An Event 75 Years in the Making
It’s been 75 years since Walter Rich, of Rich’s Department stores, decided to inaugurate a festival to celebrate the beautiful spring season in Atlanta. Since 1936, the festival has gone through numerous changes, and today the Atlanta Dogwood Festival holds the honor of being the third oldest fine arts festival in the country. With nearly 300 artists each year from throughout the United States and Canada, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival also provides a full weekend of live entertainment, varied food selections and a beloved disc dog competition. In more recent years, the festival has expanded its offerings to include an international cultural component, comedy and theatre partnerships and a gourmet tasting area featuring some of the city’s best restaurants.
It’s an event 75 years in the making, and the 2011 Atlanta Dogwood Festival promises more excitement than ever under the blooming of the city’s most beautiful trees.
AT A GLANCE The 75th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival takes place in Atlanta’s beautiful Piedmont Park on April 15, 16 and 17, 2011. Festival attendance is free, although a few of the areas are ticketed. www.dogwood.org
ARTS The 2011 Atlanta Dogwood Festival Artist Market welcomes fine artists from throughout the country and includes a special section featuring Georgia artists. All types of art are represented within the Artist Market, from oil painting to jewelry to sculpture and textiles. There is plenty to tempt any collector!
Again this year, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is particularly proud of its Atlanta High School Art Exhibition (AHSAE), which last year brought in nearly 600 entries from talented young artists throughout the metro-area. Providing winners with $30,000 in scholarships and supplies, the AHSAE is community-oriented feature of the festival that fills a growing gap in creative opportunities for youth. Held in the Community Center in Piedmont Park during the festival, the AHSAE highlights the variety and breadth of young Atlanta artistic talent.
GLOBAL The Atlanta Dogwood Festival kicked off the International Village two years ago to recognize and celebrate the city’s diverse international communities. With the International Stage hosting a multitude of cultural performances from around the globe, the edutainment booths and the decorated mobile art golf carts, the International Village quickly became a favorite feature of the festival. The international communities and globally minded guests are also welcomed to make merry during La Fête, an evening ticketed party held on Friday, April 15 to launch the 2011 International Village.
SPECTATORS Each year, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival offers entertainment throughout the weekend. As always, two live music stages feature performers from a variety of musical genres. Festival attendees can also enjoy the popular live disc dog show on the lawn or head to one of the other entertainment choices like theater productions and kid-friendly street performances.
FOR FOODIES The “Friends of Dogwood Pavilion,” a ticketed event that has become a popular feature of the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, will be open Saturday and Sunday. The Pavilion pairs fare from top local restaurants with wines and beers in a comfortable, private setting. Tickets to Friends of Dogwood can be purchased in advance beginning in the spring at www.dogwood.org.
KIDS Designed just for the younger festival visitors, the Kid’s Village has become an Atlanta Dogwood Festival favorite for families. This interactive zone comes complete with hands-on art projects, special kid-friendly displays and hours of entertainment for children. With anything from ropes courses to the popular spider jump, parents will find this area ideal for pulling up some grass while the kiddies let out some energy.
ENTRANCE Just as it has been for the past 74 years, the 75th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival is free!
FUNDRAISING As a registered 501-C3, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival thanks Friends of Dogwood and our sponsors who help keep this great event free and open to the public.
Additional neighborhood and community-oriented features will be part of the 75th Atlanta Dogwood Festival – details coming soon!