19 Atlanta festivals to enjoy in August

Have a blast kicking off the end of summer with a pub crawl, indie films, even a new tattoo
PWP Studio 2009/Courtesy Georgia Aquairum
PWP Studio 2009/Courtesy Georgia Aquairum

Sporty spots
Atlanta Open
Sure, the Atlanta Open tennis tournament is an annual event at Atlantic Station, but this year is special, thanks to the 20th anniversary of the Atlanta Summer Olympics. To celebrate, the Open will host an exhibit match between tennis great and bad boy John McEnroe and Sergi Bruguera.

Cool Dads Rock Soap Box Derby Festival
Anyone, even kids as young as four, can help build a derby car and even participate in the 4th annual race. There will be food trucks and live music in addition for spectators.

Rugged Maniac 5K Obstacle Race
This is a mud run is also a pie-eating contest, a water slide, and a beach volleyball game. You’ll be exhausted by the end of the day, but taking a ride on a mechanical bull after you run sure beats just jogging alone.

Adult alternatives
Pub Crawl on the BeltLine
For four hours, explore the Atlanta BeltLine while making pub pit stops along the way. $30 will get you a ticket and four complimentary beverages—that’s one drink per hour—at participating bars like Park Tavern and the Luminary.

Sips Under the Sea
This Georgia Aquarium event for adults is back with the usual (live music, cocktails, tapas), but it’s also bringing in some youthful activities: Jenga, chess, and other classic games from childhood.

German Bierfest
More than 40 German beers will be featured at this event, from the more popular Beck’s and St. Paul Girl to lesser known names like Erdlinger and Spaten.

Atlanta Wine Party
Taste over 50 different wines, enjoy small plate options, and dance along to the DJ at Opera. When the wine is cut off, don’t fret—the venue will turn into a cash bar at 9:45 p.m., so you can continue to drink and dance the night away.

Cool to be cultured
Flashback Festival
Parliament Funkadelic and A Taste of Honey take it back to the 1970s at Aaron’s Amphitheatre, when soul and funk were king. Don’t forget to grab those old bell-bottoms from the back of your closet—you’ll need them for this lineup.

Piedmont Park Arts Festival
Featuring 250 artists (painters, photographers, jewelry designers, and more), the event will also have food, live acoustic music, and a children’s play area.

Atlanta Underground Film Festival
This film festival prides itself on going against the mainstream in the work they showcase—from drama features to foreign shorts to music videos—as well as making the environment of the festival feel like a party.

Atlanta LGBT Film and Music Festival
This festival’s opening night kicks off with panel discussions and mixers, followed by a day of independent film watching and a day of musical acts like Hunter Valentine and MikeQ. And it’s all in the name of love.

BronzeLens Film Festival of Atlanta
With a focus on minorities in the Atlanta film industry, this festival serves to promote shorts, documentaries, and features that have minorities working within the cast and crew. There will also be panel discussions and luncheons throughout the week.

Family & foodie fun
Old Soldiers Day Parade
Alpharetta celebrates veterans in a day jam-packed with events, from an 8K race, to live music and Varsity hotdogs, to a parade hosted by American Legion Post 201.

Water Day
Beat that Georgia heat with a family day at the Chattahoochee Nature Center filled with water games, sprinklers, and water crafts that will help you forget about the 90-but feels-like-110-degree weather.

Atlanta Bar-B-Q Festival
If trying bites from 10 barbecue restaurants isn’t enough, there will be a cook-off with over 30 teams competing. Warning: This could get saucy.

Decatur BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival
This festival is about as Southern as they come, from the smoky barbecue to the live Southern-rooted music. There will also be plenty of beer at this seven-hour family-friendly party.

Miss Mary’s Ice Cream Crankin’
There will be 100 flavors of homemade ice cream. Need we say more?

The niche nook
Atlanta Tattoo Expo
An art festival in its own right, this expo brings together artists and proud tattoo bearers. For those looking to be inked, this event gives you the opportunity to get tattooed by the best artists in the area. For tattoo artists looking to meet and learn from other artists, there are seminars for that.

Atlanta Trumpet Festival
This is like a rock band jam session, but with trumpets. Metro Atlanta trumpet players of three ensemble levels (middle school, high school, and adult) get together at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, where they’ll play and prepare for a concert performance on the last day. No auditions required.