Hey you! Skip spending another weekend on the couch and explore your hometown a little bit! Not sure what to do? We’ve got some ideas. If your interests tend to include beer and bluegrass, arts and kitsch, graffiti and urban revitalization, or a mixture of all the above, then you’re in luck. And since these events are occurring within not-too-far proximity of one another, why not hit all three? The Lifetime Movie Channel can wait.
First on the itinerary is the Piedmont Park Arts and Crafts Festival. Now in its second year, the festival prides itself on being “by artists for artists.” That doesn’t mean you’re not welcome if you don’t know tempera from watercolor. Unfortunately, any event with the words “arts and crafts” in it tends to conjure up images of stalls and stalls of bland photography and artisan soaps. While we’re not going to say that there won’t be any of that present, the variety of over 200 painters, sculptors, jewelers, woodworkers, crafters, and vintage hawkers ensures the possibility that maybe you’ll find a diamond in the rough. Other festival goodies include artist demos, live acoustic music, food vended by some of Atlanta’s food truck favorites, and a play areas for kids. If anything, it’s a great excuse for spending a lazy afternoon in Atlanta’s best public space. Admission is free, and the hours are 10am - 7pm on August 18th and 11am-6pm on August 19th.
Next up: the Decatur Barbecue, Blues, and Bluegrass Festival! This tasty evening shindig has been going strong for over a decade, and was borne out of the Decatur Preservation Alliance’s effort to save the city’s historic train depot. Now, the admission money ($10 a head, kids 10 and under free) is channeled into a fund that doles out small grants to community organizations. From 4-10pm on August 18th, Harmony Park in downtown Oakhurst will be filled with the sound of mountain music and the mouthwatering aroma of smoked meat (sorry vegetarians), courtesy of Fox Brothers and Black Tie BBQ. This being Decatur, the beer selection is well edited and includes Fat Tire Amber Ale, Ranger IPA, Somersault Ale, and Shift Pale Lager. In unusual but welcome fashion, dogs are allowed! Another cool tidbit: pedicabs are available to cart you to the festival from the East Lake MARTA Station for 5 bucks! Only in Decatur...
Lastly are all the events being put on to kick off this year’s Living Walls program. Living Walls has been around for three years now and is a kind of celebration of outdoor art, mainly of the mural, graffiti, and projection variety. Think of it as the opposite of an arts and crafts festival, meant to provoke and with installations located in some not-so-tidy neighborhoods. While most of the actual works will be around indefinitely, the actual “conference” is going on until the 19th. There’s a slew of happenings going on, but the most enticing one looks to be a tour that’ll happen on Sunday. Leaving from the Lottafrutta shop in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood at 3pm is a guided bike tour will hit various Living Wall murals past and present; you’re guaranteed to see the city in a whole new light.