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The Luxe Weekend:

March 27, 2012

Art in the Park

Highlights of Dogwood Festival, April 20-22

By Nancy Staab

Pollen-be-damned, Dogwood Festival gears up for its 76th year with loads of artists, music, food and festivities in Atlanta’s favorite outdoor living room, Piedmont Park. And the cost of entry? Free!

Atlanta Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park with Midtown spires in the backdrop Atlanta Dogwood Festival in Piedmont Park with Midtown spires in the backdrop


















Atlanta’s beloved Dogwood Festival ( kicks off the Spring season as one of the largest, free fine arts and music festivals in the country April 20-22. Set amid the green lawns of Piedmont Park and blooming Dogwood trees at their peak, this fest personifies Spring fever and fun. It also happens to be a multiple award-winning event…and you can take in all the art and people gawking you want, plus three days of fantastic live music on several stages, without paying a dime. In 2011 the festival received a Gold Award for Best Festival Environmental Programfrom the International Festivals & Events Association and recently was named a finalist for the Atlanta Business Chronicle 2012 Environmental Awards in the Green Reach category.  In addition, the Society of American Travel Writers named the Atlanta Dogwood Festival as one of the Top 10 Spring Festivals in 2012. Here’s the highlights.


Artists Market

The 2012 Atlanta Dogwood Festival Artist Market is a nationally renowned event that welcomes fine artists from throughout the country with a special section featuring Georgia artists. Selected from nearly a thousand entries, the juried Artist Market presents a variety of media, including oil painting, jewelry, sculpture, digital photography, glass, metal and mixed-media.



Live Music on Four Stages

Singer Graham Knoxx Singer Graham Knoxx

The full roster of music on four stages is still being lined up, but we can tell you that the main Coca-Cola/Xfinity Main Stage will feature pop-soul songstress Graham Knoxx, who mashes up Depeche Mode with Nina Simone and puts her own sultry spin on an Adele mashup; A Half Dozen Brass Band (named #1 jazz band by Athens’ Flagpole); and Collective Soul guitarist/songwriter Joel Kosche’s solo effort supporting his new, guitar-driven release Fight Years. And this just in: soul singer Roberta Flack will perform a free Saturday night concert at 7:30 PM on the PNC Bank Stage. The concert is free, as is the festival itself, but for a $15 donation, supporters of the festival will receive access to special seating near the stage for Flack's performance. For a $45 contribution, VIP supporters will receive special tented seating for the concert with complimentary wine and beer. Check closer to date for full music lineup, stages, and times.


The International Stage and Village

Highlights of the International Stage include Spanish flamenco by Insonnia and French music by Mademoizelle, plus Cultural Exchange Pavilions representing France, Japan, the Caribbean, Lebanon, Germany, Canada, Mexico and Turkey. 


The Friends of Dogwood Pavilion

Become a Friend of Dogwood with ticket purchase and enjoy an exclusive VIP space, removed from the madding crowds, in the beautiful Greystone building. Think: indoor plumbing (no porta-potties!) and a spacious outdoor terrace. Enjoy wine tastings and bites from area restos like Anis, Eclipse di Luna, RA Sushi,  Peasant Bistro, Savida Sangria and 5 Napkin Burger. Pay a bit more and enjoy a full bar.

Wine and food samplings will be offered from  1-5PM, Sat. April 21 and Sunday April 22. $25 in advance, $35 at the door. Or for a ticket that includes a full open bar: $54 in advance and $60 at the door.


Fun Extras

Food vendors at the fair Food vendors at the fair

Tons of food and drink vendors proffering everything from funnel cakes and lobster rolls to beer; a national disc-catching dog competition (11AM-5PM at the Meadow on Saturday and Sunday); some cutting-edge Carnival rides from Europe, and a Kid’s Village with fun interactive zones and hands-on projects are few of the additional features at this crowd-pleasing, people watching, art appreciation event.


The Dogwood Festival takes place at Piedmont Park Friday April 20 from noon to 10PM, Saturday April 21 from 10AM to 11PM and Sunday April 22 from 10AM to 6PM. Artist market closes at 7PM Friday and Sunday.  Festival attendance is free and open to the public, although a few of the areas are ticketed. No pets allowed other than official entrants in Disc Dog competition.

 For artist and music lineups, tickets and more info visit:

The national disc-catching dog competition The national disc-catching dog competition