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Fire in the 4th: 7 free things to do in May in metro Atlanta

One of the first questions most people ask about an event, no matter how entertaining it might sound, is “Is it free?” 

That’s a valid question considering most people spend their money on necessities and find it hard to commit to splurging on entertainment. 

But, there is a way to have fun on a budget. We’ve scanned our other roundups of can’t miss May activities and pulled out all the ones that are free to attend.

Please note: You may end up spending money to park or eat. 

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Here are 7 free events to anticipate throughout metro Atlanta in May:

Atlanta Jazz Festival

The Atlanta Jazz Festival doesn’t kick off until Memorial Day Weekend, but there are free concerts taking place throughout the month in support of the main festival. MARTA Mondays will feature jazz musicians performing at various MARTA stations from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. through May 22. Additionally, the Neighborhood Jazz Series will bring live jazz to various metro Atlanta parks every Saturday and Sunday leading up to the Atlanta Jazz Festival. 

Visit Atlantafestivals.com to view the full schedule. 

Marietta Square Art Walk

The Marietta Square transforms into an open art gallery on the first Friday of each month for Marietta Square Art Walk. The series started in April and lasts through November, giving local art lovers a chance to support various Marietta businesses while enjoying live music and more. 

5 p.m.-9 p.m. May 5. Free. Marietta Square, 25 West Park Square, Marietta. Artwalkmarietta.com.

“Freedom Over Me”

Alliance Theatre Palefsky Collision Project will host an interactive reading of Ashley Bryan’s “Freedom Over Me” children’s book at the Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum. According to the website, the reading will “highlight the stark contrast between the monetary value placed on a slave’s life and the priceless value of life experiences and dreams.”

Bryan’s work is currently the subject of an exhibit at the High Museum.

5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. May 15. Free. Center for Civil and Human Rights, 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd., Atlanta. CivilandHumanRights.org.

Fire in the 4th

The Old 4th Ward Business Association will commemorate the “Great Atlanta Fire of 1917” with a festival that will offer attendees a chance to enjoy art, live performances, food, alcohol and, yes, a fire show. 

The festival will also feature a new “interactive installation of the 100-year history of Boulevard.”

3 p.m.-11 p.m. May 20. Free (general admission), $50-$70 (VIP). Edgewood and Auburn Avenue. Fireinthe4th.com.

Kirkwood Spring Fling

Head to East Atlanta for the 15th annual Kirkwood Spring Fling and Tour of Homes. The festival will include an artist market, BBQ competition, live music and more. Select neighborhood homes will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday.

Tour of Homes: noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Festival: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday. May 20-21. Free admission. Bessie Branham Park, 2051 Delano Drive, Atlanta. kirkwoodfling.com.

Decatur Arts Festival 

The three-day Decatur Arts Festival will feature more than 150 artists from all over the Southeast, an Artwalk (May 26), Friends of the Decatur Library book sale (May 27), Kids Arts Festival (May 27) and more. 

5-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. May 26-28. Free admission. Downtown Decatur, 101 E. Court Square, Decatur. Decaturartsfestival.com.

Atlanta Caribbean Carnival Parade

Several events will occur in May throughout Atlanta to celebrate Caribbean culture, but this annual parade is certainly one of the highlights.

The free parade will span two miles, inviting participants to indulge in the sounds of soca and dance through the streets of downtown Atlanta. 

Noon. May 27. Civic Center Marta Station, 435 West Peachtree St., Atlanta. Atlantacarnival.org.

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