13 ways to spend Memorial Day weekend in metro Atlanta

Between arts festivals, music festivals, and military memorials, there’s plenty to do this weekend
The Masters Water Ski and Wakeboard Tournament is part of Callaway Gardens’s Memorial Day festivities

Photograph courtesy by Callaway Gardens

59th Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament
Where: Robin Lake at Callaway Gardens
When: May 25-27
Cost: $20.95-$69.95
Details: Watch athletes perform insane tricks (see the photo above) at this annual watersports competition, all while enjoying Callaway Gardens’s long weekend schedule of live music, food vendors, movies on the beach, and a fireworks show.

Inaugural Atlanta Memorial Day 5K Classic
Where: Woodruff Park
When: May 28, check-in at 7 a.m., race at 8 a.m.
Cost: $35 for 5K, $15 for kids dashes
Details: Organizers encourage runners to spend the Memorial Day 5K thinking about those who lost their lives in battle, especially during the last mile of the race, called the Soldiers Final Mile.

Atlanta Jazz Festival
Piedmont Park
When: May 26-27 (see lineup for specific showtimes)
Cost: Free
Details: This outdoor festival wraps up the month-long celebration of jazz that the Atlanta Jazz Festival facilitated with free daily concerts. The shows over Memorial Day weekend highlight all generations of the genre across three stages: the Next Gen Stage, Contemporary Stage, and Legends Stage. Bonus: the Saturday lineup features all-female headliners on all three stages for the first time in the festival’s 41 years.

Atlanta Caribbean Carnival
Where: Murphy Park Fairgrounds May 24-25, Central Park May 26-27, Aloft Atlanta Downtown May 28
When: May 24-28
Cost: $15-20, varies by venue
Details: Highlighting Caribbean culture in Atlanta, the carnival will kick off with a day rave featuring soca music, a rhythm-heavy genre which came from minority groups in Trinidad and Tobago. The night concert on the 25th will be the J’ouverta word used in some Caribbean cultures to mark the first day of a street carnival—and the rest of the weekend will feature music, vendors, food, and even a parade.

Decatur Arts Festival
Where: Downtown Decatur
When: May 25-27
Cost: Free
Details: This annual event boasts an artists market, live music, comedy shows, and plenty of events for kids as well. The festival starts with the Friday Artwalk, an evening focused on local art galleries and exhibitions throughout Decatur.

Old 4th Ward Arts Festival
The Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival takes place again this weekend

Photograph courtesy of Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival

Old Fourth Ward Park Arts Festival
Where: Historic Fourth Ward Park
When: May 26-27
Cost: Free
Details: Focusing on visual art, the outdoor festival will feature the works of around 150 artists. Activities will also include artist demonstrations, opportunities to create your own art, an Emerging Artist pavilion, live music, and food vendors.

Alpharetta Arts Streetfest
Where: Downtown Alpharetta
When: May 26-28
Cost: Free
Details: This OTP festival will include art exhibitions and sales from about 90 artists from around the country, food vendors, live music, and arts activities for kids.

In Memoriam
Salute the Troops at Stone Mountain
Where: Stone Mountain Park
When: May 25-28
Cost: $24.95 (special discounts for military and families)
Details: The self-described “largest four-day Memorial Day Weekend event” in Atlanta, Stone Mountain Park will honor the military and their families with the Remembering Our Fallen Georgia Memorial Exhibit, performances by the Air National Guard Band of the South, a Gold Star Families recognition ceremony, extended fireworks shows, and the famous patriotic Lasershows each night.

Roswell Remembers
Where: Roswell City Hall
When: May 28, 11 a.m.
Cost: Free
Details: The ceremony will pay tribute to fallen soldiers and prisoners of war with a presentation of colors, live performances of patriotic songs, a speech from Sgt. George Lingefelt of Silver City, and a 21-gun salute. A picnic and barbecue ($7) will follow the program.

Other weekend fun
MomoCon 2018
Where: Georgia World Congress Center
When: May 24-27
Cost: $30-$75
Details: Founded as an on-campus event by Georgia Tech’s anime club in 2004, this all-ages convention for fans of cosplay, anime, gaming, and comics has grown to one of the largest of its kind in the U.S. The 2018 schedule includes something for all 33,000 expected attendees: a career fair for aspiring animators or gamers, or, for the more casual crowd, dozens of panels, photoshoots, EDM concerts, and meetups with big-name YouTubers, writers, artists, voice actors, and more.

The Georgia Renaissance Festival
Where: 905 Virlyn B. Smith Road in Fairburn
When: May 26-28
Cost: $23.95 for adults, $11.95 for children, free for kids 5 and younger
Details: Can’t get enough costumes? The “magical medieval theme park” is focused on 16th century England with a twist—well, a few twists, including fairies, wizards, and realistic Renaissance-era costumes. There’s endless entertainment with artist markets, games, rides, food, and new shows including jousting, a pub crawl, a pirate-themed comedy show, and more.

Six Flags’s new ride: Twisted Cyclone
Where: Six Flags Over Georgia
When: Opens May 25
Cost: $56.99 for one day. Memorial Day Weekend sale includes special deals.
Details: Six Flags will open a brand new “hybrid roller coaster,” the Twisted Cyclone. A wood coaster with a steel track and cars designed after 1960s convertibles, the ride promises to flip you upside down, give you air time, and zip you around at up to 50 miles per hour.

Zoo Atlanta Brew at the Zoo
Brew at the Zoo

Photograph courtesy of Zoo Atlanta

Brew at the Zoo
Where: Zoo Atlanta
When: May 26, 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Cost: $65, VIP $135
Details: Come hang out with all your favorite zoo animals, all while sipping on some of your favorite brews. Zoo Atlanta will provide beer samples and some wine samples during the event, and VIP ticketholders will have access to bourbon and whiskey samples. More good news: all ticket purchases go towards global conservation efforts.