Festivals focus on Atlanta history, Western and Southern culture

Here are three upcoming family-friendly festivals that go beyond the usual crafts and funnel cakes (not that there’s anything wrong with that) to creatively explore different cultural aspects.

Meet the Past turns history into theater

Over the past two years, the Atlanta History Center has brought unheard voices from the dusty shadows of the city’s and region’s history through a program it calls Meet the Past.

These living-history performances, intended to give a more diverse picture of the area’s past and how it informs the present, have unfolded in the center’s historic homes (the Smith Family Farm and Swan House), inside the museum (in its theater and galleries) and outside on the grounds.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, these varied voices will be the stars of a first-time event, the Meet the Past Festival, an event that invites guests to participate in the theater, helping make choices faced by the historic characters.

Actors, with the help of participants, will portray enslaved potter David Drake, mid-19th-century dancers, Union and Confederate soldiers, Freedom Riders, a family fleeing before the Battle of Atlanta, even the great invader himself, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman.

$16.50; ages 65 and up and students 13 and up, $13; ages 4-12, $11. 130 W. Paces Ferry Road N.W., Atlanta. 404-814-4000, www.atlantahistorycenter.com.

Help Booth Western blow out candles

The Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville throws the 11th Booth Birthday Party from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

There will be continuous entertainment inside Bergman Theatre, including Scott Douglas’ interactive Native American Music Show, Jim Dunham’s Tales of the Old West and music by Fish N’ Picks. In the Great Hall, guests can help master model builder Josh Bohn from Legoland Discovery Center Atlanta construct a major creation. The Chattahoochee Nature Center will present a raptor encounter at noon outside the museum’s north entrance. Also outside, there will be a variety of craft activities, including bolo tie-making, and art demonstrations.

$10; ages 65 and up, $8; students, $7; ages 12 and under and active military with ID, free. 501 N. Museum Drive, Cartersville. 770-387-1300, boothmuseum.org.

Folk Pottery Show set for Aug. 30

The Folk Pottery Museum of Northeast Georgia, 4 miles southeast of Helen, will host its sixth annual Folk Pottery Show and Sale, featuring folk and studio potters from Georgia, Alabama and North and South Carolina, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 30.

There will be a variety of craft demonstrations around the grounds of the adjoining Sautee Nacoochee Center as well as in the new blacksmith forge. Old-time string bands will play throughout the day, and barbecue and other refreshments will be available.

Admission will be waived for the Folk Pottery Museum (whose exhibits detail the 200-year Georgia craft tradition) and Sautee Nacoochee Center attractions. 283 Ga. 255 in Sautee Nacoochee, a quarter-mile north of the Ga. 17 junction. 706-878-3300, www.folkpotterymuseum.com.