Summer Shade Festival

Cool Things To Do in August in Atlanta

Say goodbye to summer at these very cool things to do in August. If you like festivals, you’re in luck. Like to eat? How about tacos? Feeling international? Visit Nigeria right here in ATL. Brush up on your Shakespeare, too.

Summertime Fun: Piedmont Park Arts Festival 

Mark your calendar for Aug. 19 and 20 so as not to forget the Piedmont Park Arts Festival. (Photo by Sher Pruitt)

Recognized as one of the best outdoor festivals in Atlanta, the Piedmont Park Arts Festival returns to the heart of Midtown on Aug. 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Aug. 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Presented by the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces and held in picturesque Piedmont Park, the festival features approximately 250 artists including painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metalworkers, glass blowers, jewelers and crafters. Festival enthusiasts are also invited to enjoy live acoustic music, DJ sets from Captains of Revelry, a children’s play area, and a variety of festival food and drinks for all tastes. Free to attend, the event is open to all ages, and dogs are welcome.

Emmett Till Exhibit Coming to Atlanta History Center

Emmett Till and his mother are the subjects of an exhibit at Atlanta History Center. (Photo courtesy of Atlanta History Center)

The exhibit “Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See” opens at the Atlanta History Center on Aug. 5 and runs through Sept. 17. The exhibit tells the story of Emmett Till, the child who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955 while visiting relatives, and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, who insisted on an open casket so that the world could see what had been done to her son. The exhibit further challenges visitors to make a ripple for justice in their own communities.

Reggae Festival

BeREGGAE Music & Arts Festival comes to Piedmont Park Aug. 11-13 for a fundraiser designed for the HOF Foundation and its programs centered around education and economic empowerment of Black families. BeREGGAE is more than just music. Come to enjoy the arts, food and a celebration of international Black culture.

Support the Dream

Cheyenne Park, No. 32, plays forward for the Atlanta Dream. (Photo courtesy Atlanta Dream)

The Atlanta Dream plays five home games in August at College Park’s Gateway Center Arena. Cheer on Rhyne Howard, Haley Jones, Cheyenne Parker and the rest of the team as they delight fans with their skills, defense and jump shots.

Taco and Tequila Thursdays at TWO Urban Licks

Tacos? Tequila? Yes, please. (Photo courtesy TWO Urban Licks)

Join TWO Urban Licks and raise a glass to its newest summer offering, Taco and Tequila Thursdays. Now through Aug. 31, you are invited to enjoy three chef’s choice tacos for $20 on the spacious, dog-friendly patio. To further embrace the season of alfresco sipping, the Old Fourth Ward destination will have an array of tequila-infused drink specials on hand including margaritas and Palomas.

A Taste of Nigeria

Get a Taste of Nigeria at the Westside Cultural Arts Center. (Photo courtesy A Taste of Nigeria)

A Taste of Nigeria Festival comes back to Atlanta with art, music, dance, comedy, drama, a fashion show and market Aug. 5 at the Westside Cultural Arts Center.

Midtown Things to Do

Colony Square in Midtown is a happening place. (Photo courtesy Colony Square)

Head over to Colony Square and join in the fun. Try the different restaurants in this foodie haven but also try complimentary yoga every Wednesday, free movies on select Thursdays (it’s “School of Rock” on Aug. 3); live musical performances every Friday and even watch Braves games on the square. An extra event is the Parliament of Owls Parade, a black-and-white themed lantern parade, Aug. 5.

BronzeLens Film Fest Returns

Jackie J. Stone directed “Burning Angel Dust.” Here she is, left, with a colleague at the BronzeLens Film Festival. (Photo courtesy BronzeLens Film Festival)

The 14th annual BronzeLens Film Festival takes place Aug. 22-27 at multiple locations and is focused on promoting Atlanta as a film mecca for people of color and showcasing films and networking opportunities. There will be daily screenings of new works by independent filmmakers as well as workshops, panel discussions and the awards show. Special events include Women SuperStars Honors and Sunday Brunch with the Brothers.

Eat Local — Beautifully

Aglanta Eats returns to Atlanta Botanical Garden (Photo by Erik Voss for GroundWorks Atlanta)

AgLanta Eats is a hyper-local food festival that returns to the Atlanta Botanical Garden Aug. 21 with a variety of tastings prepared by top local chefs. Of course, they’ll be using the freshest ingredients from AgLanta growers and metro Atlanta farms. In addition to the farm-fresh food tastings, a variety of beverage options and live music, attendees have full access to the beautiful 30 acres of outdoor gardens, an award-winning Children’s Garden, the serene Storza Woods, highlighted by a unique Canopy Walk, and the picturesque Skyline Garden. Be sure to catch “Trolls: Save the Humans,” a special exhibit of folklore-inspired sculptures built from reclaimed materials.

Summer’s Last Hurrah

Bring the kids to the Summer Shade Festival. (Photo by Sher Pruitt)

For more the 20 years the historic Grant Park neighborhood bids adieu to summer with its ever-popular Summer Shade Festival. This thriving two-day festival, which benefits the Grant Park Conservancy,  features an artist market with a variety of local and regional artists showcasing their talents in a variety of materials, media and price ranges, as well as food options including Sno-Angel Delites, Island Food, Gyro Chef and Lisa’s Crêperie. Music is always an important part of the festival and don’t forget the Kids Zone, with art activities as well as active options such as a bungee jump.

A Stitch In Time

Some quilts are too special to use for cover. (Photo courtesy Atlanta Quilt Festival)

Admire the preservation and promotion of African American quilting and other textile arts at the Atlanta Quilt Festival, which showcases the finest examples of African American quilts, dolls and other fiber art across all genres including traditional, modern and African American Heritage styles. In addition there will be quilting workshops. More than 100 quilts will be on display and judged at the festival, which runs Aug. 4 through Sept. 2 at the South Fulton Southwest Arts Center. 

Black Pride Weekend

Atlanta Black Pride Weekend is set to begin on Aug. 30 and continue through Sept. 5. An opening event occurs on Aug. 31 at the Mayor’s Black Pride Weekend Reception at City Hall. Headquarters for the weekend is The Starling Hotel Midtown Atlanta. In addition to parties, there will be events including a film festival, a jazz brunch and poetry slam, and the annual White Party.

Go Underground

The 20th annual Atlanta Underground Film Festival takes place Aug. 3-6 at RoleCall Theater at Ponce City Market. The festival has served as a forum where independent filmmakers can thrive outside the mainstream arena. This is not a stuffy black-tie affair. The festival is a non-stop party celebrating short and feature films in a down-to-earth setting where filmmakers and fans connect and collaborate. After the events, explore Ponce City Market, which houses one of the best food courts in town.

Shakespeare Crash Course

McBeth. Romeo. Hamlet. Anyone you know? If so, congrats. You at least know basic Shakespeare. But if you want a crash course on Shakespeare, go to the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse Aug. 5 through. Sept. 3 and let the Atlanta Shakespeare Co. educate you with the “Complete Works of William Shakespeare.” It’s an irreverent, high-speed romp thorough his 37 plays all performed by three actors. Trust us; it’s nothing like you’ve ever seen or heard before.

For more things to do in Atlanta, check our calendar of events.

Journalist Mary Welch writes business and lifestyle stories for local and national publications. 

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