What a wonderful time to live in Atlanta. It seems that there is something to do nearly every day. 2016 is shaping up to be no different. Get ready for a great year.
'Book of Mormon' | Jan. 12-24
From the creators of "South Park," comes this nine-time Tony award winning Broadway show about Mormon missionaries. It is raucous and not for kids. This is only the second time coming to Atlanta, and many of last year’s shows sold out. Tickets are $35-135.
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival | Jan. 26-Feb. 17
Now in its 16th year, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival continues to explore Jewish history and culture through international film. It is not only the largest film festival in Atlanta, last year it became the largest Jewish film festival in the world. Seventy-seven films will be show at venues throughout Atlanta.
Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival | Feb. 5-7
For the 38th year, the Atlanta Jugglers Association will be celebrating Groundhog Day the only way they know how: by juggling. Nearly 200 jugglers will gather at the Yaarab Shrine Center to perform and teach attendees how to juggle for themselves. Celebrate either six more weeks of cold or the impending warmth of spring.
Steamhouse Lounge Oysterfest | Feb. 27-28
For the 28th year, Midtown’s Steamhouse Lounge will be shucking oysters for thousands of hungry Atlantans. Twenty dollars gets you access to live music for two days. Buckets of oysters and lobster bisque are also for sale to slurp down.
St. Patrick’s Day parade | March 12
One of the nation’s oldest St. Patrick’s Day parades, Atlanta’s dates back to 1858. The parade winds up Peachtree Street in Midtown, and attracts revelers from Atlanta and beyond. In 2015, the Prime Minister of Ireland was the Grand Marshall. Who will it be this year — Bono? Dare we hope?
Baconfest | March, TBD
Every year the fine folks of Dad’s Garage step out of their usual role of making us laugh, and do us one better, serve us bacon. Their annual fundraiser brings in funds by slinging bacon and beer and putting together one of the finest silent auctions any Atlanta lover will ever find. Last year the event was held at the Masquerade, but a location has not been finalized for 2016.
Final opening day at Turner Field | April 4
Say hello and goodbye to the Ted with one last opening day before the Atlanta Braves move to Cobb County. Kick off your week and the season with a Monday night game against the Washington Nationals. Need an idea of where to eat in the area? Check out our guide here.
Dogwood Festival | April 8-10
For 80 years, the arrival of spring in Atlanta means that the Dogwood Festival is here. Piedmont Park is filled with blooming dogwood trees, thousands of artists and all the festival food you can eat. Admission is free.
Georgia Renaissance Festival | April 16-June 5
Everyone could use a some mead and a giant turkey leg in their life. How about some jousting and merry revelers straight out of the 16th century on top of that? Each year, a plot of land in Fairburn is turned into an interactive 16th-century European village. Besides the aforementioned turkey legs and jousting, actors put on shows and visitors can shop items ranging from corsets to candles.
Atlanta Steeplechase | April 23
Big hats, fast horses and bourbon. Is it the Kentucky Derby? Nope, this is the Atlanta Steeplechase. Since 1966, Atlantans have been gathering to cheer on the quickest championship horses of their day. Whether you are going with a small group to tailgate infield, or renting a tent with 60 of your closest friends, this is one race you do not want to miss.
Inman Park Festival | April 30 - May 1
As the cold of winter is shaken off, a festival pops up in seemingly every neighborhood. One of the biggest and oldest is the Inman Park Festival. Attendees can tour the old homes of Inman Park, watch the parade and buy local art from hundreds of artists that line the streets. The festival itself is free to attend, but there is a cost for the home tours.
Shaky Knees | May 13-15
Now in its fourth year, the Shaky Knees music festival has moved locations quite a lot. This year, they have settled in Centennial Olympic Park. There’s always a diverse line-up that focuses on rock. Past acts have included Alabama Shakes, The Strokes, Drive By Truckers and Mastadon.
