In true ATL fashion, there's a plethora of stuff to do this spring, and we've cherry-picked six possibilities beyond the stalwarts like the Inman Park and Dogwood festivals to get you started.
From a debut festival celebrating that most customizable and versatile of foods — the taco — to an event featuring "fire eaters, fire breathers, and fire theater," this list includes a diverse offering of happenings all over Atlanta. And most of it, again, is brand new this year.
As an added bonus, we've peered into the future and given (mostly) baseless verdicts for each event.
- The Atlanta Taco Festival is scheduled for 1 to 7 p.m. May 1 in Candler Park. It'll feature "an elite group of Atlanta's favorite taco establishments" as well as live entertainment, and something being billed as a VIP tequila experience. VERDICT: extensive day-drinking + tequila = impromptu breakdancing. Bet on it.
- Smoke and Glory Cookoff is a battle of chefs benefiting the Giving Kitchen and the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. April 3 (this Sunday) at Steinbeck's Ale House in Oakhurst, chefs competing in the contest hail from some of Atlanta's finest eateries. VERDICT: right on, right on.
- Fire in the Fourth is a unique festival that pays homage to the Great Atlanta Fire of 1917, which devastated the Old Fourth Ward nearly 100 years ago. Scheduled for 3 to 11 p.m. May 21, the event raises money for community projects in the Old Fourth Ward. It's rain or shine on Auburn and Edgewood avenues. VERDICT: High hopes for this, as last year's inaugural fire fest rocked.
- As we know, Atlanta Streets Alive is an initiative of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition that closes off streets to cars and "open(s) them up to people." And this year could be its biggest yet. Participants are encouraged to ride bicycles or walk to better explore their communities. Upcoming events: a brand-new ASA experience from 2 to 6 p.m. April 17, this Historic West End route will connect seven Atlanta neighborhoods via Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard and Georgia Avenue; and 4 to 8 p.m. June 12, celebrating Peachtree Street from downtown to Midtown. VERDICT: The new route should inject new life into events that every Atlantan should be applauding (and attending).
- Food-o-Rama is a new food truck festival in Grant Park featuring cuisine from 30 different vendors. Scheduled for 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 16, the event is designed around the idea of small plate samplings. Each truck will be offering full portions, but also preparing specialty offerings in small sizes. You can gorge on as many dishes as possible. VERDICT: burp.
- Improv in the Park is a partnership between Atlantic Station and Whole World Improv Theatre that aims to bring a family friendly evening of comedy to Central Park throughout the next several months, starting April 6. Those attending are encouraged to bring a blanket for the hourlong shows, which start at 8 p.m. VERDICT: cool concept, doubtfully free of f-bombs.