Inman Park Festival

Lordy, lordy, look who’s 40! Yes, the Inman Park Festival and is celebrating four decades of art, merriment, food and wacky parades on Saturday, April 30, from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 1, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This year’s parade – with floats, bands, local nonprofits and residents – will be on Saturday and steps-off at 2 p.m. (rain or shine) from near Krog Street and continues up Edgewood and Euclid to Austin Avenue. The parade will honor the late festival organizer Holly Mull, who passed away last year.

There will also be two days of live music on three stages, including the Joe McGuinness Trio, 10 Degrees Off, Darryl Rhoades and YoMama, The Usual Suspects, Gwen Hughes, Our Better Nature, Roxie Watson and many more.

There will also be a Kidzone at Springvale Park, a dance festival at the Trolley Barn and food of all kinds from local restaurants. The annual Tour of Homes will also take place that weekend.

Parking for the festival will be nearly nonexistent, so visitors are strongly encouraged to take Marta to the Inman Park station, bike or walk to the festival. inmanparkfestival.org

Dogwood Festival

Springtime in Atlanta means blooming dogwoods everywhere and for over 75 years the Atlanta Dogwood Festival has been one of largest and most anticipated springtime festivals in the Atlanta area.

This year’s festival will be held April 15 – 17 at Piedmont Park. Virtually every type of art is represented at the festival, along with live music, a kid’s village with huge inflatables and the popular 24-foot tall rock-climbing wall. And there will be plenty of food available, too, including funnel cakes, gyros, crab cakes, onion rings, kettle corn and much more.

Also returning this year is the International Village with cultural performances from around the globe and “edutainment” booths. La Fête, an evening ticketed party held on Friday, April 15, will launch the 2011 International Village.

If you need more food, the Friends of Dogwood Pavilion 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 at dogwood.org.

Musical acts scheduled to perform include Ken Ford, Moon Taxi, The Urban Sophisticates, School of Rock, Lefty Williams Band, Blair Crimmins & The Hookers, Stokeswood, Emily Lynch, Nathan Angelo and many more.

A couple of visitor notes: Parking will be limited in the Sage Deck and there will no parking allowed in the surrounding neighborhoods, so take MARTA to the Midtown station, walk or bike. Absolutely no pets will be allowed in the park during the festival.

Sweetwater 420 Festival

Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing Company will host the annual SweetWater 420 Fest April 15 – 17 at Candler Park. This year’s event has been expanded to three days to accommodate more bands and, of course, more beer.

Scheduled to perform over the weekend: Galactic, Railroad Earth, 7 Walkers Featuring Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead, GreenSky Bluegrass, Anders Osborne, Dead Confederate, The Pimps of Joytime, DejaBlue Grass Band, The Broadcast, Deep Blue Sun, Rollin in the Hay, Gimme Hendrix and Bitteroots.

Kids will also have their own stage featuring Fear the Silence and The Taask. A comedy tent will feature Clayton English, Matt Phar and more to be announced.

Since the festival is geared toward Earth Day, there will be dozens of booths in the park from local environmental groups offering information about what you can do keep Atlanta green.

The Artist’s Market will also have a sustainable feel, with local artists and crafters selling and exhibiting everything from eco-friendly handbags and recycled glass jewelry to handmade toys and candles.

The annual SweetWater 5K Race to benefit the Chandler Park Neighborhood Association will be held on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. The first 2,000 runners will be accepted. To register, visit candlerpark.org/420

For more information about the festival, visit sweetwater420fest.com.

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.