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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Festival Season in Atlanta

Warning:  The following may not be appropriate for children under the age of 13 or vampires

One of my favorite things about Atlanta in the Spring is what we call "Festival Season."  

Growing up, I loved festivals, the funnel cakes, freedom from your parents and of course shoddily maintained carnival rides.  You remember those teacups that were last inspected during the Nixon administration.  I remember going to the fair as a child in Rockville, MD and riding a pop up roller coaster.  I mean, who the hell throws a roller coaster right off of Rockville Pike in 12 hours and think it's safe to ride?  It must be the same parents that let us ride in the car without a seatbelt on.
Now, you get arrested if the car seat is slightly off center.  Is this the pussification of America or common sense?  I thought is was somewhere in the middle until I noticed athletic leagues giving kids trophies for "trying."  Yea, that will prepare little Johnny for the real world.

As I child, this was my perception of festivals. 
Then I grew up and viewed festivals like this:
Exhibit 1a, why I could never work retail.

But Atlanta somehow gets it right.
Atlanta's Dogwood Festival is a perfect balance of  what makes a festival great.  There is something for everyone.  Piedmont Park is a great setting, for all the activities they offer.  Art vendors, food vendors, music, great children's activities, INCREDIBLE dog contests and most of all, accessible parking.  The older I get, the more important parking is to me.  And it's pretty good here.  Just get there early.  If you missed it, go next year.  You're welcome.
My favorite festival is the Inman Park Festival.  I'm biased since I happened to live there for 5 years, but their backdrop is in stark contrast to the Dogwood Festival.  It's nestled in to Atlanta's most eclectic and gorgeous neighborhood.  And it's highly shaded.  Very important to those of us whom are pigmentally challenged, yea I just made that word up.
I'm not quite this pale, but you get the picture.  How absolutely horrendous was this movie?

If you live in Atlanta, check out the Inman Park Festival.  This year it's April 28th and 29th, which is THIS WEEKEND.  The only issue?  Parking can be a challenge.  But it's well worth it.  There is a parade at 2 pm on Saturday that is ALOT of fun as well.  They do a great job of having many types of vendors.  From painters, to photographers, to lawn chairs, to someone who sold me a great painting of Redskins Fed Ex field last year. You can really find some pretty cool stuff.

There is also a tour of homes that highlights some of the classic southern architecture that is unique to this part of Atlanta.  Though it is right in the city, Inman Park was Atlanta's first suburbs.
So go and enjoy.

Today's Footnotes:  There are some great things coming soon for "The Dry Rub"

The "Dry Rub 4" got into former "Top Chef" contestant Kevin Gillespie's new highly anticipated restaurant "Gunshow" for their opening in two weeks!  There's about as much buzz for this restaurant as any I've seen in Atlanta. They are saying Gunshow is inspired by “Brazilian churrascaria-style dining and Chinese dim sum.”  I truly couldn't be any more confused by that statement.
Then, I am going to maybe the legacy of legacy restaurants in May, Peter Luger's Steakhouse in Brooklyn.  May is going to be a big month for the Dry Rub.
We are also going to start our "Best Burger in Atlanta" tournament soon as well.  I am putting together a great group of panelists, because I couldn't do a tournament like this justice on my own.  I guess I could, but my arteries wouldn't appreciate it.  Stay tuned!

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