GEORGIA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL -- TO JUNE 3
The highest royalty essentially serves as court jester at the Georgia Renaissance Festival, which started up last month, and where every employee from the king to the turkey-leg peddler is there to entertain. The authentic time-traveling experience begins at the gate, after which point "Lord" and "Lady" replace "hey you" as the standard greeting, and shopping, eating and jousting tournaments make everyone feel like a king. 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. 770-964-8575. www.georgiarenaissancefestival.com.
DECATUR ARTS FESTIVAL -- MAY 25-27
Don't let the Artists Market and Art Walk, both of which thread through the downtown square and nearby downtown locations, fool you one bit. The Decatur Arts Festival celebrates just about every medium of the arts (and for singles and every member of the family) to help kick off the summer season over Memorial Day weekend. The Children's Festival features performers and interactive options; the Literary Arts component offers a range of noted authors, spoken-word performances, poetry and storytellers; the New Dance Festival offers dance performances from Louise Runyon, Jahara Phoenix Dance Company and much more; and the Performing Arts Stage hosts music acts Delta Moon, Doria Roberts, KUKU and more. Free. Downtown Decatur. www.decaturartsalliance.org.
DECATUR BEACH PARTY -- JUNE 15
With the closest beach being about a 250-mile drive, Decatur figured the best way to shorten the distance was to dump 60 tons of sand into its downtown square and provide its own little island inside the Perimeter for the Decatur Beach Party. With the MARTA Plaza finally completed, there will be an expanded boardwalk area for children. Live music from Route 66 and headliner Cherry Lee & the GT's fills the summertime air. Tickets are available online this year for the first time at Xorbia.com. $5 advance, $10 at the gate. 5 p.m.-midnight. Downtown Decatur. www.decaturga.com.
FOLK FEST 2007 -- AUG. 17-19
Ninety galleries and dealers converge on Atlanta for what is billed as the world's largest folk-art show and sale. No corner of the city will be safe from the folk artists, also known as outsider or self-taught artists for their less-formally trained approach to art. Everything and everyone in Atlanta may be captured in thoughtful, unconventional, artistic representations. Some of the region's more prominent artists should be in attendance, including Woodie Long, Sarah Rakes, Bernice Sims, Purvis Young and Charlie Lucas. Times and prices vary. North Atlanta Trade Center, 1700 Jeurgens Court, Norcross. 770-279-9899. www.slotinfolkart.com.
FESTIVAL PEACHTREE LATINO -- AUG. 27
Entering its eighth year, Festival Peachtree Latino has become the premier event for Atlanta's Hispanic and Latino community. The festival, which draws more than 50,000 participants throughout the Southeast, starts with the parade down West Peachtree Street, then over to Peachtree Street and onto Wall Street with mariachis, dancers, flotas and marching bands, along with dignitaries from the Latino community. The Underground Atlanta portion features live music, food, and arts and crafts. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Underground Atlanta. www.festivalpeachtreelatino.com.