Friday, April 17th to Sunday, April 19th at

Location: Centennial Olympic Park

FOR MORE INFORMATION http://www.sweetwater420fest.com/

By Liz and John Attaway

There is nothing more beautiful than the Atlanta Skyline at night with the lights a-glow, while the skywheel floats gracefully clock-wise changing from green to red to blue. What makes it even more wondrous is the unending sea of people covering a large amounts of muddied earth. They all sway in time to the beat, while the rhythmic lights from the stage cast shadows onto that sea of moving people. Just imagine this moment with the skyline in the background, and you stand watching Primus from the side of the stage taking it all in. Epic.

All the grounds were muddied from the Friday night rain, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the 420 festival goers. They seemed more excited and eager than ever before. While we were there, we didn’t even need a rain coat. Well, almost didn’t, and that was a miracle. Experience wise, our favorite was that we got to go through the VIP Big Fish area and Honey Hole and they were both worth every minute. We would highly recommend them to anyone who attends next year! They had everything from discounted food and beer to relaxation tents and a special VIP area to watch the show. On top of that, they had a back-stage platform, where VIP could watch any show from basically the front row. And even better was the VIP walk-way between the Big Fish area and the VIP watching area. You got to walk through the crowd and watch the front row enjoy the music. We got a lot of high fives. It made you feel like a celebrity!  <CELEBRITY ALERT> OR you can actually stand next to a celebrity, like Josh Hutcherson (Peeta in The Hunger Games)! Yes, that happened but we didn’t want to bother him. <CELEBRITY ALERT>

Now for the music. Cage The Elephant was hands down the best show of the weekend with lead singer Matt Shultz’s energy, and the well-known songs like “Shake Me Down.”  Matt couldn’t help contain his excitement to be performing by jumping multiple times on the guitarist Brad Shultz’s back. We’ve seen them before so I wasn’t surprised with how good they were and how much the crowd enjoyed the show. That being said, I wasn’t surprised when Matt jumped into the crowd and sang as he crowd surfed. The crowd went wild.

The Sunday headliner, 311 was that band from late high school and early college that was new, exciting, and different. They remind me of being young and innocent with my whole life ahead of me. They remind me of the people from my past, the old friendships, relationships, and going away to college. Needless to say that, they are a bit nostalgic to me. I don’t think I’ve seen them since 1998 Rock Fest that was held at the Atlanta Horse Park. It was a line-up of late 90’s bands that included Silverchair, The Offspring, and Live. A lot of time has passed since then, but what struck me about 311, was even though they have aged their music is still as fun as I remember. They started the set out with “Beautiful Disaster” and they played a lot of their greatest hits especially my favorite “Down.”  With every song, the crowd erupted with excitement and they seemed to love it and so did we. It was a trip down memory lane.

And like every festival, it must come to an end. With that, Sweetwater 420 Festival winded down and the crowd parted out of the green, iron gates of Centennial Olympic Park. All is quiet there, the stage and grounds are empty. The moon peers through the clouds and looks down on it knowing what a great weekend it was in Atlanta. It knows that all who attended will remember Sweetwater 420 in 2015 fondly and thinking, “until next year.”

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hogs and hops atlanta


Saturday, April 11th at 1pm

Location: Masquerade Music Park

Can a corn dog change your life? Yes. Yes it can.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://www.hogsandhopsatlanta.com/

By Liz and John Attaway

The billowing BBQ smoke twisted its way into the clear, spring air, while meat, veggies, and even doughnuts were welcoming their finishing touches before the masses descended upon them. This year’s Hogs and Hops 2015 was a mecca of BBQ taste testing with everything from pork sausage, corn dogs, pulled pork, Hawaiian park tacos, bacon, collard, mac and cheese, wings, and even corn, donuts, and popsicles.  Beyond the cuisine, there was beer to pair and entertainment to watch. So we sipped along, chowed down, and enjoyed every savory bite.  There were so many good things to taste, we should have brought our elastic waist pants.

