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9 sizzling summer festivals not to miss in Atlanta

Take advantage of Atlanta's warm weather by coming out to a sizzling summer festival. 

Art, music, food and drink festivals are heating up around the city, making this season one of the most popular for outdoor events.

"It's summertime... people just want to get out and have fun with their friends and experience new things," said Adam Cohen, director of operations for Spiral Entertainment, the host of the Brookhaven Beer & Wine Fest.

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So, grab your sunglasses and sunscreen. We've compiled a list of nine can't-miss outdoor festivals happening in Atlanta:

Brookhaven Beer and Wine Fest

3-8 p.m., June 9, 4158 Peachtree Road NE, admission is $50 (advance tickets are $42).

More than 150 different beers and wines will be served up to attendees at the Brookhaven Beer and Wine Fest. Participating breweries include Terrapin and Full Sail, and wines from Mighty Swell and Simi will be offered. Pair your drink with foods from vendors including Dominic's NY Pizza and Cole's Backyard BBQ. Live music from Velvet Runway, Zale and DJ Zack Falls will be featured during the event. Tickets include unlimited samplings of beer and wine. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Angels Among Us Pet Rescue.

Virginia Highland: 1,420 (Curtis Compton)

Virginia-Highland Summerfest

10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on June 9 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 10, Virginia Avenue, free.

Come out to the 35th annual Virginia-Highland Summerfest to appreciate the arts in this historical neighborhood. More than 250 artists are expected to open up shop in the Artist Market. There will also be live music throughout the event space, along with food and drink vendors for attendees to enjoy.

Atlanta Summer Beer Fest

4-8 p.m., June 16, 665 North Ave. NE, admission is $55 (advance tickets are $40-$45).

Beer will be flowing in large quantities at the Atlanta Summer Beer Fest, hosted by Atlanta Beer Festivals. Drinks from Atlanta-area breweries are among the 200 beers offered during the event. Gluten-free options, including Grumpy Granny Cider from Mercier Orchards and Gluten-free Lager from Omission, are also on offer. Roti Rolls and Tex's Tacos are a few of the festival's food vendors and there will be live music performed throughout the day.

Atlanta Grilled Cheese Festival

Noon to 6 p.m., June 16-17, 4158 Peachtree Road NE, tickets are $27.

Munch on gooey grilled cheese at this year's two-day festival. Tickets include samplings of three sandwiches and admission to all of the festivities including the Beer Garden. The garden will be the source for cold, seasonal beers as well as bloody marys and Lunazul margaritas. Attendees will be able to weigh in on which of the vendors should be dubbed "best grilled cheese" in Atlanta.

TOMAHTO, TOMATO--072113 ATLANTA: -- Leeanna Lim (left) and Giselle Bell, both of Atlanta, sample some oyster shooters and tomato moonshine at the JCT.Kitchen & Bar annual Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival on Sunday, July 21, 2013, in Atlanta. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM (CURTIS COMPTON / AJC)

Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival

1-5 p.m., July 15, 1198 Howell Mill Road, tickets start at $65 (discounts available for Georgia Organics members).

This quirky, one-of-a-kind festival has more than 1,000 locals interested in attending. The 10th annual Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival, hosted by Chef Ford Fry, will be filled with farmers, mixologists and chefs serving up tomato-based concoctions. Attendees will get to taste these eats and enjoy the live sounds of G. Love and Special Sauce.

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Atlanta Ice Cream Festival

11 a.m. to 6 p.m., July 28, 10th Street NE and Charles Allen Drive, free.

Hot summer days are best paired with ice cream. At the 8th annual Atlanta Ice Cream Festival, there will be dairy and non-dairy frozen treats, along with food vendors. Kickback and listen to the live music at this festival held in Piedmont Park.

Decatur BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival

2-9 p.m., Aug. 11, 630 East Lake Drive, Oakhurst, admission is $25 (advance tickets are $15-$20)

Enjoy classic southern BBQ while listening to blues and bluegrass at this festival. If you're vegetarian, no worries: three BBQ vendors will offer vegetarian selections. Tickets provide attendees with admission to the event and more than seven hours of live music by local artists.

Piedmont Park Arts Festival

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 18, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug 19, 1215 Piedmont Ave., free.

If you love the arts, the Piedmont Park Arts Festival is the place to be. Painters, glassblowers, metalworkers, crafters and photographers are among the 250 artists that will be showcasing their work. Food, live music and artist demonstrations are also slated for the festival.

Previous Grant Park Summer Shade Festivals have attracted thousands of attendees. (Summer Shade Festival Facebook/For the AJC)

Grant Park Summer Shade Festival

10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Aug. 25, 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Aug 26, 840 Cherokee Ave. SE, free.

This two-day festival in Grant Park will feature food trucks, an Artist Market, beer from Monday Night Brewing and live music. Expect to see the crafts of more than 200 artists ranging from jewelry to handmade soap. The festival, projected to attract 30,000 visitors, benefits the Grant Park Conservancy.

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