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Summer Festivals in Atlanta

Check out the Summer Festivals in Atlanta for June, July, and August. Your guide to the Peachtree Road Race, Decatur Book Festival, Juneteenth, Fourth of July.

Peachtree Road Race 2012
Photo credit: CL Photo Archives
Peachtree Road Race 2012


Summer

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JUNE

Modern Atlanta Design is Human Week

This annual architecture and international design event features installations, talks, films, exhibits, cocktail parties, and home tours to highlight innovative design from Atlanta and around the world.www.ma-designishuman.com

Juneteenth Atlanta

Commemorating the end of slavery, Junteenth Atlanta celebrates the liberation of enslaved African Americans with its 7th annual parade and music festival. Come mark the momentous historical event with, family, friends, tunes and food! www.juneteenthatl.com

JULY

National Black Arts Festival

At its peak in the mid '90s, the NBAF was an international destination, an annual must-go to celebrate art of the African diaspora. Over the last few decades, attendance and programming have had their highs and lows. And, more recently, it's experienced unsteady leadership. But the annual event persists, hosting an artists market and usually a high-profile headliner or two. www.nbaf.org

Peachtree Road Race

From its humble beginnings in 1970 as a group of 110 runners, the Peachtree Road Race has grown into the world's largest 10K. Every July 4, more than 50,000 participants line up for the 6.2-mile haul to the finish line and a coveted Peachtree Road Race T-shirt. Spectators, radio stations, and restaurants line the roadway to cheer on runners and walkers with music, beer, and water. www.peachtreeroadrace.org

Ice Cream Festival

Soak up the summer sun surrounded by friends, fitness, and, most important of all, ice cream! The Atlanta Ice Cream Festival is back for its 9th year to bring together live music, health and wellness activities, and America’s favorite summer treat right in the middle of Piedmont Park. Enjoy a frosty treat and then a stimulating work-out by participating in Zumba, Yoga, Tai Chi, or line dancing. And while you’re there, you might as well enjoy a free wellness screening. www.atlantaicecreamfestival.com/about/

JCT's Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival

Bask in the glory of summertime's favorite fruit that tastes like a vegetable at JCT's Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival. The city's best chefs are paired with a local farmer to create tomato-inspired dishes, while Atlanta's best bartenders come up with creative cocktails featuring — you guessed it — tomatoes. At the end of the day, judges and festival attendees choose the best tomato dish and drink. ww.killertomatofest.com/

AUGUST

Decatur Book Festival

As the largest independent book festival in the country, attendees can mingle with 300 world-class authors at book signings, readings, and soirées. Past keynote speakers have included former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey and Congressman/civil rights icon John Lewis. The keynote is free, but tickets go quickly. There are tracks for young adult books, cookbooks, political nonfiction, experimental poetry ... basically everything. This annual Labor Day weekend event is the biggest and most popular book event of the year, every year. View Creative Loafing's Decatur Book Festival page here

Dragon Con

Trekkies, steampunks, zombies, filkers, furries, goths, Klingons, Sleestaks, Predators, Aliens, and more descend on Downtown for the Southeast's largest sci-fi con. Come dressed as your favorite character from any number of sci-fi, horror, or fantasy films, comics, video games, etc. When it comes to Dragon Con, the wilder the better. The one Dragon Con must-see is the annual parade along Peachtree Street. Huge crowds 10-people deep line up super early to watch the Stormtroopers, Slave Leias, Dark Knight-era Jokers, and more strut up Atlanta's main thoroughfare. View Creative Loafing's Dragon Con page here

Grant Park Summer Shade Festival

Stay shady in a good way at the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival. The giant beech, maple, and oak trees that live in Grant Park create just enough shade to keep everyone at the festival comfortably cool. Featuring a bountiful artists market, several stages for live music, and a diverse mix of fair food and local food trucks, the Shade Festival is the culmination of everything great about summertime in a city of trees. View Creative Loafing's Summer Shade page here

Piedmont Park Summer Arts Festival

Want to step out of a museum this summer and into a local gallery? Join in what Sunshine Artist Magazine named one of the top 100 Arts Festivals in the nation, the Piedmont Park Summer Arts Festival. This two day event is presented by the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces with a focus on visual arts. Over two hundred painters, photographers, sculptors, and visual artists will be displaying their galleries across the park, and will be joined by acoustic live music and plenty of eats. piedmontparkartsfestival.com/

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