Atlanta’s Biggest and Best Events in 2022
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| Winter 2022

Atlanta’s Biggest and Best Events in 2022

A Year’s Worth of Things to See and Do

By Amanda Adams

From unique Atlanta events to cultural celebrations, from sports to

holiday happenings and neighborhood festivals, 2022 will truly offer something for everyone. Anyone new to the area may be unfamiliar with the long list of happenings in and around Atlanta. Looking ahead to 2022, here is a compilation of Atlanta’s biggest and best events—a full year’s worth of wonderful things to see and do in your new hometown. Please note that several dates have not been finalized yet. Be sure to check on specific dates closer to the event.

Unique Atlanta Events

Polar Plunge

No winter is complete without a dip in the ice-cold waters of Lake Acworth. An annual tradition, this event serves as a fundraiser for Special Olympics Georgia. Featuring live music, food and prizes, the Polar Plunge will be held Feb. 19 at Acworth Beach. specialolympicsga.org/letr-polar-plunge

Atlanta Fringe Festival

Focusing on original works by performers in all genres of theater, the Atlanta Fringe Festival is an annual event held in June. The festival spotlights local, national and international performers. atlantafringe.org. Atlanta Ice Cream Festival Now in its 12th year, the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival both celebrates America’s Favorite Dessert and offers many health and wellness engagement activities. Each July the festival teams up with a local nonprofit health agency to promote its health and wellness initiatives. atlantaicecreamfestival.com.

Dragon Con Parade

Kicking off the first full day of the convention, the Dragon Con Parade encourages attendees to dress as their favorite characters from genres such as fantasy, comic books and science fiction. The parade typically takes place on the first Saturday in September. dragoncon.org.

Cool Dads Rock Soapbox Derby

Cool Dads Rock is an organization intended to build meaningful and memorable relationships with fathers and their children, no matter what the age. Its annual Soapbox Derby, set for Sept. 10, gives father-and-child duos the chance to create their own car and compete against other teams. cooldadsrock.com.

East Atlanta Strut

With a colorful parade and large Artists Market, the East Atlanta Strut happens on the third Saturday in September. The festival features a rolling car show, great food, live music and other events. eastatlantastrut.com.

Stone Mountain Highland Games

Celebrating Scots and people of Scottish descent, the Stone Mountain Highland Games take place the third weekend of October. Competitive events such as Highland Dance and Weight Toss are popular, as well as live music and a selection of Celtic vendors and artisans. smhg.org.

Little 5 Points Halloween Parade

Typically held on a Saturday leading up to Halloween, this event is billed as the signature Halloween festival in the Southeast and one of the top 10 Halloween events in the country. The Little 5 Points Halloween Parade draws crowds of over 35,000 to the interesting and diverse neighborhood, and the events surrounding the parade have been added or expanded over the years. L5phalloween.com.

Arts, Music And Culture Celebrations

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

Celebrating its 22nd year, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is the world’s largest Jewish film fest and serves as “a cinematic exploration of Jewish experience,” according to its website. Taking place in February, it annually screens dozens of movies and draws over 30,000 participants. It includes first-run features and old classics. ajff.org.

Olmsted Plein Air Invitational

The 2022 Olmsted Plein Air Invitational Gallery Exhibition and Sale will take place April 16-24 at Olmsted Linear Park in Druid Hills and other locations. The weeklong event includes the exhibit and sale of over 400 original works of art by some of the nation’s top contemporary Impressionist painters. olmstedpleinair.com.

Atlanta Film Festival

Now in its 46th year, the Atlanta Film Festival welcomes an audience of over 28,000 to discover hundreds of new independent, international, animated, documentary and short films. Widely recognized among the best film festivals in the country, the 2022 festival will take place Apr. 21-May 1. atlantafilmfestival.com.

Atlanta Dogwood Festival

Spanning the weekend of April 8-10, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival will be held in Piedmont Park. In addition to beautiful, in-bloom dogwood trees, this annual event boasts food, live music, a 5K and hundreds of artists exhibiting and selling their work. dogwood.org.

Georgia Renaissance Festival

Now in its 37th season, the Georgia Renaissance Festival transports visitors to 16th-century England. A 32-acre village is equipped with over 150 artisan craft shops, 10 entertainment stages, several pubs and taverns and food galore. This year’s festival runs April 9-May 30. garenfest.com.

Atlanta Jazz Festival

One of the country’s largest free jazz festivals, the Atlanta Jazz Festival features concerts throughout the month of August, culminating with a free three-day festival over Labor Day weekend. atlantafestivals.com.

