City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Weekend best bets: April 15-17

New Orleans quintet Galactic headlines the Sweetwater 420 Fest with a set at 8:20 p.m. Friday, April 15. Photo: Taylor Crothers

New Orleans quintet Galactic headlines the Sweetwater 420 Fest with a set at 8:20 p.m. Friday, April 15. Photo: Taylor Crothers


Festival: It’s the 75th edition of the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, which takes place in a Piedmont Park packed with people, art, crafts music and beautiful flowering trees. Noon April 15; 10 a.m. April 16-17.

Festival: Candler Park will groove to the sounds of New Orleans’ Galactic, Atlanta’s own Arrested Development, Athens’ Dead Confederate and more at the Sweetwater 420 Festival, a three-day, brewery-sponsored event happening April 15-17.

Film festival: The Do Something Reel Film Festival begins at sundown April 14, 15 and 16  on the lawn of Atlantic Station’s Central Park. The open-air fest  focuses on passionate people making a world of difference.

Stage: Don’t miss the 35th year of the Atlanta Passion Play, because this is the last season for this annual Easter tradition. See our preview of the long-running production’s final performances. All performances at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center through April 17.

Stage: Think your family has issues? The raucous dark comedy “August: Osage County” transforms one family gathering into an evening filled with sex, secrets and really inappropriate behavior. A Pulitzer Prize-winner written by Tracy Letts. It runs through May 8 at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.

Stage: Alex Moreno, a Mexican-American boxer, dreams of fighting his way out of poverty in “Barrio Hollywood.” When Alex is injured, his family’s dreams are deferred in this gritty drama about bi-racial romance, family loyalty and the true pursuit of happiness. This is the Spanish language premiere of the play and will be presented in Spanish with English supertitles by Teatro del Sol, Aurora’s Spanish language theater initiative. The show continues through May 1 at Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville.

Stage: Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado” is presented by the Atlanta Lyric Theatre. It opens April 15 and continues through May 1 at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre in Marietta.

Stage: Georgia Ensemble Theatre presents “Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits: Vol. 1,” a musical revue with songs from “The Lion King,” “Les Misérables,” “Hairspray,” “Wicked,” “Mamma Mia,” “Cats” and more. The show continues at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center through April 24.

Stage: Brothers Brady and Denis resort to burglary to save their house from the bank in the premiere of  “Spoon Lake Blues,” a play by former Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Competition finalist Josh Tobiessen. It runs at the Alliance Theatre in the Woodruff Arts Center through April 24.

Stage: “The Colored Museum” offers satirical stories that illuminate race relations in America. It’s the latest production from  True Colors Theatre Company, and continues through April 17 at Porter Sanford Arts Center in Decatur.

Stage: Created by Ray Stricklyn and Charlotte Chandler and based on Chandler’s original interviews with Tennessee Williams, “Confessions Of A Nightingale” is a one-man show starring Sid Shier. It’s at the 14th Street Playhouse through April 24.

Stage: In Process Theatre’s world premiere of “Kiss of the Vampire,” Arthur and Vince are the perfect gay couple, or they would be if Vince hadn’t been bitten by a vampire bat. Arthur only has days to prevent Vince from transforming into one of the undead in this new play by Johnny Drago. It runs through April 16 at OnStage Atlanta in Decatur.

Stage: Michael John LaChiusa’s “See What I Wanna See” is a musical about lust, greed, murder, faith and redemption. The show continues through April 16 at the Actor’s Express Theatre in the King Plow Arts Center in Atlanta.

Stage: Theatre in the Square’s production of Lillian Hellman’s classic drama “The Little Foxes” closes April 17.

Music, stage: The Atlanta Opera brings Mozart’s “Così Fan Tutte,” a memorably melodic tale of romantic indiscretion, to the stage of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. The final two shows are April 15 and 17.

Festival, horse racing, families: It’s the 46th year for the Atlanta Steeplechase, where there will be horse races, the always entertaining hat parade and contest, a foxhound parade, skydivers, tent contests and plenty of fun for the kids. It happens at Kingston Downs, in northeastern Bartow County between Cartersville and Rome, where the gates open at 9 p.m. April 16. Check the Atlanta Steeplechase website for details. The event benefits the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Camp Southern Ground, Inc.

Festival, music: Old-time and bluegrass music and art are the big draws at Dahlonega’s Bear on the Square, but there are also random jam sessions, music workshops, artisans selling goods and traditional dance troupes. The featured performers in the main stage tent at Hancock Park, one block off the square, include the Packway Handle Band, Curley Maple, John Lilly, James Bryan and many more. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. April 16; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 17.

Festival, kids and families: Learn about our planet and the environment and meet Captain Planet at the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Earth Day Kids Fest, which starts at 10 a.m. April 16 at the Roswell center.

Festival: The Wild Azalea Festival spotlights the beautiful blooms at the Reynolds Nature Preserve in Morrow. It opens at 10 a.m. April 16.

