With generally excellent weather, spring flowers and some of the state’s biggest events, April is a great time to pack up the family and head out for some festival fun. Here are some of our favorites happening this month.
State Banana Pudding Festival
April 2 • Irwinton
The focus is on food when tiny Irwinton, the county seat of Wilkinson County, hosts this annual ode to the ultimate Southern comfort food. On the Puddin’ Path, attendees get to sample and vote for the best recipe. The schedule also includes arts and crafts vendors, tractor/car show and bike ride.
Our favorite thing: The Irwinton competition is the state preliminary to the National Banana Pudding Cook-off. Georgia winners have gone on to win the national contest.
Atlanta Dogwood Festival
April 8–10 • Piedmont Park
A rite of spring, this is the 86th year for the fine arts celebration. Virtually every kind of art imaginable is represented at the Fine Artist Market that includes sculpture, paintings, pottery, jewelry and photography. The International Stage programming features hundreds of performers representing Atlanta’s global communities. Creative hands-on crafts projects and puppet shows are offered in the Kids Village.
Our favorite thing: The Atlanta High School Art Exhibition, featuring the work of some of the area’s most talented young artists, is a must-see attraction.
Georgia Renaissance Festival
April 9–May 30 • Fairburn
The Renaissance period of English history is recreated with themed entertainment on 10 stages, jousting, music, traditional crafts and foods, period costumes, games of skill and people-powered rides.
Our favorite thing: You can cheer on gallant knights in shining armor as they ride beautiful horses in a full-contact joust. Huzzah!
Sandy Springs Artsapalooza
April 16–17 • Sandy Springs
Art comes to the streets of Sandy Springs for this two-day celebration. In addition to 125 artist booths, the festival also includes live music, gourmet food trucks, art demonstrations and a play area for kids.
Our favorite thing: Included in the event’s offerings are interactive art stations for all ages.
Thomasville Rose Show & Festival
April 21–23 • Downtown Thomasville
All matter of flora — from heirloom and hybrid roses to orchids to wildflowers — will be on full dazzling display in Georgia’s City of Roses. If flower shows aren’t your thing, there are parades, concerts, an artisan market and antique car show to check out. Free admission to most events.
Our favorite thing: Held in historic downtown Thomasville, the Rose Show has been a Southwest Georgia tradition since 1922.
Vidalia Onion Festival
April 21–24 • Vidalia
Celebrating the harvest of the famous Vidalia onion, this festival offers food contests, tastings, live music, arts and crafts, a carnival, parade and street performances. This year’s concert headliner is country music artist Lee Brice.
Our favorite thing: The U.S Navy Blue Angels are scheduled to perform their precision air maneuvers during the festival’s air show on April 23 and 24.
Weekends April 22–May 22 • Hamilton Gardens, Hiawassee
During peak bloom time, this botanical paradise is a kaleidoscope of color with native wildflowers, rhododendrons and azaleas on display. After you walk the garden trails, check out the crafters, live music, food, a plant sale and daily seminars. Admission is $5 per person.
Our favorite thing: Hamilton Gardens, located along scenic Lake Chatague, boasts the largest collection of rhododendrons in the Southeast.
Bear on the Square Mountain Festival
April 23–24 • Dahlonega
Focusing on Appalachian culture, the event is headlined by an extensive lineup of free concerts by nationally recognized musicians performing bluegrass and old-time music. There’s also traditional storytelling and an artisan market.
Our favorite thing: It’s Georgia’s best jam session. Musicians are invited to bring their instruments and join others to play country and bluegrass tunes.
Taste of Marietta
April 24 • Historic Marietta Square
Come hungry because delicious food is the centerpiece of this event. After your taste buds are sated, there’s live music and a Kids Alley to enjoy. Admission to the festival is free. Food samples range from $1 to $5.
Our favorite thing: Around 70+ different Cobb County restaurants, caterers and food trucks showcase their best dishes.
West Georgia Jazz Festival
April 30 • Villa Rica
Enjoy smooth jazz, a little funk and a whole lot of fun when local, regional and national jazz artists hit the Mill Amphitheater stage for evening performances. Headlining this year is Big Sam’s Funky Nation featuring New Orleans trombonist Big Sam Williams.
Our favorite thing: Admission is free for this high-quality entertainment.