8 metro Atlanta block parties, outdoor festivals

Summer is finally here, and Atlanta has you covered with outdoor, family-friendly events to keep the fun going while school is out. Strut your stuff in the streets, go to a vegan cookout or light up the night with lanterns. Here are eight of the hottest block parties happening around Atlanta this summer.

Atlanta Streets Alive Cross-City

The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition debuted Streets Alive in 2010 to get people to view their neighborhoods from a different perspective. You can bike, walk, skate and enjoy 10-miles of traffic-free streets while enjoying vendors, arts and crafts, and a parade that kicks off in downtown. This year has the longest route in Atlanta Streets Alive's history and passes through 21 Atlanta neighborhoods. According to reports, more than 120, 000 people attended the April 2019 Streets Alive ride.

2-8 p.m. June 9. Free admission. Routes begin at the junction of Marietta St. and Howell Mill Road in Atlanta. For general inquiries: events@atlantabike.org, atlantastreetsalive.com/cross-city.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

Juneteenth Atlanta Parade and Music Festival

Kick off Father's Day weekend with great food and entertainment during Atlanta's Juneteenth celebration. Groove to the sounds of the marching band and dance with majorettes and marching bands as they parade down Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. This festival will remember the arrival of African slaves in the United States 400 years ago, and Juneteenth celebrates the June 19, 1865 freedom of slaves in Galveston, TX. In 2011, Georgia was the 37th state to officially recognize Juneteenth.

2-9 p.m. June 14; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. June 15; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. June 16. Free for all attendees. The Home Depot Backyard near Mercedes-Benz Stadium, 1 Backyard Way, Atlanta. 404-753-4555, http://www.juneteenthatl.com/parade-line-up.html.

Plant-based Cookout and Block party

Here, you'll taste some the vegan food Atlanta has to offer during the inaugural Plant-Based Cookout and Block Party. The Urban Community Revitalization Project created this event to promote health and wellness through food. Bring the entire family to experience live performances, kid-friendly activities and shop with food vendors.

11 a.m.-6 p.m. July 6. $5; free for children. Shifting Energy Fairgrounds, 1149 Lee Street SW, Atlanta, GA. For general inquiries email: atlvegan1@gmail.com, https://theatlvegan.com/the-plant-based-cookout/.

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Piedmont Park Summer Arts Festival

Browse through unique arts and crafts from more than 250 photographers, sculptors and other artisans at the annual Piedmont Park Summer Arts Festival. Presented by the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces, one goal of the summer arts festival is to give back to the Atlanta community through art. An Emerging Artist Pavilion, a children’s play area and live acoustic entertainment will be available for your enjoyment. The music lineup hasn’t been announced yet. This visual extravaganza will also benefit a local charity or scholarship that supports the arts.

10 a.m.-5 p.m. August 17; 11 a.m. -5 p.m. August 18. Free admission. Piedmont Park, 1071 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta. For general inquiries: randallfox2003@yahoo.com, piedmontparkartsfestival.com.



Southern Wing Showdown

Turn up the heat and chow down on 30 unique wing flavors at the annual Springer Mountain Farms' Southern Wing Showdown. Chefs from Georgia, as well as cities in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, will compete for head to head to see who cooks the best wings in the southeast. Don't worry. There will be beer, wine, cocktails and other beverages to help you quench your thirst. The proceeds from the wing showdown will benefit Angel Flight Soars and Second Helpings Atlanta.

1-5 p.m. Aug. 25. The Fairmont, 1429 Fairmont Ave. NW, Atlanta. 404-875-4434 ext. 2, southernwingshowdown.com.

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Pure Heat Community Festival

Party with pride at the Pure Heat Community Festival held at Piedmont Park on September 1. This gathering boasts dance competitions, a hair show, and tons of food vendors to enjoy. The lineup of performers hasn't been announced yet, but last year's schedule included R&B singer Sevyn Streeter, and Cardi B. In 1996, Black Pride started as a picnic to celebrate the African-American LGBTQ community.

12-8 p.m. September 1. Piedmont Park, 1071 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta. Free admission. 1-888-935-8729, http://pureheatcommunityfestival.com/home/.

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Credit: Steve Schaefer

Lantern Parade

Lanterns will light up the Atlanta Beltline during the 10th annual Lantern Parade. According to Art on the Atlanta Beltline, the organization that created the Lantern Parade, more than 70,000 people attended last year's event. Attendees can bring any lantern or glowing object to participate. MARTA is recommended to travel to the parade, with Inman park being the closest train station.

7 p.m. September 21. Free admission. The Atlanta Beltline; parade begins on the east side of the trail where it crosses Irwin St. and Lake Ave. 404-477-3636, art.beltline.org/events/lantern-parade.

East Atlanta Strut

The 22nd East Atlanta Strut showcases the sights and sounds of the blossoming neighborhood. Shop with the vendors, walk in the strut parade and listen to live music on one of the many stages. No pets are allowed except for service dogs. Parking will be limited, so bike, walk or take public transportation if you can.

11:00 a.m. -9:00 p.m. September 28. Free admission; $5 for a wristband to drink alcohol. 520 Flat Shoals Ave. Atlanta. For general inquiries email: info@eastatlantastrut.com, http://eastatlantastrut.com/.