Let’s dive right in to the meat and potatoes of this festival: the BBQ! Of all the offerings at Hogs and Hops, Smoke Ring’s pulled pork was the of the pork BBQ category. It was slightly smoky, tender on the inside, yet a delightful crisp on the outside. It was so tender and flavorful that we had seconds. I’d have to say, my favorite overall tasting was the Pallookaville Corn Dogs. More carnie food than BBQ, it was a flavorful, salty, pork hotdog enveloped in a perfectly fried cheese batter that had a sweet, fluffy inside and crisp, fried outside. It was salty, sweet and glorious. Bravo, Pallookaville! Can a corn dog change your life? Yes. Yes it can. Now I get why your lines are epically long at festivals. Let’s not forget DBA Barbeque that brought a smorgasbord of goodies that included their deliciously delightful smoked turkey, as well as their crisp bacon. Starting with the smoked turkey, which was the best pork alternative being tender and juicy. They also were the only participant that brought bacon. That’s a win in our books.  John had about 10 helpings. I think those were probably his favorite.

Beyond the traditional BBQ offerings was Sweet Auburn’s pork taco filled with pork, sauce, and slaw. I have to say the sweet, Asian inspired slaw was the perfect topping, even go as far to say the best part of this taco. We enjoyed it! In the veggie category two stood out: Hottie Hawgs corn and Pallookaville’s Collards. The corn was the right amount of sweet and smoky, topped with butter and seasoning salt, of course, hold the butter for me. I snuck a piece of DBA’s bacon around a piece of my corn. I must say what a mashup that was! Healthy BBQ option? I think so! Then, the collards at Pallookaville were crunchy, balanced with vinegar and slight ham flavor. I’ll take a big fat bowl any day.

Deserts were scarce but they did have several King of Pops flavors and The Naked Donut Co. We love the Naked Donut Co and their donuts remind me of benefits. Little flavor pillows fried and topped with whatever you want from deulce de leche, candied bacon, cinnamon, brown sugar, to maple glaze. Too bad they were out of the candied bacon, but who could blame them they had the longest line at the festival. I bet it was divine. Picture it with me now.

One tidbit about the beer before we bring Hogs and Hops 2015 to a close: did you know Porters go well with smoked BBQ? You learn something new every day! It’s the right amount of malt that mixes with the meat’s smoke that really does it! My favorite of the porters was Jekyll’s Smoked Porter. It paired the best with the pulled pork from Smoke Ring. Reformation also had a very good stout called Stark with a good balance of malt and hops. I also discovered was Eagle Creek Puffs Magic Stout. I like Irish Stouts so-so and will drink one in a pinch but this one had more body and flavor, not as “nitro” or bland as most Irish Stouts I encounter. I also like that it wasn’t as dry.

With too much food in our bellies and some beer on our minds, I left with only one on my mind: stuffed. Can we do it again this weekend? If you find you missed out on this one and you’d like to come out to one of Atlanta Beer Festival’s other events there are many coming up including Kennesaw Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, May 2nd and then Summer Beer Festival back at The Masquerade, Saturday, June 20th. Cheers!

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79th Annual Dogwood Festival (Piedmont Park)

Date: Friday, April 10th to Sunday, April 12th
Varies by day

About: The quintessential Atlanta spring festival that defines all other festivals. The festival all other festivals look up to and hope to be. Chocked full of artwork, food, music, a beer & BBQ event, and those cut puppies doing tricks, this festival has something for you, your friends, your family, even your children (gasp!). If you go to one festival this year, this is it. Get going. Piedmont Park is in full bloom. This is free to attend and pays back in spades in people watching, fried vittles, and beautiful weather. Other events, like the Beer & BBQ event do have a charge. See website for more details.
Website/link for more information:


Saturday, April 25th at 1pm

Location: Masquerade Music Park

All Hogs Go To Heaven



By Liz and John Attaway

All Hogs go to heaven. How do I know that? Bacon. Those fried nuggets of pork goodness that only can be described as heaven.  This year, Baconfest was celebrated on an unusually cold yet gloriously beautiful day at the end of March. Bacon was sorely needed to take the edge off of the chilly day. The festival delivered with fun filled, light hearted games, several types of music including a full band all dolled up in bacon gear, a silent auction with tons of swag, and of course bacon. You had me at bacon, right?