Atlanta Jazz Fest | Memorial Day weekend
If jazz is more your cup of tea, May is a great month for you. Memorial Day weekend brings the culmination of a month of jazz shows throughout Atlanta. Piedmont Park is bursting with fans of both classic and contemporary Jazz. One of the largest Jazz festivals in the nation, expect dozens of performers, all for free.
Atlanta Food & Wine | June 2-4
The premier food festival in Atlanta returns for its fifth year, Chefs from throughout the South converge in Midtown Atlanta to teach classes and serve their food. Attendees can choose to indulge in the tasting tents alone, or pair them with informative classes.
VaHi Summerfest | June 4-5
Live music, a 5K and a huge artist’s market all make up the Virginia Highland neighborhood party known as Summerfest. Now in its 33rd year, Summerfest continues to raise money for the upkeep of one of Atlanta’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Attendance is free, while food and beverages are available for purchase
AJC Peachtree Road Race | July 4
Run off all of those hot dogs on Independence Day. The AJC and the Atlanta Track Club come together for one of the most beloved Atlanta traditions. Now the largest 10K in the world, the course winds up Peachtree Street from Lenox Mall to Piedmont Park.
Track club members are guaranteed a spot in the race, while the other spots are issued via lottery. The public has until Feb. 5 to submit design ideas for the T-shirt.
Attack of the Killer Tomatofest | July 17
Current reigning king of the Atlanta restaurant scene Ford Fry, throws a party every Summer in celebration of tomatoes. The Attack of the Killer Tomato Fest serves as a fundraiser for both The Giving Kitchen and Georgia Organics. Chefs from around the city create everything everything from cocktails to dessert and savory treats out of seasonal tomatoes. The event takes place at JCT Kitchen.
Beltline Lantern Parade | Sept. 10
Every year, the Art on the Beltline exhibit opens to the public on the Saturday after Labor Day. To kick off the exhibit, the Beltline invites revelers to join the Krewe of Grateful Gluttons as they carry colorful, glowing lanterns and play music down the length of the Eastside Trail. Participants will begin the walk at the Irwin and Krog Street
Music Midtown | Sept. 18-19
Three stages, two days and one crazy party goes down at Piedmont Park every September. Since its return, Music Midtown has attracted acts like Elton John, Drake and Phoenix. The lineup is always eclectic, and this year’s will surely be no different.
AJC Decatur Book Fest | Labor Day weekend
Book lovers, unite. 600 authors will converge in Decatur for readings, talks and more, Whether you love cookbooks or fiction, there is something for everyone. All of the events of the festival are free and open to the public.
Dragon Con parade & Dragon Con | Labor Day weekend
If it’s Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, it means Dragon Con is back. Hordes of Storm Troopers and Marvel superheroes will descend on Atlanta for the four-day sci-fi, fantasy and comic fan convention. Panels, autograph sessions and all other scheduled activities will attract more than 60,000 attendees.
If you don’t want to go for the whole weekend, the free parade on Saturday morning is a can’t-miss event. This year's route will be the longest ever. If this is your first time attending, or you just need a refresher, read our guide on surviving Dragon Con here.
Taste of Atlanta | October, TBD
It's no secret that Atlanta has blossomed into a world-class dining city. The choices of restaurants can be overwhelming. Luckily, Taste of Atlanta is bringing the best that Atlanta has to offer to Midtown for an entire weekend.
Nearly 100 restaurants will converge on Tech Square to serve samples from their menus. This year, attendees can leave their cash at home, because the festival is going cashless: Digital wristbands will be both the ticket in and the way to get your fill of food. Preload your wristband with "Taste Points" (1 point per $1) and top off the points during the festival with your phone or at one of the loading stations.
Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade | October, TBD
If you're going to go to any Halloween party this year, let this be the one. In its 16th year, the parade is the epicenter for Halloween fun in Atlanta. Don your costumes and bring the whole family. The costumes are over-the-top and the location cannot be beat, with the eccentric Little Five Points as the backdrop. Be sure to pop into The Porter some tasty beverages while you're there.