The next three weekends bloom with spring festivals sure to draw LGBT crowds. This weekend pick from Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park, a full day of LGBT writers organized by the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival, or Sandy Springs Artsaplooza, organized by the gay-led Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces.
Next weekend, stay home for Atlanta’s most eclectic neighborhood festival, or hit the road to North Georgia for Women’s Musicfest or to Unadilla, Ga., for Bearapalooza. Then pack your suitcase again May 3-5 for Gay Days at Tybee Island, a chance to experience an LGBT beach weekend at the vacation haven near Savannah.
• THIS WEEKEND
Dogwood Festival in Atlanta’s gay backyard
It’s finally warm, bringing dogwood blossoms to Piedmont Park — LGBT Atlanta’s unofficial backyard — and of course, the Dogwood Festival, set for April 19-21 this year.
“The Atlanta Dogwood Festival is the third oldest and one of the largest free fine arts and music festivals in the United States. It was one of the great honors of my life to serve as the first openly gay chairman of the 77 year old festival last year,” says Jamie Ensley, immediate past chair of the festival.
“Visiting the 250 artist booths lining the trails around Piedmont Park is always a delight,” Ensley adds. “I’m proud that the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is consistently ranked as having one of the best fine arts exhibits in the entire South.” For details, visit www.dogwood.org
30 local LGBT writers in less than eight hours
Organizers of the Atlanta Queer Literary Festival host a community reading Saturday, April 20, featuring 30 local LGBT poets and writers, including Glenda Corwin, Alice Teeter, Harold Lefall, Collin Kelley, Dustin Brookshire, Mose Hardin, Young Hughley, Sharon J. Sanders, Megan Volpert, Gabe Moses, Iyana, Anthony Antoine, AntronRechaud, Lynne Huffler, Jef Blocker and more.
The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Decatur Library auditorium; for more information, visit www.atlqueerlitfest.com
Get artsy up in Sandy Springs
Sandy Springs Artsaplooza, organized by the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces, features music, children’s events, an artist market, interactive art stations and more. It has moved to a new location this year, 6100 Lake Forest Drive. www.sandyspringsartsapalooza.com/
• APRIL 26-28
Women’s music in the North Ga. mountains
Typically held at Swiftwaters Womanspace near Dahlonega, this year’s spring Women’s Musicfest is set for April 26-28 at Fox Mountain Camp & Artist Retreat in Cherry Log, Ga.
Still organized by musician Ronnda Cadle, who is now the artist in residence at Fox Mountain, the event includes more than 15 female-oriented musical acts — including Caroline Aiken, Lindsey Hinkle and Cadle — plus artists, workshops and more. For tickets, visit www.foxmtncamp.com
Bearapalooza at Oz Campground
Bearrapalooza at OZ Campground in Unadilla, Ga., features an acoustic show, contests, dance parties, workshops including bear belly dancing, a DJ and tons o’ men.
Entertainers include Sean Kagalis, Freddie Freeman, Charlie K. Brown and more. Oz Campground, www.ozcampground.com
Quirky fun in Inman Park
The Inman Park Festival is by far the quirkiest of Atlanta’s neighborhood festivals. In addition to a juried crafts market with more than 150 artists, there’s the 250-booth street market, music, kids’ activities and dance. Whatever you do, don’t miss the parade at 2 p.m. Saturday. http://inmanparkfestival.org
• MAY 3-5
Get away to Tybee Gay Days
Get a head start on summer at Gay Days at Tybee Island, set for May 3-5 in the island community near Savannah.
Highlights include a kick-off party and after party on Friday; a beach meet-up and the White Party on Saturday night, featuring original “Village People” cowboy Randy Jones in a fundraiser for people with HIV; and a tea dance Sunday with Kristina Foxx. Need details? Check out www.gaysavannah.com
(Photo: Atlanta Dogwood Festival by Daniel Mayer/ CC 3.0)