City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Weekend best bets: April 16-18

AAscene12 (Small)

It's a weekend thick with festivals, from the Dogwood to Sweetwater 420 to Big Shanty to the Georgia Renaissance Festival. Pictured here are Maid Marian and a pair of fairies at the 2005 festival in Fairburn.

This is such a fun-filled weekend in Atlanta that the state Department of Transportation actually postponed a paving project on the Downtown Connector to reduce the traffic. It’s a small relief in the face of Braves games, the Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park, the SweetWater 420 Festival in Candler Park and all the other games and events going on. There are also two events billing themselves similarly to the legendary Freaknik party. One is calling itself Freaknic, and details about it are hard to come by. Organizers of the other, iFreaknik, say they’re expecting 20,000 people, although many of them were likely to be in town for other events. (Read more about Freaknik events here.) Here are a few great events going on — be sure to check out the Atlanta Music Scene blog for more live shows, and leave your suggestions in the comments!

Whatever you do, have fun, be safe, wear sunscreen.


Art: Live Art for the Beltline, 8 p.m., Eyedrum, Atlanta.

Festival: Atlanta Dogwood Festival continues through April 18, Piedmont Park, Atlanta. FREE.

For families: Cobb Children’s Theatre’s “Beauty and the Beast,” 8 p.m., Cobb Civic Center Jennie T. Anderson Theater, Marietta.

For families: Sprites for Spring: Garden Fairies class, 4:30 p.m., Oakhurst Community Garden, Decatur.

Music: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs with Midori, 8 p.m., Atlanta Symphony Hall, Atlanta.

Music: Oglethorpe University 175th anniversary concert “A Panorama of American Music,” 8 p.m., Conant Performing Arts Center, Atlanta.

Sports: Atlanta Braves vs. Colorado Rockies, 7:35 p.m., Turner Field, Atlanta.

Stage:Madea’s Big Happy Family” continues, 8 p.m., Fox Theatre, Atlanta.


Comedy: Laughing Skull’s Homegrown Comedy Binge finale at the Dogwood Festival, 8 p.m., Piedmont Park, Atlanta.

Festival: Sweetwater 420 Fest continues through April 18, Candler Park, Atlanta.

For families: Sheep to Shawl Festival and activities, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Atlanta History Center, Atlanta.

For kids: Earth Day Kids Fest!, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Chattahoochee Nature Center, Roswell.

Music: Record Store Day concerts featuring Rodriguez, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Venice is Sinking, Janelle Monae and more, 10 a.m. to late night, Criminal Records and Little Five Points, Atlanta. FREE.

Outdoors: Spring Wildflower Fest continues through April 18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Amicalola Falls State Park, Dawsonville. FREE, $5 parking.

Sports: Atlanta Braves vs. Colorado Rockies, 7:10 p.m., Turner Field, Atlanta.

Sports: Atlanta Rollergirls Roller Derby bout, 5 p.m., Yaraab Shrine Center Auditorium.

Stage: Theatrical Outfit’s ATLexis 2010, 7:30 p.m., Balzer Theater at Herren’s, Atlanta.


Comedy: Dave Attell performs, 8 p.m., The Punchline, Atlanta.

Festival: The Georgia Renaissance Festival continues, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Fairburn.

Festival: Big Shanty Festival, noon-5 p.m., The Depot, Kennesaw. FREE.

For families: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” continues, 2 p.m., Kudzu Playhouse, Roswell.

Music: Pianist Richard Goode performs, 3 p.m., Spivey Hall, Morrow.

Music: Dow Live Earth Run for Water post-race concert featuring Rob Thomas, 10:30 a.m., downtown’s Pemberton Place near of the World of Coke, Atlanta. FREE for race participants.

Sports: Atlanta Braves vs. Colorado Rockies, 1:35 p.m., Turner Field, Atlanta.

Stage: “Little Shop of Horrors” continues, 2 p.m., Earl Smith Strand Theatre, Marietta.

