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Know before you go: Atlanta Arts Festival, September 12-13

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The Atlanta Arts Festival features more than 200 artists and runs Sept. 12-13 this year. AJC file photo

I expect most of us will let out a sigh of relief this Saturday when we set foot in Piedmont Park for the Atlanta Arts Festival. After festivals were kicked off the grassy lawns because of drought, that space is not to be taken for granted. The Atlanta Arts Festival continues there on Saturday, when it will open with more than 200 artists, live music and art creation stations. It’s a newer festival than the city’s beloved Dogwood Festival, which features about 250 artists, and draws a smaller, less intimidating crowd, too. But in three years, has established itself among the city’s favorite free fall activities.

Here’s what you should know before you go.

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Atlanta Arts Festival, 2008. AJC file photo

It’s fine art, less craft. The artists here are painters, sculptors, woodworkers, photographers and jewelry makers. They’re selling their work, much like the crafters and artists over at the Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain Park, but merchandise skews toward the fine art variety. Here’s a full list of participating artists, sorted by category.

What to bring: You can bring in your own food and non-alcoholic drink into the park, or buy it on-site. Artists accept different types of payment, so come prepared with credit cards, checks or cash if you’re planning to buy. (Festival organizers say most artists accept credit cards.) There will be an ATM at the festival, too.

What not to bring: Standard park rules apply — no alcohol, coolers, glass bottles, pets, bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades or scooters, grills, tents, weapons or illegal substances. You can bring bags, but they will be searched by festival security.

DIY Art:There are art demonstrations and community art projects, like The Peace Project, where visitors can contribute to a community painting with the guidance of Atlanta artists Julie Ross and Tommy Lee. Check out the RE-Art Center, too, to learn about creating art with repurposed materials. This area is particularly family friendly!

Live music: Live music will be running throughout the festival. Check out the full schedule.

How to get there: There are a few options for getting into the park this weekend — as usual, cars and Piedmont Park don’t mix very well.

  • MARTA: As always, public transportation is the easier option to get to Piedmont Park when there’s a big event. Hop off the North-South train line at Arts Center or Midtown Station and walk to the park. Here are directions, provided by Piedmont Park.
  • Car: As with every Piedmont Park event, some parking is available, but there’s not enough for everybody. Emergency signs will be posted in nearby neighborhoods, so you won’t be able to park there. Official parking for the Festival is at Lanier Parking Solutions, 1155 Juniper Street, Woodruff Arts Center, Woodruff Arts Center, 1180 Peachtree Street and the new SAGE Parking Facility at the park, near the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Prepare to pay up to park a car.
  • Bike/Foot: Piedmont Park entrances at Park Drive Bridge, 10th Street and Charles Allen, Piedmont Avenue and 12th Street and Piedmont Avenue and 14th Street will be open to pedestrians and cyclists. Bike racks will be available, but you can’t bring bikes into the festival area.

Want to go? The Atlanta Arts Festival. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Free. Piedmont Park.  770-941-9660, www.atlantaartsfestival.com.

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