Piedmont Park Arts Festival & Grant Park Summer Shade Festival: two fun festivals help close out the summer.

If the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is the official kick-off of spring in Atlanta, the Piedmont Park Arts Festival is the bookend, where folks enjoy the sun, art and fun and bid adieu to summer.

The Piedmont Park Arts Festival takes place the weekend of August 17 and 18 and the real stars are the more than 250 artists, painters, sculptors, glass blowers, jewelers, leather and metalwork and crafters, all of whom are willing to showcase and talk about their art — and of course, sell it! To further promote the arts, the festival will have several artists present demonstrations.

Photo credit: Piedmont Park Arts Festival

Of course, there is a lot more to the festival including live acoustic music, an Emerging Artists Pavilion, a children’s play area as well as festival foods and beverages — including healthy alternatives to the kettle corn, cheese steaks and BBQ (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). On Saturday, Aug. 17, the festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, it starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. Parking is limited and it is best to take MARTA; several bus routes touch near the park and the Midtown rail station is a few blocks away.

Grant Park Summer Shade Festival started out as a small celebration for residents of this historic neighborhood, but 17 years later, it attracts festival-goers from all over metro Atlanta. The festival takes place on Aug. 24 through Aug. 25. On Saturday, it runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., which means there is plenty of time to enjoy the impressive lineup of music, artist market, family-friendly games, Kids Zone and a 5 K run. Did anyone mention food? Of course! There will be a wide selection of local food trucks and vendors.

Photo credit: Fabian Fernandez

The Grant Park Summer Shade Festival takes place at Grant Park, which is located at 600 Cherokee Ave. SE., and like the Piedmont Park Arts Festival, it is advised to take public transportation. Funds raised through the 5K run and the festival support the Grant Park Conservancy, which is dedicated to restoring and maintaining historic Grant Park.

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