held each month, like D.B. A. on Facebook so you can find out first when they are hosted.

Baconfest is BACK!

A must-attend event is happening at the end of March with the team from Dad’s Garage - BaconFest 2014! A day filled with Beer, Bands and Bacon - what more could you want?

Details: Sat 3/29 1-6pm at Masquerade Music Park. $25+.

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This is the annual fundraiser event for Dad’s Garage, a non-profit improv theater, that is doing some amazing work in the arts community and the city as a whole. So while you are chowing down on your BLTs and choice cuts of smoked swine, know it’s for a great cause!

With the event being at the Masquerade Music Park, expect even more shenanigans and fun!!! This year’s games include: Hobo Wine Tasting with the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club; Chill the Eff Out with Lucky Yates; Improvised Advice; Shut the Box; Terrible Caricatures; Compliments by Karen; Mistress Scraps, Fortune Teller; Dr. Boobies, M.D.; Sanitary Smooches; Naughty Face Painting; Shecky Bergman’s Mini Roast; Game On’s Video Game Truck; Adult Bounce House; Fitness Battalion’s Fitness Challenge (winner gets a treat, loser gets a carrot); Mary Todd Hair and Beard Stylings; Bone Lick BBQ Stand Up Comedy Booth; Kanga Blaster Booth; Palookaville Corndog Obstacle Course; The Wheel of Schatz; and the Turner Bike Face Off. 

Local businesses have also jumped on board to provide tastings, activities, and special offerings for attendees, including Whynatte, Happy Hour Confections, Frozen Pints Ice Cream, Bone Lick BBQ, Establishment, The Wrecking Bar, The Atlanta Rollergirls, Dough Bakery, and The Atlanta Freedom Band. 

While the more than 2,250 pounds of bacon donated by The Vortex Bar & Grill and cooked up by Thumbs Up Diner is always the main attraction, this year, Dad’s Garage has booked four local favorites to take the stage that are sure to keep the event rocking from start to finish. BaconFest’s 2014 entertainment lineup is comprised of Thimblerig Circus; Blast Off Burlesque; The Seed and Feed Marching Abominable; The Dirt Poets; and The Soggy Top Boys.

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The festivities include live bands performing, hilarious carnival booths and games, tons of bacon and beer, and a silent auction. The silent auction features some great packages for nights out on the town, artwork, electronics, and more! One of the cooler items was donated by Chef Kevin Gillespie - a night at his Chef’s Table at his restaurant - Gunshow! The winner with enjoy a dinner for 10!

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Did I mention that Kevin Bacon actually attended this event in 2012??? He was in town filming his Fox show - The Following and just dropped by. Seriously. (Photo by Eric Dixon Photography)

There are three levels of tickets starting at $25 and going up to $85 for guests to go ‘Whole Hog’ with a special VIP experience by getting access to whole pig roasted to perfection by Bone Lick BBQ, several kegs of specialty beer, and some exotically flavored bacon. Whole Hoggers also get a special BaconFest 2014 t-shirt!This event sells out - so don’t wait to get your tix!!!

So grab some friends and enjoy one of my favorite events of the year - BaconFest!!!!

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2014 Atlanta Hunger Walk/Run

I’m really excited to be participating in the 2014 Hunger Walk/Run 5K to benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Details: Sun 3/9 - 12pm. $25 to walk/$35 to run

This year will mark the 30th Anniversary of the annual Atlanta Hunger Walk/Run! So excited to be a part of this event - it’s a party for a great cause and you’re invited to join in the fun! In addition to the actual 5K run/walk - the event features live music performances both on the main stage, as well as along the walk/run route; food vendors, sponsor tents, children’s play zone, inflatables, games, educational engagement activities, and more.

This is a fantastic event for all ages and is a great opportunity to raise awareness about what the Atlanta Community Food Bank does - which is support hunger and poverty relief throughout metro Atlanta and north Georgia.

