By Collin Kelley & Britton Buttrill

If you’re in search of weekend fun, check out one of the many Spring festivals happening around the city. From artisans and musicians to home tours and rooftop vistas, May is jam-packed with activities. Here’s a round-up of just some of the events happening this month.

Sweet Auburn Springfest

The historic Sweet Auburn district of Downtown comes alive with a weekend of music, activities, food and more on May 7 to 9. Auburn Avenue is the focal point for the festival, which will feature a seniors pavilion, artists market, business and tech expo, car and bike show, heath and fitness fair, film festival, theater performances, a kids “fun zone” and a green pavilion. For more information, visit www.sweetaburn.com.

West Fest

Head over to historic West End for West Fest on May 7 to 9, featuring three days of music, art and a home tour. The festival opens on Friday with a benefit concert by Avery Sunshine and Elliott Holden from 7 to 10 p.m. at The Wren’s Nest. Tickets are $25. The arts festival is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Gordon-White Park on the BeltLine. A day will kick off with a dog parade at 11 a.m. Everyone is invited to bring their dog and there is no admission to the festival. The home tour is Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. with more than a dozen Craftsmen, Victorian, Queen Anne-style homes. Tickets are $15. For tickets and more information, www.atlantawestfest.com.

Kirkwood Spring Fling & Tour of Homes

The Kirkwood Spring Fling and Tour of Home is Saturday and Sunday, May 15 and 16, at Bessie Branham Park, 2051 Delano Drive. The festival will feature an open air artist market, 5k run, live music, children’s area and food and beverage vendors. The home tour will showcase a diverse collection of building styles from classic Victorian cottages to Craftsman bungalows to Modern lofts. The festival portion of the weekend is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and admission is free. The tour of homes will be held Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.  Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door. All proceeds go to benefit the Kirkwood Neighbors Organization, a local 501c3 non-profit group dedicated community improvement. For more information, visit www.kirkwoodfling.com.

Artful Garden Tour

The Artful Garden Tour is Saturday, May 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine. Tickets are $20 until May 12 and $25 afterwards. This self-guided tour will feature six private gardens focusing on art and design. Highlights include a formal French garden with fountain, a private lake with boathouse and pergola, and a fenced herb and vegetable garden. Enjoy vibrant spring blooms, inviting waterfalls and pools, distinctive outdoor features, and a spectacular array of art and artists. Gardens on tour are centered in Buckhead, Chastain and Sandy Springs. All proceeds benefit the High Museum of Art. Visit www.high.org for tickets and details.

Atlanta Downtown Festival

The 9th annual Atlanta Downtown Festival is set for Saturday, May 22, and will be sponsored by Social Resto Café Bar, which has booked all the music for this year’s event. Salsa, Jazz, Latin rock and more will be performed from noon to midnight on the Festival Stage. This year’s festival moves to West Peachtree Place between Spring and Williams streets. In addition to live music, festival events will include a visual artist market, food and drink tastings and other activities designed to showcase the vitality of Atlanta’s downtown and the joy of downtown living. Returning this year is the popular Rooftop Tour, unveiling swimming pools, gardens, and of course, incredible views, and many of the tour stops will feature wine tastings, music or food samplings. Tickets are $15 for the tour and there will be a complimentary shuttle. Buy tickets in advance at www.active.com. Another festival will be Scavenger Hunt, which will have participants searching for prizes at historical sites, parks, restaurants and more. Hunt tickets are $25 at www.active.com. For more details about the festival, visit www.atlantadna.org.

Decatur Arts Festival

Blues, funk and gypsy jazz on the bandstand; over 140 artists from around the nation selling paintings, jewelry and more; cutting-edge dance; storytellers and improvisational comedy; a parade and balloon art for kids – these are just a few of the activities at the 22nd annual Decatur Arts Festival set for Memorial Day weekend, May 28 to 30. This interactive, inclusive arts extravaganza, presented by the Decatur Arts Alliance, includes art and artists from all disciplines and features hands-on participatory art as well as demonstrating and performing arts.  All events are free. Some of the weekend highlightlight include the Art Walk on Friday night from 5 to 10 p.m. with special events and artists at local galleries and businesses. The Artists Market will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, while live music will be staged on the community banstand on the square featuring Larkin Poe, Scott Little Band, Jacob Jeffries Band, Morgan Rowe, Gwen Hughes & The Retro Jazz Katz, ConunDRUMS, JazzChronics, Swamp Funk Quartet, Bonaventure Quartet, Yonrico Scott Band, and Sewhe Village Percussion. To see a full line-up of events, visit www.decaturartsfestival.com.

Buckhead Spring Arts and Craft Festival

This festival, modeled last month’s Inman Park event, is set for May 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Chastain Park
This inaugural event will feature approximately 100 painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metal craftpersons, glass blowers, jewelers and more! The Festival will also offer visitors the opportunity to view artist demonstrations, enjoy live entertainment, participate in hands-on arts activities, and enjoy festival foods and beverages. Proceeds will benefit the creation of a new Chastain Dog Park and the Chastain Civic Assocation. For a full line-up of events and artists visit, www.buckheadartsfestival.com.

Atlanta Jazz Festival

The 33rd annual Atlanta Jazz Festival is a month-long event, capped off by a Memorial Day weekend festival in Piedmont Park. Festival events are free and a full schedule is at www.atlantafestivals.com. The Piedmont Park event will feature local and nationally-renowned artists including Marcus Miller and Christian Scott will pay tribute to Miles Davis with “Tutu Revisited” and there will also be performances by Spyro Gyra, MF Production’s Celebration of Lionel Hampton featuring Diane Schuur and Jason Marsalis, Stanley Clarke Band featuring Hiromi and more. The 2010 Atlanta Jazz Festival is a program of the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, a division of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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