National Black Arts Festival

Offering multidisciplinary programs that educate, enrich and entertain, the National Black Arts Festival is a year-round organization, with some of its main events in the summer and fall months. They showcase the contributions of local, national and international artists of African descent. nbaf.org.

BronzeLens Film Festival

Entering its 13th year, the BronzeLens Film Festival aims to spotlight Atlanta “as a center for film and film production for people of color,” according to its website. Set for August, it will include movie screenings, awards, panel discussions and master classes, with appearances by both veterans and rising stars in the film industry, bronzelens.com.

Decatur Book Festival

The largest independent book festival in the country and among the five largest overall, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival typically takes place during Labor Day weekend. Featuring book signings, author discussions, readings and a host of food and book vendors, the event has something for the whole family. decaturbookfestival.com.

Music Midtown

Hosting a diverse lineup of over 30 artists across four stages, Music Midtown has been Atlanta’s premier music festival since 1994. It is typically held in Piedmont Park during September. musicmidtown.com.

Atlanta Greek Festival

For more than four decades, the Atlanta Greek Festival has brought the sounds, tastes and traditions of Greece to the city. Offering traditional foods and events, the festival takes place in late September at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral on Clairmont Road. atlantagreekfestival.org.

Shaky Knees Festival

Featuring five stages and more than 60 bands each year, Shaky Knees is a music lover’s dream. Created in 2013, the festival has featured diverse lineups ranging from world-renowned acts to up-and-coming artists. Shaky Knees 2022 takes place in October in Central Park. shakykneesfestival.com.

Atlanta Pride

This year marks the 51st anniversary of Atlanta Pride, held in Piedmont Park during October. Hosted by the Atlanta Pride Committee, the parade seeks to advance unity, visibility and self-esteem among the local and national LGBTQ communities. atlantapride.org.

Sporting Events

Atlanta Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Held at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a storied racing venue, the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 will be March 20. This event boasts one of the biggest races of the starting stretch of the 2022 NASCAR season. atlantamotorspeedway.com.

Peachtree Road Race

Organized by the Atlanta Track Club and a beloved Independence Day tradition since 1970, the Peachtree Road Race is one of the largest 10K races in the world. The race winds from Buckhead near Lenox Square mall and ends in Piedmont Park. atlantatrackclub.org/peachtree.

Masters Golf Tournament

One of the biggest golf tournaments in the world, The Masters is held at the Augusta National Golf Club, about 150 miles from Atlanta. The Masters is part of the PGA Tour’s grand slam, and its past champions include Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods. The 2022 competition will be held April 7-10. masters.com.

Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta

A sports car endurance race held at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta promises excitement for attendees. Just an hour north of Atlanta, Road Atlanta is a state-of-theart road course. Festivities for 2022 will take place in October or November. roadatlanta.com/petit-le-mans-road-atlanta.

Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl

The Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl brings postseason college football to Mercedes-Benz Stadium at the end of the year. The game dates back to 1968. chick-fil-apeachbowl.com.

Holiday Happenings

Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Atlanta’s longest running event, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade dates back to 1858. Attendees are treated to a procession of clowns, floats, bands, Bagpipe and Drum Corps, dancers, drill teams and more. The 2022 parade will take place at a date to be determined. atlantastpats.com.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Season on the Square

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hosts the Season on the Square, formerly the Children’s Christmas Parade, which includes performance groups, reindeer, face painting, photos with Santa, live music, ice skating and a tree lighting show. The parade will live on with a 20-minute Street Extravaganza that includes bands and dance groups performing. choa.org/parade.

Menorah Lighting at Decatur Square

Celebrate Hanukkah in December with the annual Menorah Lighting at Decatur Square. Live Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Season on the Square includes performance groups, reindeer, face painting, photos with Santa, live music, ice skating and a tree lighting show. music, delicious food and Mr. Dreidel photo ops will be available. visitdecaturgeorgia.com.

Neighborhood Festivals

Virginia-Highland Summerfest

Ushering in summer each June, at Atlanta’s John Howell Park, The Virginia-Highland Summerfest is a two-day celebration jampacked with art, food, music, children’s activities and a 5K run. vahisummerfest.org.

Grant Park Summer Shade Festival

An annual tradition for nearly two decades, the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival will welcome music and art lovers to Atlanta’s oldest park for two days in August. Presented by and benefiting the Grant Park Conservancy, the festival is open to all ages. A diverse selection of local food trucks offers all tastes and there are craft beers, a 5K run and a Food-o-Rama Food Truck Festival. summershadefestival.org

 

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