Of the fun filled games, the first stop was the Hobo Wine Tasting. Night Train, Cisco, Wild Irish Rose. Three words and wines I never thought I would try or be in the same sentence for that matter. According to the wine tasting sommelier, the Night Train wine was a good year when the light was on in the picture on the bottle, a bad year when off. I laughed a little and said, “It was a good year.” That was the best of the three awful wines tasted and that’s saying a lot. There was also Cisco that was a spring varietal that we only gets produced with the right grapes for spring. So wrong. It tasted like cough syrup. The girl next to me literally spit it out. Wild Irish Rose was the worst of the bunch, which they told me was named after Richardson’s son that he didn’t like very much, hence the name “Wild Irish Rose”. It was a whole bunch of fun to hear kooky stories about some nasty wine I’ll never have again. Cheers!

The other shenanigans included a very popular flip cup tournament that was never dull on hilarity and flipping cups. They also had the Baconatrix again this year. Heard at Baconfest alert! We were walking by and a wise young lady said about the Baconatrix, “its 50 shades of Bacon.” Seriously? Sigh. There was also Terrible Caricatures that were really, really bad. I don’t even draw that bad.  One of the gentlemen got is picture and laughed for about 5 minutes before pitching it in the trash. The GA Renaissance Festival had a small tent but enthralled the crowd with the stock. People would pose in the stock with a sign beneath them that either said sober, drunk, or moron. Which would you choose? Further down, there was Human Foosball were they tether you to a bouncy house and you play actual life-size foosball.  It was pretty interesting. I wonder what the liability on that is with drunk people and physical sports. Hm. Beyond that, there was Dr. Boobies who guessed anyone’s cup size. Do you know how many men were showing their man boobs? Next to that pepole were getting their faces painted with anything from bacon to penises. That’s a wide variety of painting to master if you think about it. So many fun things, so little time. We conquered them all except Shut the Box, which looked REALLY fun. It was really interesting to watch. I never saw anyone win. Did you?

This year, Baconfest, introduced the first annual Bacon Smackdown. The participants were Barcelona, Corner Tavern, Bone Lick, Folk Art, and West Egg. The lines were pretty long so I only got to try Barcelona’s pork belly and Corner Tavern’s Bacon Chorizo Chili. The pork belly was delicious with cherry glaze, the right amount of sweet with the salt of the pork. It was tender and hit the spot early in the day. As for the chili from Corner Tavern, it had bacon jerky pieces in a spicy, chili sauce. I’ve never had bacon jerky in chili before. Yum. They were both very, very good but I’d have to go with the Pork Belly as the winner of the two. It was the salty sweet contrast that did it for me. The masses disagreed as they named Corner Tavern the winner of the Smackdown. Congrats! One thing of note for Corner Tavern: the Little Five Points location is back open! They had a grand re-opening on Monday, March 30th! Welcome, back!

And with that, Baconfest 2015 comes to a close with bacon in our hearts and a lingering bacon smell in our hair and on our clothes. Until next year…

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Friday, April 17th to Saturday, April 18th at 7:45pm and 10:15pm

Location: The Improv Atlanta


Kumail Nanjiani

A clever standup comedian with a unique cultural perspective, Kumail Nanjiani was born in Karachi, Pakistan but moved to Iowa to attend college. He had never even seen a standup comic before a fellow Grinnell College student showed him Jerry Seinfeld’s HBO special I’m Telling You for the Last Time. He was instantly hooked, but he didn’t try his hand at performing until he graduated and moved to Chicago. Nanjiani attended Second City writing classes and performed at open-mike nights around town, and then in 2007, he introduced his one-man show, Unpronounceable. In 2008, he brought the show to Los Angeles and New York City, landed a job as writer on the Comedy Central television show Michael and Michael Have Issues, and began making regular appearances on the network’s The Colbert Report. In 2010 he starred in the film Life as We Know It and in 2011 he joined Ali Baker and introduced the video game/comedy podcast The Indoor Kids. In 2013 he hosted his Comedy Central special, Beta Male, which was also released as his debut album that same year.

Thomas Middleditch

Thomas Middleditch can currently be seen as Richard Hendrix, the central character in Mike Judge’s (recently Emmy nominated) series on HBO, SILICON VALLEY. Thomas will soon be seen in the feature films, THE FINAL GIRLS, and THE BRONZE opposite Melissa Rauch from “The Big Bang Theory”. Thomas has also been featured on THE OFFICE, playing the role of Dwight Schrute’s brother, and he was “Fuzzy” in the Paramount Pictures feature, FUN SIZE.  Other film work includes: WOLF OF WALL STREET, BRASS TEAPOT, THE KINGS OF SUMMER, THE OTHER GUYS, BEING FLYNN, and SPLINTERHEADS.  Thomas is a regular performer at UCB, he is a member of THE IMPROVISED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY and creates and performs comedy shorts with College Humor.

