Sprawled across a huge field in Fairburn, roughly 13 miles southwest of the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, the festival teems with life, noise, and the PG-13 debauchery of nearly 1,000 costumed rakes, harlequins, ne'er-do-wells, knights, wenches, and the ever unpredictable royal treasury accountants. Catch jousting, falconry shows, and surprise inquisitions to make sure you're having a good time. Take up a sword and have a blast repressing the local Irish, or dress up your niece and nephew for a crusade to bring endless laughter and good times to frowny infidels. On the weekend of April 24 and 25, visitors can enjoy Irish dancing and a highlander pipe-and-drum band, while on Mother's Day weekend (May 8 and 9), the first 100 moms through the gate will receive free flowers.
Featured on Access Atlanta, JapanFest's two-day festival gives crowds of more than 17,000 people a chance to taste varied Japanese cuisine, watch live performances from Japanese musicians and artists, and practice traditional arts in hands-on exhibits. The tunes of Grammy-winning recording artist Yukiko Matsuyama, whose compositions feature the traditional stringed koto, drift through the air as festival-goers watch the hands of professional calligrapher Kotaro Hachinohe bring a large paint-sodden brush down on paper in bold strokes. Pairs of guests can practice the art of petal positioning at the Japanese flower-arranging exhibit, then carefully prune miniature trees at the bonsai demonstration, pruning branches as gingerly as generals clipping budding turrets from the potted tanks in their offices. A range of other participants fills the center's showroom, including anime collectors, kimono crafters, and sake sellers. After perusing the swarm of exhibitors, visitors can reboot with traditional Japanese fare from vendors such as Kotobuki Cafe and Sushi Niko Niko.
Commemorating the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001, the Heroes Music Festival combines inspirational musical acts and patriotic activities to honor America's fallen and future heroes. Festival-goers can wrap their ears around an inspirational lineup of rock, pop, and country artists from around the nation's cavernous network of musician mines. On Thursday, country legend Hank Williams Jr. headlines, and Darryl Worley's contemporary country and The Grascals' award-winning instrumental bluegrass kick off the weekend. Burns & Poe play Friday, as does guitarist Jonny Lang, who rounds out the day's acts with his unique brand of gospel-tinged blues. Sunday's lineup closes the festival with performances from headliners Third Day, country-soul singer Jon Scott and Christian-rock mainstays Rapture Ruckus and 7eventh Time Down.
In addition to the sense of perseverance and accomplishment that comes with finishing a 5K, the organizers of the Bacon Chase have added another incentive: bacon. During their two races?the 5K Piggy Pilgrimage, which is a traditional 5K, and the 0.05K Blitz to Bacon, which is a 164-foot sprint?runners can munch on unlimited bacon bits before feasting on unlimited amounts of bacon at the finish line. Runners 21 and older can wash down the savory strips of bacon with a bloody mary, and all runners get a Bacon Chase T-shirt and a signature bacon-scented bib. The festival opens at 8 a.m. and features many bacon-themed activities, plus music.
The festive day serves a greater purpose, too. Attendees will be able to register to become a St. Jude Hero, raise money for St. Jude Children?s Research Hospital, or both.
Founded by the city in 1850, Historic Oakland Cemetery is a reflective park with lush greenery and architectural monuments for its 70,000 burial sites. Knowledgeable tour guides share tidbits of Atlanta?s history during tours, paying visits to the gravesite of Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind, and Maynard Jackson, Atlanta?s first African American mayor. Architecture in a variety of styles rises across the grounds, including mausoleums with Tiffany Studios stained-glass windows and gigantic bronze urns. The stone-hewn Lion of Atlanta marks the burial ground of 3,000 unknown Confederate soldiers. The hanging bows of oak, magnolia, and dogwood trees shade visitors, surrounded by the colorful, fragrant camellias.