14 ways to spend Memorial Day weekend in metro Atlanta

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Memorial Day Weekend events: Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament
60th Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament

Photograph courtesy of Nautique Boats


60th Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament
Where: Robin Lake at Callaway Gardens
When: May 24-26
Cost: $15-$70 (discounted prices for military personnel)
Details: For this annual competition, athletes perform stunts and flips in the water along with other activities at Callaway Gardens including movies, fireworks, and live music on the beach.

Atlanta Memorial Day 5K Classic
Where: Woodruff Park
When: May 27, check-in at 7 a.m., race at 8 a.m.
Cost: $35 for 5K, $15 for kid dashes
Details: With the start and finish line on Edgewood Drive, runners set the pace as they commemorate the fallen soldiers who lost their lives in battle. The Soldiers Final Mile is a race tradition encouraging runners to remember these men and women during the last mile of the race.


Kiss 104.1 Flashback Series
Where: Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre
When: May 25 and 26
Cost: $41-$86
Details: For this two part Memorial Day weekend music festival in Mableton, concertgoers are in for a night of throwback jams from artists including Zapp, The S.O.S Band, and Morris Day and The Time with special guest Sheila E. Starting at 3 p.m. Bring your coolers and electric grills for a tailgate before the live music begins.

Atlanta Jazz Festival
Where: Piedmont Park
When: May 25 and 26
Cost: Free
Details: Lizz Wright, Kandace Springs, and Lady Antebellum’s Jason “Slim” Gambill are three of the dozens that will lead the city’s soulful weekend in the park. The festival’s new Vegan and Vodka Lounge will offer health food options provided by Slutty Vegan and Local Green Atlanta. Saturday night, this year’s Late Night Jazz Jam will be at Park Tavern with performances from Lil John Roberts and The Senators.

Atlanta Caribbean Carnival
Where: Central Park and Murphy Park Fairground
When: May 24-27
Cost: $22-$44
Details: J’ouvert will kick off the weekend at Murphy Park Fairgrounds with a parade the following Saturday morning. Expect festivities celebrating Caribbean culture with soca and reggae music, food, and dancing through Sunday, ending with a Murphy Park breakfast on Monday.

Memorial Day Weekend events: Decatur Arts Festival
Decatur Arts Festival

Photograph courtesy of Decatur Arts Festival


Decatur Arts Festival
Where: Downtown Decatur
When: May 24-26
Cost: Free
Details: With multiple events including the festival’s Artwalk, Decatur LOL comedy shows, and storytelling series Unity in the Community, downtown Decatur will be a family-friendly destination with live music, dance, and a market featuring work from more than 150 artists. Don’t miss the Kids Art Festival or book sale in support of Decatur Library.

Finster Fest
Where: Paradise Garden in Summerville
When: May 25-26
Cost: $5, children under 12 free
Details: Celebrating the late Howard Finster, over 65 musicians and artists will display their works. In addition to food and live music, there will be an art exhibit featuring Mary Pousner, a discussion with artist Peter Loose, and book signing with author and journalist Jim Auchmutey. Pups with a leash are welcome.

Alpharetta Arts Streetfest
Where: Village Green in downtown Alpharetta
When: May 25-27
Cost: Free
Details: Rain or shine, the three-day event will display work from over 90 artists across the nation along with kid-friendly activities and food from local restaurants.

Memorial Day Weekend events: Roswell Remembers
Roswell Remembers

Photograph courtesy of Visit Roswell


Salute to the Troops
Where: Stone Mountain Park
When: May 24-27
Cost: $20 online, $33 for kids, $38 for adults (discounted prices for military personnel)
Details: The OTP four-day event honors the U.S. Armed Forces with the Georgia’s Remembering Our Fallen Memorial exhibit, along with the annual fireworks and Lasershow every night starting at 9:30 p.m

Roswell Remembers
Where: Roswell City Hall
When: May 27, 11 a.m.
Cost: Free
Details: The ceremony will pay respect to fallen soldiers, prisoners of war, and those missing in action with a presentation of colors, a speech from Colonel Patricia S. Blassie, and a 21-gun salute. A picnic and barbecue ($7) with live music will follow the program.

Memorial Day Weekend events: Brew at the Zoo
Brew at the Zoo

Photograph courtesy of Zoo Atlanta


77th Yaarab Shrine Circus and Fair
Where: Jim R. Miller Park
When: Until May 27
Cost: $7-$25
Details: The “world’s largest shrine circus” takes over Marietta’s Jim R. Miller Park with more than 40 carnival rides, 26 circus performances, magic tricks, along with tasty food and treats to enjoy the festivities. New this year is Johnny Rockett’s Cycle Circus Live, a FMX freestyle entertainment show where performers and athletes wow the crowd with BMX bikes, snowmobiles, and the ball of steel. Stick around Saturday evening and watch the night sky light up during the fireworks show. Veterans receive free admission on Memorial Day.

Where: Georgia World Congress Center
When: May 23-26
Cost: $77
Details: The once humble anime convention morphed into a massive celebration of more than 30,000 sharing their love for anime, comics, and gaming. Attendees can sit in on panels, watch screenings, and game, of course. Don’t miss after-hours cosplay MomoCon Night ($31) at the Georgia Aquarium on Friday, with special access to the Ocean Ballroom for attendees 21 and older.

Brew at The Zoo
Where: Zoo Atlanta
When: May 25, 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Cost: $65, VIP $135
Details: This adults-only event features, live music, more 70 selections of cold brews and wine, and of course, access to the Zoo’s animal attractions. Proceeds from ticket sales will protect animals and their habitats, locally and at large.

Georgia Renaissance Festival
Where: 905 Virlyn B. Smith Road in Fairburn
When: Through June 2
Cost: $24 for adults, $12 for children, free for kids 5 and younger
Details: Back for its 34th year, the 16th-century British festival has several new additions, including a pub crawl ($35), fairy tea party ($15), and African dances performed by Giwayen Mata. The grounds will be open on Monday (in addition to the usual Saturday and Sunday) especially for the holiday, and Military personnel receive free admission this weekend along with discounted tickets ($8) for up to four family members. In partnership with LifeSouth Community Blood Bank, civilians have the opportunity to donate at LifeSouth’s bloodmobile in exchange for free admission to enter the village.