The Sandy Springs Festival returns for its 32nd year this weekend, Sept. 23 and 24, with free admission for the first time.

Hosted by Heritage Sandy Springs at its Heritage Green park along Sandy Springs Circle, the festival includes a wide variety of arts, entertainment, food and children’s events. Major activities returning this year include the artist market, live music and a car show.

The 27th annual Lightning 5K/10K races will help kick off the festival on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 23. Heritage’s museum will open a new exhibit, “L’Chaim Sandy Springs,” about the history and culture of the city’s Jewish community.

The city will host free public tours of its new City Springs civic center in a separate but related event on Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon. City Springs is still under construction at the Mount Vernon Highway/Johnson Ferry Road intersection as the main section heads toward a mid-2018 opening.

Most Sandy Springs Festival activities happen on Heritage Green and in the street on Sandy Springs Circle, roughly between Mount Vernon Highway and Sandy Springs Place. The festival runs 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 23 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 24.

Free parking with shuttle service is available at three locations: the Century Springs East and West office park, 6000-6100 Lake Forrest Drive; Lake Forest Elementary School, 5920 Sandy Springs Circle; and the Northside Tower parking deck (behind Signature Bank), 6065 Roswell Road.

For more information, see

Road closures

The festival and related activities result in several road closures starting with set-up on Friday, Sept. 22 and continuing through the festival. Road closures include:

Sandy Springs Circle between Mt. Vernon Highway and Sandy Springs Place, Sept. 22, 2 p.m., through Sept. 24, 10 p.m.

Sandy Springs Place between Sandy Springs Circle and Blue Stone Road, Sept. 22, 10 a.m., through Sept. 24, 10 p.m.

Hilderbrand Drive between Sandy Springs Circle and Blue Stone Road, Sept. 22, 5 p.m., through Sept. 24, 10 p.m.

Mount Vernon Highway, Sept. 23, 7:30-9:30 a.m. during the Lightning race, and an overlapping closure 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. between Sandy Springs Circle and Roswell Road for the City Springs tours.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.