The Fair on the Square
Started by Lawrenceville business owners to showcase businesses as well as everything else this historic downtown has to offer, the annual Fair on the Square features arts and crafts, a food court, live entertainment and plenty of food. The festival organizers will be collecting donations, requesting the following items: shampoo, diapers, school backpacks, 33-gallon trash bags and nonperishable food.
11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 8. Free at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse, 185 W. Crogan St., Lawrenceville. www.lawrencevillefallfestival.com.
Shakerag Arts and Crafts Festival in Peachtree City
Peachtree City’s 36th annual Shakerag Arts and Crafts Festival will be held in a shaded, wooded area. It’s known for its handmade arts and crafts and the delicious array of food vendors. New food options this year include smoked barbecue and shrimp baskets.
Shakerag, a city-sponsored event, showcases a variety of vendors from around Georgia and the South and will include pottery, paintings, ceramics, clothing, florals and pet accessories. A children’s area will feature games, pony rides and a craft station.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 21 and noon-5 p.m. Sept. 22. Free. 191 McIntosh Trail, Peachtree City. 770-631-2542, www.peachtree-city.org/recreation.
The festival, billed as the largest Japanese festival in the Southeast, is in its 26th year and draws crowds nearing 20,000. It includes dance, music, storytelling and traditional Japanese puppetry. This year’s theme is “Japanese Performers,” and guest performers will include Akira Satake, Bunraku Bay Puppet Theater, Kazunori Kumagai, Kuniko Yamamoto, Matsuriza and the NY Samurai Brothers.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 21 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept 22. $8 adults, children 6 and younger free. Teachers may bring up to 50 students for free by applying online. Gwinnett Convention Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 404-842-0736, www.japanfest.org.
Roswell Arts Festival
Set in Roswell’s Historic Town Square, the 47th annual Roswell Arts Festival promises an array of entertainment featuring local singers, dance companies and children’s entertainers. Children’s painting, sand art and other activities are also available. Food vendors will be on site.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 21 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 22. Roswell Town Square, 616 Atlanta St., Roswell. 770-640-3253, www.roswellartsfestival.com.
Gracie Bonds Staples
Taste of Chamblee
The Taste of Chamblee has become a local favorite. The September street festival will have something for everyone — a car show, food, live entertainment, art, a beer garden and a kids area.
This event is free and co-sponsored by the Chamblee Business Association and the city of Chamblee. Proceeds benefit the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation. The foundation provides eyeglasses, eye surgeries and hearing aids to Georgians in financial need.
Noon-6 p.m. Sept 28. Free. At the corner of Peachtree and Broad, Chamblee. www.tasteofchamblee.com.
Shelia M. Poole
The Whole Hawg Happenin’ BBQ and Music Fest
The family-friendly event features food, music, kids’ activities, live entertainment and a barbecue contest. VIP tickets are $25 for adults, $10 for kids 12 and younger and $15 for seniors 55 and older, and include a plate of barbecue from Pit Boss BBQ, beverages, access to a retreat area with big-screen televisions, leather sofas and “VIP bathrooms,” a silent auction and a photo of you enjoying all the swank amenities. Otherwise, sample barbecue for 50 cents to $5 per serving, varying by vendor.
11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 29 on the Marietta Square. 678-981-6340, www.wholehawgbbqfest.com.
Atlanta Greek Festival
For all the tastes, sounds and traditions of Greece, head over to the Atlanta Greek Festival. Hosted by the Annunciation Cathedral and the Atlanta Greek community, the festivities promise all things Greek from food to dance performances to a continuous stream of live music.
5-10 p.m. Oct. 3; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Oct. 4 and 5; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 6. $5 adults. Free for children age 12 and under and seniors 65 and over. Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 2500 Clairmont Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-633-5870, www.atlantagreekfestival.org.
Gracie Bonds Staples
Out on Film
An eight-day cinematic tour of more than 20 films about gay lives, culture and identity. One of the oldest LGBT film festivals in the country.
Oct. 3-10. Films at various times. Individual tickets start at $10.50, with packages available. Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive, Atlanta. 404-296-3807, www.outonfilm.org.
