Local Spotlight: Celebrating 80 Years of Atlanta Dogwood Festival
Springtime is full of events and festivals for everyone to experience, kicking off with Atlanta Dogwood Festival. Since the festival’s beginning in 1936, the blooming of the famous white flowers has served as a time to celebrate Atlanta’s arts and culture community.
Entering its 80th year, the annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival will feature musical performances, Family Friday and the Cultural Exchange Pavilions. The Dogwood Festival Mimosa 5K race through historic Midtown and the nationally-known artist market will also return as part of festival activities.
“The festival has grown in size and complexity and changed with the times,“ said Brian Hill, executive director, Atlanta Dogwood Festival. “Over the years, it had everything from piano recitals to beauty pageants and parades. It has evolved to reflect the type of entertainment that draws people today.”
With the original purpose to promote the beautification of Atlanta, the inaugural festival consisted of carnivals, opera and symphony performances, and appearances from local college choruses. As time went on, Atlanta Dogwood Festival became one of the largest civic celebrations in the Southeast complete with a regatta on Lake Lanier and hot air balloon race.
“If you haven’t been to the festival in a few years, you need to come down and see how it has changed,” said Hill. “We have all of everyone’s favorites, and a lot of new attractions too. It really represents the tapestry of all of the different cultures that make up Atlanta.”
This year’s festival will pay homage to its past with fireworks to celebrate 80 successful years. The Coca-Cola Main Stage will showcase a variety of musical performances including the Jimmy Buffett Tribute Band, A1A. Saturday night, the Coca-Cola Main Stage will feature '80s cover bands Electric Avenue and Members Only.