The Improv Atlanta is located at:

56 E Andrews Dr NW
Atlanta, GA 30305

More information on upcoming shows:




Thursday, April 18th to Sunday, June 7th at 10:30am to 6pm Each Day

Location: Fairburn, Ga

Themed Weekends Announced for the 30th Anniversary Season!

FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.garenfest.com

March 4, 2015 – Atlanta, Georgia

There’s a Whole Lotta Fun…And a Little Bit of History at the 30th Annual Georgia Renaissance Festival running over 8 spectacular weekends from April 18 through June 7. Each weekend features something uniquely special to enhance the enjoyment of all who enter the gates of this 32-acre English Village and step back in time to the 16th Century.
Opening Weekend April 18 & 19 – BUY ONE-GET ONE FREE: We’re kicking off our 8-Weekend Anniversary Party with a Buy One Adult Ticket – Get One FREE special. These BOGO tickets can be purchased online, at Walgreens or at the Festival Gate. Who doesn’t want to celebrate for ½ the price of a regular admission?!
Roman Weekend April 25 & 26 – Roman Toga Party & Pet Friendly Weekend: It’ll be the biggest Toga Costume Party of the 16th Century! Costumes are optional, but there will be a costume contest and a daily parade. But wait…There’s more…It’s also Pet Friendly Weekend. This is the one weekend each year that patrons can bring their pets on a leash to enjoy the Festival. (Some restrictions apply – see website at www.garenfest.com for complete details.) There will be a pet costume contest, pet adoptions and of course…don’t forget the parade!
You can’t have Roman Weekend without Roman Horseback Riding! The Georgia Renaissance Festival welcomes its newest addition to the cast, Equus Maximus, the most exciting equine acrobatic production ever to appear at any outdoor Renaissance Festival. Equus Maximus will be making its only US appearance in 2015 every weekend of the 30th Annual Georgia Renaissance Festival. These brave Knights unleash the thundering fury of the 12 amazing horses in their stable for death defying jousting tournaments, chariot races and Roman riding. You don’t want to miss this!

Kids FREE Weekend May 2 & 3: This weekend is an annual favorite for families. Each child ages 6-12 gets in FREE with the purchase of an accompanying adult ticket at the Gate. (Savings of $10 per Child!) Children under 5 are always FREE! Also included this weekend will be special events and activities just for kids including a kids-only costume contest, games and human-powered thrill rides, and Dream Hayven Farm’s introduction of Kira the Unicorn and all of her animal friends in the interactive animal discovery garden! A must-see for all ages.
Highland Fling Weekend – May 9 & 10: Come out and enjoy all of our guest bagpipers and Irish dancers performing this weekend as we celebrate our Celtic heritage. Bring your clan and enjoy traditional foods and ales. There’s even a Haggis Eating Contest! Special guests this weekend include the Drake Irish Dancers and the Atholl Highlander Pipe and Drum Band! The Atholl Highlanders have performed at the Georgia Renaissance Festival every year since it opened in 1986! The Royal Cupcake Wars returns on Sunday when the elite panel of judges will taste all of the delicious cupcake entries and select the one supreme winner. Sunday is Mother’s Day and we will honor the first 100 Moms through the Gate with a flower.
Time Warp Weekend – May 16 & 17: This is by far THE BEST people-watching weekend of the 8-week season. This weekend is a cosmic reunion when History meets Fantasy and Super Heroes meet Royalty. CosPlay and Sci-Fi Super Heroes suit up and strut their stuff for the cameras as this 16th Century English Village of Newcastle becomes one big Photo Op for the weekend. Don’t be surprised if you see Storm Troopers posing for photos with The Queen! This Costume Party on steroids is open to all with daily costume contests – one for kids and one for adults. Keep an eye on the website at www.garenfest.com for coming announcements of special guest appearances at Time Warp Weekend.
Memorial Weekend – May 23, 24 & 25: 3 Days To Play! Triple your family’s pleasure on this holiday weekend. We’re open for 3 full days of FUN! Lose yourself in the adventure and merriment at this unofficial kick-off to summer weekend. Saturday is Deaf Awareness Day – Look for special interpreters signing at select stages on Saturday.
Pirate Invasion Weekend – May 30 & 31: Drop anchor this weekend as Pirates take over the Village. It will be a sight to see and the public is invited to come to people-watch or come dressed like a pirate and join in on this seafaring adventure. There will be Pirate Costume Contests for Men, Women and Kids, a Walk The Plank Trivia Contest and a Sea Legs Relay Race. ARRRGGGGG!
The Last Hazzah! – June 6 & 7: It’s the final weekend as the 30th Anniversary celebration draws to a close. It’s your last chance to enjoy a 1-1/2 pound roasted turkey legge, Steak-On-A-Stake or Chicken Fried Bacon. It’s also your last chance to take home unique, one-of-a-kind gift items, hand-crafted by over 130 talented artisans in the Village Marketplace. See your favorite performers and the Jousting Knights one more time before the Villages slips back into History…until next year.

