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    Best Festivals

    BestofWinnerMast
    Creative Loafing has been presenting Atlanta's Best People, Places and Events since 1972. These are some of the past winners for this category:

    Best cultural smorgasbord BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2016
    Type of Award » Poets, Artists & Madmen
    Picked By » Critics
    Simmer Down Picnic
    Atlanta is home to summer festivals galore. And just like the city, they tend to sprawl, attracting crowds in the thousands, traffic, and predictable beer sponsors. But there’s something altogether alternative about last September’s SIMMER DOWN PICNIC, a smorgasbord of flavor on a more intimate scale.more...
    Atlanta is home to summer festivals galore. And just like the city, they tend to sprawl, attracting crowds in the thousands, traffic, and predictable beer sponsors. But there’s something altogether alternative about last September’s SIMMER DOWN PICNIC, a smorgasbord of flavor on a more intimate scale. Organized in part by Quianah Upton (proprietor of vintage decor brand Arbitrary Living and dinner party #ChopItUpATL), Simmer Down serves up hyper-local DIY food and crafts vendors while local artists and emerging musicians contribute to the cultural diatribe. Sponsored largely by female-owned-and-operated small businesses within the city’s creative scene, the picnic, held at the Arts Exchange greenspace, played a significant role in last year’s independently produced, AfroPunk-affiliated documentary If You Know the Words, Feel Free by showcasing many of the key women pushing local culture forward. With a pre-feast BMX bike ride corralled by local street ambassador Chilly-O, it was an extended family affair; a true kickback with a backyard bohemian vibe. less...

    Best of the fests: Excuse to put on BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2014
    Type of Award » After Dark
    Picked By » Critics
    TomorrowWorld

    Best street party BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2012
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Critics
    Atlanta Streets Alive

    Best intown hipster hootenanny BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2010
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Critics
    Cabbagetown Park
    Cold draft beer, live bluegrass and all the chili you can eat (until it runs out). What's not to love about Cabbagetown's annual CHOMP AND STOMP festival? Held the first Saturday in November, the day kicks off with a 5K run, but most folks come to get samples from the chili cook-off, have a few beersmore...
    Cold draft beer, live bluegrass and all the chili you can eat (until it runs out). What's not to love about Cabbagetown's annual CHOMP AND STOMP festival? Held the first Saturday in November, the day kicks off with a 5K run, but most folks come to get samples from the chili cook-off, have a few beers and rub shoulders with pretty much every cool kid residing south of Ponce de Leon Avenue. There are also a few booths selling crafts, as well as a variety of food from local restaurants and vendors, including an entire slow-roasted hog. But possibly the most welcoming feature of the C&S is its laid-back Cabbagetown vibe; it's like one giant, day-long block party. Cabbagetown Park, Tye Street and Kirkwood Avenue. www.chompandstomp.com. less...

    Best Parking Lot to Hold a Festival That Got Kicked Out of Piedmont Park BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2008
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Readers
    Atlanta Civic Center (Permanently Closed)

    Best Yearly-Orama BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2007
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Critics
    Corndogorama
    Whether seen as a defiant indulgence, kitschy novelty or unexpected projectile, it’s hard to deny the mysterious allure of the corn dog. No wonder David Railey has spent so much energy nurturing Atlanta’s CORNDOGORAMA. The indie-fried omnifest rocked through its 11th year in July, despitemore...

    Whether seen as a defiant indulgence, kitschy novelty or unexpected projectile, it’s hard to deny the mysterious allure of the corn dog. No wonder David Railey has spent so much energy nurturing Atlanta’s CORNDOGORAMA. The indie-fried omnifest rocked through its 11th year in July, despite a somewhat sour relocation from the Earl to Lenny’s, and seems poised to keep growing in its new home. The 2007 edition was headlined by Atlanta metal rockers Mastodon, and featured local up-and-comers the Coathangers, the Selmanaires and Snowden. As with any festival that really cares about its congregation, there are gimmicks and games aplenty, including motorcycle stunts, a corn-dog-eating contest, the Queen Corndog pageant, a heavy-metal petting zoo and 40-yard flip-flop race.


    www.corndogorama.com

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    Best Parade BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2007
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Critics
    Little Five Points Halloween Parade
    The Inman Park Festival parade is best-known as home turf for the incredibly entertaining Kelly’s Seed and Feed Marching Abominable Band. The quirky Pride Parade in Midtown is Atlanta’s most honest celebration of freedom. We love them both. But Atlanta’s most original, entertainingmore...

