Affairs to Remember
With high-flying canines, lively art celebrations, and seriously good food, Gwinnett’s jam-packed calendar of festivals and fun holds a handful of can’t-miss standouts.
Gone to the Dogs
Animal lovers converge for Atlanta’s largest pet party, Star 94’s Woofstock. Enjoy flying Frisbee dogs, the amazing dock-diving “Air Dogs,” live music, food trucks, a beer garden, and inflatables for kids. Or simply kick back with your furry pal. (Pets of all kinds — dogs, cats, birds, ferrets — are welcome as long as they’re leashed.) More than fifty nonprofit and rescue groups will be on hand to spread the slobbery love.
May, Town Center Park, Suwanee, suwanee.com
Shopping for local art never felt so festive. The annual Norcross Art Splash brings a vibrant collection of folk art, ceramics, paintings, photography, jewelry, and much more to the charming streets of downtown Norcross. Food vendors, live music, and a Kidz Zone fill neighboring Thrasher Park. Don’t miss the Chairs for Charity display, featuring chairs and furniture repainted by local schools to raise money for their arts programs.
October, historic downtown Norcross, norcrossartsplash.splashfestivals.com
Any event that pairs live bands and barbecue is a winner in our book, but ￼￼Lawrenceville’s Rock’n Ribville boasts an added level of finger-lickin’ legitimacy: It’s sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the largest competitive ’cue organization in the world. Alas, only judges can taste the official rib entrants, but there’s plenty more succulent smoked meat vying for the People’s Choice Award — plus beer, arts and crafts, and a Kids’ Riblet Zone with face painting and inflatables.
September, Lawrenceville Lawn, rocknribville.com
Far East, Close By
One of the largest Japanese festivals in the country, Duluth’s annual JapanFest immerses patrons in the culture and traditions of the Land of the Rising Sun. Learn martial arts, calligraphy, and bonsai tree care and explore the nation’s rich heritage of music, dance, and cooking.
September, Infinite Energy Center, Duluth, jasgeorgia.org
Good Country Fun
The Country Living Fair, a traveling outdoor festival from Country Living magazine, makes its fourth stop at Stone Mountain. In addition to browsing the stalls of some 200 purveyors of vintage goods, folk art, and Americana, event-goers can take in crafting, cooking, and DIY demonstrations.
October, Stone Mountain Park, countryliving.com
A Frightfully Good Time
The Halloween hijinks at Howl on the Green include trick-or-treating along Main Street, haunted hayrides, and costume contests for adults, kids, and canines. The Red Cross is on hand to take your blood for a purpose more good-hearted than ghoulish.
October, Duluth Town Green, duluthga.net
- Suwanee American Craft Beer Fest: One of the premier craft beer festivals in the Southeast, this event serves some 300 brews from around the country — including numerous new and seasonal beers — to thousands of ale-loving festival- goers.
- Gwinnett Beer Fest: This major-league event is held at the Gwinnett Braves’ minor league park, Coolray Field, and features live music, games, and unlimited sampling of more than 150 craft beers.
- Grayson Blues & Brews: This annual shindig celebrates a great combo — rockin’ blues bands and killer craft beers. Need we say more?
- Suwanee Wine Festival: Pinots, cabernets, and rieslings, oh my. These are just some of the wine varietals from around the world that are available for tasting at this beloved grapefest.