Annual Dogwood Festival returns to Piedmont Park this weekend

Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 3:43 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - The 86th annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival opened Friday at Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta.

The annual event, which is the city’s largest and longest-running fine arts festival features 260 fine artists, live music, international entertainment, activities for kids and the Atlanta High School Exhibition.

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Just as it has been for more than 8 decades, admission is free, but donations are accepted. Organizers say the pandemic made fundraising difficult and so they’re requesting a donation at the door if you’re able to contribute.

“We’re trying to do our best to keep this festival free. So we’re requesting people donate when they come to the park or they can go on our website. We’re requesting a $5 donation, but we will take anything,” said Brian Hill, executive director, Dogwood Festival.

Since parking is limited in the midtown area and violators will be towed, festival attendees are encouraged to use MARTA and get off at the Arts Center or Midtown stations.

Hours are noon to 9 p.m. April 8, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. April 9 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 10. The artist market will close at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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For the first time in three years the festival is back while the Dogwood trees are in bloom, and no one is more excited than the artists who make this festival so special.

“It’s good to be back out here,” said Sydney Carter, a local artist.

Carter is one of 900 artists who competed for a booth at the Atlanta Dogwood festival. It’s been a long two years for him

“We have to be creative and do different things. Myself, I would stand outside my galley and invite different artists to come paint with me,” said Carter.

He’s hoping for a lot of foot-traffic this weekend so his art can go to new homes.

“The artists have been pent up for two years, waiting to be able to do their work and share their work,” said Hill.

Hill says the goal is for the art to inspire younger generations.

“We reach over 83 schools in the greater metro area, and these students are competing for scholarships and art prizes and so forth. And the quality of work is just stunning. If they didn’t have the outlet that we have for this exhibition and they were just doing this at home, I think the impact of the last two years would have been greater,” said Hill.

This year, attendees can upgrade their festival experience and Party Like a VIP tonight with a ticket to the dedicated VIP area, which features comfortable seating, private bathrooms, a discounted cash bar and a perfect view of the Coca-Cola Main Stage. Additional VIP options are available throughout the weekend: https://dogwood.org/events/.