    The Inman Park Festival parade is best-known as home turf for the incredibly entertaining Kelly’s Seed and Feed Marching Abominable Band. The quirky Pride Parade in Midtown is Atlanta’s most honest celebration of freedom. We love them both. But Atlanta’s most original, entertaining and downright bizarre street march is the LITTLE FIVE POINTS HALLOWEEN PARADE. Where else does a 7-foot-penis swagger by a wholesome family in broad daylight, or a snarling, bare-chested madman gnaw on his bone and lunge at the crowd only to have his collar jerked by his masterful mistress?


    www.l5phalloween.com.

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    Best Guilty Pleasure (And Best Party) BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2006
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Critics
    Atlanta Peach (Permanently Closed)

    Best Intown Festival BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2005
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Critics
    Inman Park Festival
    Held the last weekend in April, the INMAN PARK FESTIVAL has all the offerings you’d expect from a such an event: a goofy parade, a street market, live music, and a tour of the neighborhood’s Victorian homes. But what sets the three-day festival apart is the people. Everyone, from everywheremore...

    Held the last weekend in April, the INMAN PARK FESTIVAL has all the offerings you’d expect from a such an event: a goofy parade, a street market, live music, and a tour of the neighborhood’s Victorian homes. But what sets the three-day festival apart is the people. Everyone, from everywhere in town, goes. The festival marks one of the rare occasions when stroller-pushing Virginia-Highlanders and well-heeled Ansley Parkers brush shoulders with Little Five Points bohos and south-of-Ponce hipsters. One bit of advice: Parking can be an exercise in futility. Take MARTA.
    www.inmanpark.org/festival.php.

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    Best OTP Festival BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2005
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Critics
    Georgia Apple Festival
    Make sure you show up hungry to the GEORGIA APPLE FESTIVAL just outside Ellijay, the state’s apple capital. The annual event, now in its 34th year, spans two weekends at the height of October’s harvest season. In addition to the obligatory regional dishes — apple pie, applemore...

    Make sure you show up hungry to the GEORGIA APPLE FESTIVAL just outside Ellijay, the state’s apple capital. The annual event, now in its 34th year, spans two weekends at the height of October’s harvest season. In addition to the obligatory regional dishes — apple pie, apple butter, apple dumplings, and fried dill pickles — there are more than 300 vendors offering such mountain handicrafts as log furniture, birdhouses, blown glass and quilts your memaw would kill for. You’ll typically find local musicians a-pickin’ and a-grinnin’, and you might even find a peach, if you’re into that sort of thing.
    Oct. 8-9, 15-16. Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds. 706-636-4500. www.georgiaapplefestival.org.

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    Best Intown Festival BOA Award Winner

    Inman Park Festival

    Best OTP Festival BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2005
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Readers
    Dunwoody Beer Festival

    Best Trashy Festival BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2005
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Critics
    Corndogorama
    Screw the face-painting and arts and crafts booths. Each summer, the Earl’s CORNDOGORAMA mixes hot bands and white trash for the perfect indie-rocker brouhaha. During Corndogorama, which celebrated its 11th anniversary this year, the club’s sidewalk and parking lot are literally floodedmore...

    Screw the face-painting and arts and crafts booths. Each summer, the Earl’s CORNDOGORAMA mixes hot bands and white trash for the perfect indie-rocker brouhaha. During Corndogorama, which celebrated its 11th anniversary this year, the club’s sidewalk and parking lot are literally flooded from the afternoon to the wee hours of the morning with gawkers and participants partaking in such distinguished events as corndog-eating contests. Inside, nearly 40 bands, most of them local, perform over four days. Yuppies, be warned: Festival-goers have been known to strip to their skivvies and ride a stationary four-wheeler like a mechanical bull.
    488 Flat Shoals Road. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com.

