When one thinks of city life, local festivals may not be the first things that come to mind. However, Atlanta is full of local community festivals and events that provide cultural and educational opportunities as well as inexpensive entertainment options for all ages.

With its diverse population and multinational residents, Atlanta abounds with cultural festivals. Festival Peachtree Latino draws large crowds and great musical performances to Underground Atlanta. JapanFest is the largest Japanese Festival in the Southeast and draws crowds upwards of 18,000. And the Atlanta Asian Film Festival combines multi-national works of art with an incomparable educational experience. The Atlanta Greek Festival provides attendees delicious samples of authentic Greek fare along with traditional music and dance.

Community festivals that support local nonprofit organizations and historical societies often combine local artists to provide a full day, or two, of shopping, eating and musical entertainment. The Sandy Springs festival hosted each fall includes a concert in the square, a 10k run, a home tour and plenty of local arts and crafts. The Inman Park festival and home tour held each April is considered Atlanta’s biggest street market and hosts the city’s quirkiest and most colorful parade. The Dogwood Festival hosted each spring in Piedmont Park is the area’s largest artistic festival combining incomparable musical performances with an artist market and special children’s events to draw hundreds of thousands of festival goers annually.

While many festivals celebrate a particular culture or local community life and encompass a number of artistic elements, some festivals focus on a specific art. The Atlanta Jazz Festival provides residents and visitors the chance to hear legendary as well as local musicians while also learning about the history of the genre. The Georgia Shakespeare Festival is held annually at Oglethorpe College to celebrate the theatrical works of art written by William Shakespeare.

And while many festivals may last only one or two days, some encompass ongoing events and educational opportunities throughout the year. The National Black Arts Festival celebrates the life and contributions of people of African descent and their impact on world cultures through year-round educational programs and special events.

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