ATLANTA – The 87th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival is less than three weeks away, and the three-day outdoor event will bring a plethora of fine art, live entertainment and family-friendly features to Piedmont Park. To assist first-time visitors and veteran attendees alike, festival organizers have gathered their top tips for making the most of the city’s favorite springtime experience.
Here is what to know to plan the best festival weekend of all time:
Party in the Park VIP Experience
Taking place within a spacious fenced VIP area, Party in the Park offers ticket holders the chance to upgrade their festival attendance with seating, private bathrooms, a private bar, beer and wine tastings, the Loaded Taco/Loaded Burger food truck and more, all with a perfect view of the Coca-Cola Main Stage.
Party in the Park takes place festival Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and VIP access is also available Friday and Saturday evenings. Several ticket levels are offered, allowing guests to customize their experience. https://dogwood.org/2023-vip-experience/.
Support for the Festival
The Atlanta Dogwood Festival is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that puts on the city’s largest and longest-running fine arts festival each spring and supports youth arts programs throughout the year. With the changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, costs have gone up by 30%-$40% to produce this annual tradition. The event is still free to attend, but audience support is needed to keep the festival running. There is a requested donation of $5 at the door, or visitors may choose to make an online donation through the website. https://dogwood.org/product/donate-friends-of-the-dogwood/
Performances and Entertainment
Throughout the weekend, the festival offers a variety of live music and entertainment on the Coca-Cola Main Stage, including local bands, dance troupes, international performers, children’s choirs and more. Each day kicks off with a range of performances representing the many international communities that call Atlanta home, as part of the award-winning International Stage. Mid-afternoon, local and well-known bands take the stage, bringing attendees live music in genres from bluegrass to indie rock and from pop to R&B with a few party bands in between. Adults can take a break, kick back, relax in the Corona Beer Garden and stop by the AARP Block Party, a rockin’ activation for any generation. https://dogwood.org/music/
Fairway & Amusement Park Rides
The rides are back! A festival favorite that went on necessary hiatus during the pandemic, the amusement park rides return for 2023 with options from tame to breathtaking. Attendees will find the rides in the Meadow, and nearby ticket booths offer a range of packages.
Kids of all ages can enjoy the rides, but there is plenty more for young festival attendees to celebrate. In the Kids Village presented by Visit Tallahassee, families will find hands-on arts and crafts projects, puppet shows, inflatables and special features like the Teddy Bear Hospital or Topplin’ Tots Mobile Play Area.
Atlanta High School Art Exhibition Winners
The festival is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Atlanta High School Art Exhibition (AHSAE), a competition for area high school students, which culminates in an on-site show during the festival, as well as prizes and scholarships for top submissions. In addition to the winners below, several students won medium-specific awards.
- Best of Show: Yinglin Zhou – “Divergent” – soft pastel, Chattahoochee High School
- Second Place: Ola Baker – “Leading” – soft pastel, Parkview High School
- Third Place: Elizabeth Tian – “Maladaptive Daydream” – mixed media, Wesleyan School
- Fourth Place: Katie Hwang – “Window Shopping at Ponce de Leon Avenue” – watercolor, Peachtree Ridge High School
- Fifth Place: Faye Lu – “Younger Brother” – watercolor, Alpharetta High School
- Sixth Place: Michelle Severson – “Weighted” – graphite, East Coweta High School
- Seventh Place: Gaeun Lee – “Passing Time” – mixed media sculpture, East Coweta High School
- Eighth Place: Anna Rohn – “Desperate Aspect of Self” – ballpoint pen, North Atlanta High School
- Ninth Place: Naperia Wilson – “Giant Red Velvet Cannoli” – resin, North Springs High School
- Tenth Place: Nasia Phipps – “As Above, So Below” – oil, North Atlanta High School
At the festival, visitors to the exhibition, which is held in the Community Center near the 12th Street park entrance, can get a look at these and about 100 other pieces selected for inclusion by the jury of arts professionals. Visitors can also cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award during the exhibition, and the Art Throwdown on Sunday afternoon pits teams of high school artists against each other in a live art competition. https://dogwood.org/attractions/atlanta-high-school-art-exhibition/
Getting to the Festival & Parking
The best way to get to the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is by taking MARTA! Attendees can exit at the Arts Center or Midtown station and walk a few blocks to Piedmont Park.
Drivers can reserve a guaranteed parking space in advance with SpotHero. https://dogwood.org/about/direction-parking/
Rules & City Ordinances
Piedmont Park and City of Atlanta ordinances require a few rules festivalgoers will want to keep in mind:
The City of Atlanta’s ban on smoking and outdoor facilities includes Piedmont Park. No tobacco products of any type are permitted anywhere in the park during the festival.
As per a City ordinance, no dogs (or other pets) are permitted in Piedmont Park during the festival. The Off Leash Dog Park will be open during the event with access via the Park Drive entrance only.
No outside food or beverages may be brought into Piedmont Park during the festival. Small chairs are allowed. No tents or coolers are allowed.
The 87th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival is the city’s largest and longest-running fine arts festival and the third oldest in the country. Taking place Friday through Sunday, April 14-16, 2023, the festival brings three days of art, music, fare and fun to Piedmont Park in Midtown.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA DOGWOOD FESTIVAL
The city’s longest-running festival and the third-oldest fine arts festival in the country, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the arts and presenting the popular annual springtime event. Through its community programs, including the Atlanta High School Art Exhibition, the festival provides art supplies and scholarships to high school art teachers and students in the metro area. The Atlanta Dogwood Festival has won awards and been recognized by the Society of American Travel Writers, “Sunshine Artist” magazine, the International Festivals and Events Association and the Southeast Festival & Events Association for its overall quality and excellent programs. The 87th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival takes place April 14 – 16, 2023, in Piedmont Park. www.dogwood.org.