Have an event, venue, restaurant or performance in and around Atlanta? Add it to the calendar.

For more of Atlanta’s best, follow @ajcATLevents and @ajcBestofBigA on Twitter.

15 comments Add your comment


April 15th, 2010
3:47 pm

Small typo on Braves game. The Friday game is at 7:35pm.

Dow Live Earth Run for Water

April 15th, 2010
4:56 pm

CORRECTION: Dow Live Earth Run for Water post concert is for registered race participants only. This is not a free concert open to the public. To learn more information go to


April 16th, 2010
12:14 pm

Anyone that thinks (unlicensed) events for Freaknic (Freaknik) will be peaceful this weekend are just kidding themselves. And the clubs? Forget about it. Holla.

Food-Lover -- You're Invited!!

April 16th, 2010
12:43 pm

A great event that did NOT make this list but should have is The Taste of West Cobb being held at The Avenue/West Cobb on Dallas Hwy from 11:00am to 5:00 pm Saturday.

Check the website for details:

Great food and entertainment!!

Proceeds benefit band programs at Hillgrove High School.


April 16th, 2010
1:19 pm

What about the FIRST Robotics Competition at the Dome? That’s not worthy? It’s free, it’s high school kids from all over the world competing with robots that they built, it promotes math, science and engineering education & advancement, anybody can walk around the pit areas and talk to the teams… Seems like quite a value and an event worth promoting and supporting, doesn’t it?


April 16th, 2010
1:42 pm

you mention roller derby and not one word about a hawks playoff game. the AJC is a joke.


April 16th, 2010
1:48 pm

Why hasn’t the mayor warned the freaknic crowd that stopping you car in the middle of the road and getting out or riding on top of your car will get you an immediate ticket? I’m all for everyone having a good time, but when it shuts down the city and gridlocks traffic on purpose I have a problem with it.


April 16th, 2010
2:26 pm

It appears the Mayor has stated there will be consequences and repercussions for those who don’t obey the law. I don’t think he is playing.


April 16th, 2010
2:50 pm

Two words for Freaknik – Pathetic/Revolting… How can we forget how many girls were assaulted and raped during this old savage gathering!


April 16th, 2010
3:03 pm

The Big Shanty Festival is Saturday AND Sunday in Kennesaw.


April 16th, 2010
3:08 pm

Freaknik?! Are you serious?! This shouldn’t even be on the list of things to do! It’s degrading, and disrespectful… Well… At least it was back before it went away. Back when I was a kid. Man… And the traffic! And I agree with Jose… It’s pathetic… And revolting! The city is about to become a BIG CLUB full of ignorant and disrespectful people. I hope they have every type of law enforcement available. They will sure be needed! I guess it really can’t be stopped, but as many tickets as they are going to give out… They’ll be pulling in A LOT of money this weekend!


April 16th, 2010
6:40 pm

I am appalled about the way people are calling college students ignorant!!! Do you know these students? They are our future lawyers, doctors, etc.. It’s not the college students who bring the trouble; it’s the outside environment such as: High School students trying to be over 18 although most of them look the part: People in their 30’s 40’s and 50’s trying to get their groove back and most of all the Drop outs (drop out of high school and college) but never went back !!! Please give these future governors, nurses, policemen a BREAK!!!!


April 16th, 2010
6:58 pm

So I hit a road block on Edgewood on the way home from WORK and I was very annoyed. The cop was kinda rude, but – though I hate to admit it, I do remember that there were a lot of women assaulted at Freaknik. I don’t think the cops have to be nasty, but I do think that their presences is necessary. Especially this weekend. Everyone just needs to be courteous – respect our city and its citizens.

Joe Johnson

April 16th, 2010
11:16 pm

Now you know why I am leaving after the season ends. No mention whatsoever.


May 14th, 2010
8:36 am

Little behind the times aren’t we AJC? It’s May!!!!