If you can’t participate, please consider donating to my team - TEAM TWEET, which will be running/walking this year!

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Love in Atlanta - 2014

Just when you feel like you were just celebrating New Year’s Eve, you blink and find Valentine’s Day is fast approaching! Here’s some ideas for events, shows, and more to celebrate with loved ones whether you’re in a relationship or just want a fun night out with friends.

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The Romance Repertory - Shakespeare Tavern. 1/31 - 3/30. $15+. This time the Shakespeare Tavern has upped the ante and instead of just one show, they are offering up three choices for Valentine’s Week - The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing and of course the veteran must - Romeo and Juliet. Pick your poison. (Get it?)

Valentine’s Day Martini’s & IMAX - Fernbank Museum. 2/14 7-11pm. $13+. A special Valentine’s themed night for this great weekly event. 2 special Valentine’s movies will be shown, Kayla Taylor Jazz will perform, playing a soulful mix of jazz standards and love ballads, and cocktails - Heart Throb and Chocolate Kiss.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre - The Fox Theatre. 2/13-16. $22+. Back in Atlanta, the show features new works by some of the world’s best choreographers to the joy of Mr. Ailey’s classic, Revelations, the Ailey dancers do not disappoint!

Tommy Blaze - The Punchline. 2/13-16. $20+. Laugh about the differences between men and women with Tommy Blaze, critically acclaimed comic know for his relationship humor from his ‘He Said/She Said’ tour.

Vixens Valentease Burlesque Show. 7 Stages. 2/2 8pm-Midnight. $20+. Syrens of the South kick off the month of love with a special night of burlesque! Sassy and classy, it’s a fun night out.

Romeo et Juliette - Cobb Energy Ctr. 2/7-15. $20+. Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, the Southeast premiere of this alluring, ethereal production of Romeo et Juliette redefines the classic love story of the two star-crossed lovers of Verona.

Valentine’s and Anti-Valentine’s Shows at Dad’s Garage. 2/14 8pm/10:30p. $35+. Improv shows for both kinds of fans - those who love Valentine’s Day and those who wish it would die a terrible death. Play along and laugh at both!

Valentine’s in the Garden - Atlanta Botanical Garden. Fri 2/14 7-11pm. $25+. Cocktails (cash bar), desserts, dancing to live entertainment in the lush gardens. Also enjoy the Orchid Daze exhibit!

Valentine’s at the High. Fri 2/14 6-10pm. $10 members/$20 non-members.Love and Romance tours, dance the night away to music by Full Tilt. Enjoy date-night couples games, a photo booth, and romantic music in the Margaretta Taylor lobby. End the night with a complimentary flower (while supplies last). Drinks/eats for purchase.

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Yacht Rock Schooner at Park Tavern. 2/14 7pm. $15. Sing a long to silly love songs from one of the smoothest bands around.

Valentine’s Songs at Emory. Fri 2/14 12pm. Free! Enjoy instrumental and vocal music of love, featuring tenor Bradley Howard and the Vega String Quartet at the Michael C. Carlos Museum

Love Stories Tours - Oakland Cemetery. Fri 2/9, 2/14-15. $10. Have a passion for history? This one-hour trip back in time introduces you to lovers (and a few parents) who obviously expected their love to last beyond their time here on earth. No RSVP needed, so perfect for last minute planners!

Piano Romance by Atlanta Symphony. 2/14-15. $22+. A night of romantic songs with the ASO! Rich Ridenour is a terrific pianist and arranger, and a first-class showman. He’s joined by award-winning Broadway vocalist Ashley Brown.

Kill Cupid Party at Three Sheets. 2/14 9pm-2am. FREE! Cupid will be hanging out, so enjoy great drink specials with him all night, along with fun games and music. Reservations highly recommended.

Jim Jeffries at Variety Playhouse. 2/14 8pm. $37.50. Take the pressure off and have a laugh with this top comic.

However you celebrate, or don’t, there’s always something new around the corner here in Atlanta to make any day special.