By Collin Kelley
Editor

Spring has sprung, which means Intown’s festival season begins in earnest with six big events in April alone. We’ll be providing previews of the various festivals through the summer, so stay tuned for much more.

Festival on Ponce
Last year’s inaugural Festival on Ponce was such a success that the organizers have created spring and fall versions to accommodate interested artists and vendors. The spring festival dates April 14-15 (fall dates are Sept. 15-16 if you want to mark your calendar) and will once again take place in the Olmstead Linear Park along Ponce de Leon Avenue. Visitors will enjoy fine art and crafts, folk and “outsider” art, a children’s area and local food and beverage. There will also be live music and entertainment and the food trucks will be back, so come hungry. Trucks expected this year are Yumbii, Tex Tacos, C&J Woodfired Pizza, Williams Bros. Barbeque, King of Pops, Moosehead Kettle Corn and Granny’s Lemonade. For a full line-up of artists and events, visit festivalonponce.com or find the event on Facebook.

Dogwood Festival
The 76th annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival will be held April 20 – 22 at Piedmont Park. Virtually every type of art is represented at the festival, along with live music, a kid’s village with entertainment and activities and the Eco-Village with demonstrations and exhibitors. 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 20, from 7 to 10 p.m., will launch the 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 3052 Dub Collective, Charlie Wayne Watson, Arena Sound, and many more. Dog Lovers can check out the Disc Dog Exhibition in the meadow on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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 except for those involved in the Disc Dog event.

Sweetwater 420 Festival
Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewing Company will host the annual SweetWater 420 Fest April 20 – 22 at Candler Park. This year’s event will once again be three days to accommodate more bands, comedy acts and more time to drink beer. Scheduled to perform over the weekend: Maceo Parker, Perpetual Groove, Donna the Buffalo, The Mickey Hart Band featuring Dave Schools, Soulive, Anders Osborne, The Lee Boys, Floodwood featuring Members of Moe, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Sol Driven Train, Cadillac Jones, Smokey’s Farmland Band, Cherry Royale, Like a Locamotive and the Music Matters Rock you Kids Band. The Relapse Comedy Tent will feature stand-up comedians and improv groups from local theater companies, while kids will have their own area with activities and entertainment. The Artist’s Market will feature local artists and crafters selling and exhibiting everything from 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 9 a.m. To register, visit candlerpark.org/420 For more information about the festival, visit sweetwater420fest.com.

Inman Park Festival
The 41st annual Inman Park Festival will celebrate more than four decades of art, merriment, food and wacky parades on Saturday, April 28, from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 29, 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. There will also be two days of live music on three stages, 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. For more, visit inmanparkfestival.org.

Atlanta Arab Festival 2012
The event is set for Saturday, April 28, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 29, from noon to 6 p.m. at the Alif Institute, 3288 Marjan Drive. The festival is open to the public and admission is $1 (free for children 5 and younger). Local restaurants, merchants and artists will be selling meals, Arabic products, and art pieces. Tickets will be available for purchase to participate in crafts, games and other fun activities. Music, folk dancing, a fashion show, storytelling are also planned for the weekend. Visit alifinstitute.org for more information

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.