Festival, environment: Celebrate the planet at the Milton Earth Day Festival. It starts at 10 a.m. April 16 in Birmingham Park.

Festival, history: Sheep to Shawl offers demonstrations of sheep shearing, spinning, weaving, open hearth cooking, blacksmithing, candle making, and much more at Tullie Smith Farm, including creative stories and traditional music. It begins at 10:30 a.m. April 16 at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead.

Festival, food: If you’re feeling hungry, head to the Taste of West Cobb at 11 a.m. April 16 at the Avenue West Cobb in Marietta.

Home and garden, fundraiser: Lotus House, a new Bill Baker-designed home in Buckhead, is the setting of this year’s annual Decorators’ Show House and Gardens, an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra fundraiser that features rooms created by more than 20 designers. The home opens April 16 and will be on view through May 8 at 1945 W. Wesley Road in Buckhead.

Comedy: The Queen of Mean, Lisa Lampanelli, returns to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre at 8 p.m. April 16 for a night of insults and laughter.

Festival: It’s the 35th spring for Kennesaw’s Big Shanty Festival, with more than 200 arts and crafts booths and two entertainment stages. It happens 10 a.m.-6 p.m. April 16 and noon-5 p.m. April 17 in downtown Kennesaw.

Festival: Have an anachronistic good time at the Georgia Renaissance Festival. This annual time-traveling fest offers jesters, jousting, juggling and more. It opens April 16 and runs Saturdays and Sundays (and Memorial Day) through June 5.

Festival: The streets of downtown Alpharetta will be closed to traffic on April 16 and 17 for the Alpharetta Arts Streetfest, but they’ll be filled with great art, live music, cultural performances, children’s activities and tasty food.

Stage: The beloved, long-running Atlanta-based stage comedy “Peachtree Battle” returns through May 22 at the Ansley Park Playhouse in Atlanta.


Festival: Celebrate the diversity of Latin American culture at Feria Latina and enjoy performances by Latin artists, contests, giveaways, company exhibitions, arts and crafts and international food. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. April 17 at Atlantic Station in Atlanta.

Festival: Arti Gras is a New Orleans-style festival featuring live music, food, arts and crafts. It starts at noon April 17 on McDonough’s Historic Square.

This is just a selective list of events happening around town, so if there’s something going on this weekend that you’re excited about and you don’t see it here, please feel free to share the info in the comments.
Follow me on Twitter at@ajchottix and @ajcatlevents for info on tickets going on sale and more upcoming events.

5 comments Add your comment


April 15th, 2011
8:54 am

You guys forgot to mention that it’s BOGO weekend at the Ren Fest!!


April 15th, 2011
2:20 pm

Best new country song from an ATL artist…go download the soon to be country hit “Barbie Got Picked Up (by a dumptruck)” for FREE at Seriously…it’s free with no strings attached. Please pass the link on to everyone you know….what have you got to lose….IT’S FREEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!

Hi, I'm bob

April 15th, 2011
3:22 pm

FREAKNIK WEEKEND!!! Come on out in your booty shorts!!!!!


April 15th, 2011
3:33 pm

Don’t forget about TaTaPalooza tomorrow night at Smith’s Olde Bar!

Thanks to Smith’s for inviting us back for our 4th annual show!
This year’s lineup includes: The Shadowboxers, 3rd Wheel, Lindsey Hinkle, Jessica Dunnagan, Brandon Perry, & Maria Gabriella Band.
Tickets are on sale now at Ticket Alternative
$12 in advance or at the door.
All proceeds go to The Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer!
Please join us for a night of great music for a great cause!

***You could win one of these amazing prizes SATURDAY NIGHT at TaTaPalooza 2011!!***

*Weekend stay at the Aska Lodge Bed & Breakfast in Blue Ridge!

*Official autographed hockey stick from The Atlanta Thrashers!

*6 person rafting trip with The Ocoee Adventure Center valued at $300!

*Skyline Home Termite Treatment valued at $800!

*4 Field Box Seats at a Gwinnett Braves game valued at $50!

You can buy Door Prize Tickets for $1 each or you can do the famous BOOBIE WRAP for only $15! You get all of the tickets that wrap around your bust for a flat rate. What a deal!

The Boot Scootin’ Boobies have brand new boot-shaped koozies! Stop by the Merchandise Table!


April 17th, 2011
1:24 am

I’ve all but stopped trying to come intown to go to the festivals anymore. The last 3 years or so it seems that the DOT takes great joy in working on huge projects on EVERY major road during the mid-April weekends when there are a dozen or more big festivals going on. Unless you have all day to sit in traffic, you just can’t do it and have to stick to stuff going on in your section of the city. I know the roads have to be worked on/maintained but damn – they’ve shut the work down for sporting events in the past… you’d think a dozen festivals in the area would give them a reason to put stuff off one weekend!

To those who organized these events – how about looking at your calenders and actually NOT planning every event on 3 big weekends when everyone else is doing it? We do have multiple months of usable weather here – does everything HAVE to be clumped together so much? Geez.