Hurrah! Atlanta's famous spring festival season is in full swing! But in The City Not Too Busy To Gather, things have gotten a bit unwieldy.
The advent of popular new fiestas in recent years has created overlap on some spring, summer, and fall weekends, meaning Atlantans must choose which perennial blowout to attend, and which to miss. To help set the record straight, and determine which festivals are never to be missed, we thought a little mid-year tournament was in order. It’s May Madness, if you will. Or more officially:
The Great Atlanta Festival Face-Off 2016!
Here's the deal: The top 16 Atlanta festivals, perennial mega-events, and wondrous gatherings were chosen by biased Curbed staff, and then alphabetized according to the most official festival names available. This determined 1-16 seeding.
The rest is up to you, festival-goers of Atlanta!
Place a vote for competitors in the first half of the bracket today, and the second half tomorrow, to determined the Elite Eight festivals of ATL on Thursday.
By Friday, we'll have a Final Four, and the finals will commence next week.
Voting is open for 24 hours, beginning now!
Atlanta Street Alive: This periodic street-closure bonanza has done wonders for the pedestrian and bike cultures of Atlanta, swelling from a smallish downtown event in 2010 to an inclusive, can't-miss, four-times-in-2016 celebration that's attracted as many as 106,000 attendees at once.
Atlanta Dogwood Festival: The 80th (!) incarnation of the Atlanta Dogwood Festival this year saw more than 225,000 visitors flock to Piedmont Park. Added bonus: a new commemorative sculpture the festival donated to the park (now its permanent home) is pretty cool.
Chastain Park Arts Festival: Held in May and November, the sixth annual Chastain Park Arts Festival is a relative newcomer, but it managed to showcase nearly 200 artists and artisans earlier this month.
Chomp and Stomp, Cabbagetown: A big deal in C-town since the early aughts, November's Chomp and Stomp is a showcase of killer chili and bluegrass befitting the neighborhood's blue-collar roots.
Decatur Arts Festival: This year's incarnation will be held the last weekend in May. It's a terrific showcase for downtown Decatur that includes an ArtWalk, and it couldn't be more MARTA-connected.
Fall Festival in Candler Park: Celebrating 16 years of shindigs come October, this community lynchpin usually features impressive music and a "Totally '80s" 5K.
Fire in the Fourth: Old Fourth Ward's second-annual Fire in the Fourth fest lights up this Saturday, paying homage (via pyro acrobatics, music, and more) to the terrible inferno of 1917 that scorched the neighborhood.
Grant Park Summer Shade Festival: Held each August, this weekend of sultry but shaded hoopla occupies Atlanta's oldest park, and it's always a showcase of great tunes and cool local art.