Pine Lake’s LakeFest
One of the best little arts festivals in metro Atlanta is situated between Decatur and Stone Mountain, and celebrates handmade fine arts and crafts, great music, local talent, and community spirit. This intimate and highly interactive event includes more than 40 artist vendors, Health and Wellness vendor row, live music, a sand sculpture contest, chalk art contest, pet show, and FLOATZILLA — a floating parade of wildly decorated watercraft. Adding to the unique festival experience, a variety of “conversation coves” or outdoor living rooms offer comfortable seating and a place to relax, eat, and chat with artists and other festivalgoers.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 5, with an additional free concert by Tommy Dean (League of Decency) and friends, 6-8 p.m. alcohol available for sale; noon-5 p.m. Oct. 6, with a street dance to close out the festival. Free. Pine Lake Beach & Park, 4575 Lakeshore Drive, Pine Lake. 404-683-0597, www.pinelakefest.com.
Gracie Bonds Staples
Stone Mountain Scottish Festival and Highland Games
The 41st annual event, held in October, includes a whiskey tasting and seminar and Celtic music recital Friday, a Saturday night Ceilidh, which involves traditional music and dancing, and the Stone Mountain Highland Games happening on Saturday and Sunday.
Indoor activities take place at the Hilton Atlanta Northeast, and the Games are held at Stone Mountain Park. Competitive events include highland dance, piping/drumming and band performances. There is a children’s games area with fun activities for the kids, including kid-sized caber toss (you know, that telephone pole that beefy Scottish guys like to toss around), crafts and face painting. Seminars on genealogy and Scottish family activities.
Events begin 9 a.m. Oct. 18-20. Ticket prices begin at $17 for adults, $6 for children, with special events such as whiskey tasting costing more. Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. 770-521-0228. Tickets and information, www.smhg.org.
OUTSIDE METRO ATLANTA
Jekyll Island’s Shrimp & Grits: The Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival
One of Georgia’s favorite vacation spots celebrates a unique Southern dish and more. Foodies and chefs will compete to whip up the best namesake dish or eat their way through a plethora of other foods under the oaks of the historic district. An associated craft beer fest ($10 entry) at the Morgan Center will let visitors cool off with fresh brews.
There will be music and more than 100 crafters and artists at the shrimp festival, a Kids Fun Zone, cooking demonstrations and shrimp-eating contest.
5:30-9 p.m. Sept. 20, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 21 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 22. Free. Riverview Drive in the historic district on Jekyll Island, on the coast near Brunswick. 1-877-453-5955, www.shrimpandgritsfestival.com/.
Cotton South Fine Arts Festival
This is Madison’s first try at a fine arts festival in the heart of its postcard-pretty downtown. Organizers have attracted about 70 artists, including many who are multiple prize winners from significant festivals and shows, such as Aaron Hequembourg, Anne London and Jean Yao. It will feature artists in oils, pastels, watercolor, sculpture, glass, jewelry and photography. There will be music and food.
Madison is on Georgia’s Antebellum Trail and is famous for its beautifully preserved homes and buildings spanning antebellum times to the 20th century. Take I-20 east to Exit 114 and into Madison.
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 28-29. Main Street in Madison, Ga. $10 entry fee for adults, which gives you vouchers redeemable at merchants; children under 12 free. www.cottonsoutharts.com/home, Info@CottonSouthArts.com.
Carrollton Fine Arts and Crafts MeccaFest
This Georgia city about 50 miles west of Atlanta via I-20 puts its best foot forward with artists picked by a jury, “Sesame Street”-style puppeteers and other entertainment for children, and a chalk artist from New York who will create a masterpiece on the plaza. Entertainment includes live music from local and regional bands, poetry readings, dancers and craftsmen such as glass blowers and potters.
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 12-13. Free at Carrollton Cultural Art Center, 251 Alabama St., Carrollton. 770-838-1083, www.meccafest.com.
Fall festivals near metro Atlanta
More Georgia festivals, including the Yellow Daisy Festival, the Taste of Atlanta and the Atlanta Arts Festival in Piedmont Park.
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