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    Best Intown Festival BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2005
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Readers
    Inman Park Festival

    Best OTP Festival BOA Award Winner

    Dunwoody beer Festival

    Best Festival Dedicated to a Hormone BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2004
    Type of Award » Poets, Artists & Madmen
    Picked By » Critics
    Seen + Heard
    Hey, they proclaim their hormonal allegiance right in the name, but EstroFest's SEEN + HEARD event, put together masterfully by interim Artistic Director Martha Donovan, was actually a top-notch avant-garde arts festival for all, no matter the combination of your chromosomes. Highlights included themore...
    Hey, they proclaim their hormonal allegiance right in the name, but EstroFest's SEEN + HEARD event, put together masterfully by interim Artistic Director Martha Donovan, was actually a top-notch avant-garde arts festival for all, no matter the combination of your chromosomes. Highlights included the acrobatic performance poetry of two nude Swedish senior citizens (Ronnog and Steven Seaberg) and their young American friend (Mark Wolfe), a barely-moving bag lady (Allison Rentz) completely covered in silvery plastic, a rhythmic short film study of bathtub chrome by Marianne Kim, and a closing night of debauchery at an erotica party. "www.estrofest.org" less...

    Best See-and-Be-Seen Intown Festival BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2004
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Critics
    Inman Park Spring Festival
    If you want to run into your every ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, your lost friends and your worst enemies, the annual INMAN PARK SPRING FESTIVAL is the place to go. The event attracts a more varied set of festival-goers than do the gritty chic of Cabbagetown, the funky grunge of Little Five Points, andmore...
    If you want to run into your every ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, your lost friends and your worst enemies, the annual INMAN PARK SPRING FESTIVAL is the place to go. The event attracts a more varied set of festival-goers than do the gritty chic of Cabbagetown, the funky grunge of Little Five Points, and the upscale polish of Virginia-Highland - all of which surround Inman Park. On Saturday, the quirky, anything-goes parade takes to the streets, and the impressive Inman Park tour of high Victorian homes lasts through the weekend, as do the many arts and crafts booths that line the streets. When you tire of the crowds, you can always dip into one of the friendly house parties; you're bound to know someone there. "www.inmanpark.org" less...

    Best OTP Festival BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2004
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Readers
    Helen Oktoberfest

    Best Intown Festival BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2004
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Readers
    Inman Park Festival

    Best Intown Festival BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2003
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Readers
    Music Midtown

    Best OTP Festival (TIE) BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2003
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Readers
    Helen Oktoberfest

    Best OTP Festival (TIE) BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2003
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Readers
    The Georgia Renaissance Festival

    Best Alternative Festival BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2003
    Type of Award » Poets, Artists & Madmen
    Picked By » Critics
    Drive-Invasion
    Ozzfest, Lollapalooza, Warped Tour. HiFi Buys was jammed this summer with kids looking for cheap thrills, loud music, chicks and beer. They could get all that, and for a lot less, at DRIVE-INVASION. Even reduced to only two days - over Labor Day weekend - the event packs a lot of punch. Hard rockin'more...
    Ozzfest, Lollapalooza, Warped Tour. HiFi Buys was jammed this summer with kids looking for cheap thrills, loud music, chicks and beer. They could get all that, and for a lot less, at DRIVE-INVASION. Even reduced to only two days - over Labor Day weekend - the event packs a lot of punch. Hard rockin' rebel bands play in the afternoon, groan-and-scream-worthy B-movies play after dark. Throw in a burlesque show, a classic car show, lots of tattoos, barbecue, and a cooler full of beer and Jell-O shooters, and you've got one of the best parties in Atlanta, period. " Starlight Six Drive-In, 2000 Moreland Ave., 404-627-5786. www.starlightdrivein.com" less...

    Best Festival Battle BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2002
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Critics
    Downtown Rocks Vs. On The Bricks
    There were plenty of music events going head-to-head this year: the Atlantis Music Conference and the IG Fest. Music Midtown and the Jump to the Eyedrum Festival. The Harvest Moon Bluesfest and the Chip's Music Festival. Some posed real competition for each other, but most just offered real alternatives.more...
    There were plenty of music events going head-to-head this year: the Atlantis Music Conference and the IG Fest. Music Midtown and the Jump to the Eyedrum Festival. The Harvest Moon Bluesfest and the Chip's Music Festival. Some posed real competition for each other, but most just offered real alternatives. But clearly the ugliest and most entertaining battle pitted DOWNTOWN ROCKS VS. ON THE BRICKS, two free Friday-night summer concert series in and around Centennial Olympic Park. The battle to share the space made it all the way to City Hall. The winners, of course, were the people of metro Atlanta, who not only got to watch a Wrestlemania-style contest between the promoters, but then got to enjoy twice as much free music this summer as well. less...

    Best Festival BOA Award Winner

    Year » 2002
    Type of Award » Cityscape
    Picked By » Readers
    Atlanta Pride Celebration
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