– 30th Annual Georgia Renaissance Festival (Opened in 1986)
– An Interactive arts and entertainment festival combining outdoor theatre, circus-style entertainment with an arts & crafts marketplace and jolly olde English pubs set in a 32-acre recreation of a 16th Century English Village
– April 18 – June 7, 2015 (8 Weekends)
– Saturdays, Sundays and Memorial Day
– 10:30am – 6:00pm
– Open Rain or Shine
– Located just south of Atlanta’s Airport at I-85, Exit #61 (Peachtree City/Fairburn)
– 200,000+ Annual Attendance
– Voted Top 20 Event in 2014 by Southeastern Tourism Society
– 10 Stages with Continuous Entertainment
– 150 Shows Daily: Comedy, Music, Circus-Style Shows and Jousting Knights
– 130+ Master Artisan Crafters in the Village Marketplace
– Renaissance Games of Skill: Axe Throwing and Target Shooting with Bow & Arrow
– Human-Powered Thrill Rides for Kids of all Ages
– Animal Exhibits and Demonstrations: Birds of Prey, Reptiles, Unicorn and more…
– General Admission at The Gate: Adult $22 / Child Ages 6-12 $10 / Senior 60+ $20
– Children Under 5 are always FREE
– Discount Tickets Online at GArenfest.com: Adult $19 / Child $8 / Senior $18




Sunday, April 26th and Every Sunday through Sunday, June 28th at 7pm

Location: Park Tavern

The series kicks off on April 26 at 7 p.m. with California rock band Bad Suns

A new, weekly alternative music series is coming to Piedmont Park this spring and summer.  Radio 105.7 and Park Tavern have joined forces to bring Atlantans and visitors alike an incredible lineup of live music from some of today’s most buzz-worthy artists every Sunday for FREE.

The series kicks off on April 26 at 7 p.m. with California rock band Bad Suns – known for their stadium ready anthems and undeniably catchy hooks; Atlanta-based indie-alt band The Electric Sons; and the award-winning indie band Kiev.
While the full lineup will be announced in the coming weeks, additional confirmed artists booked for Sunset Sessions by the talented team at The Bowery Presents South include:

Mother Falcon (5/3)

Boogie (5/10)

Those Darlins (5/17)

Kebbi Williams & The Wolfpack (5/27)

Ivan & Alyosha (5/31)

Pigpen Theatre Company (6/7)

The Whigs (6/21)

Caroline Rose (6/28); and Little Tybee (6/28)

Hogs and Hops (Masquerade)

Date: Saturday, April 11th
1pm to 5pm
Last year, it was all about the smoked butts and the Brussels sprouts, what will this year bring? It’s time again for Hogs and Hops: tons of tasty pork products to nosh on and the perfect beer to pair it with.

Here is a little snip it of last year’s festival to coax you into attending. If this doesn’t do it, nothing will. You know you want to! “At Hogs and Hops beer was flowing, the barbeque was smoked, the stew was stewing, the collards were steeping, all that being said are you hungry yet?  I drew up my elastic waist pants, gathered wet wipes, and dug in.” Tickets are $45 in advanced and $55 at the door for general admission (beer and 4 food tickets), and VIP are $75 in advance and $85 the day of the event (unlimited everything, 1 hour early entry).

Website/link for more information: