5 things to know about the Virginia-Highland Summerfest


When a neighborhood festival has taken place for 34 years, you might assume you know all there is to know about it. 

But then again, you might be wrong.

Whether this is your first time going to the Virginia-Highland Summerfest or you’re a loyal attendee, here are five things to keep in your back pocket as this year’s festival approaches.  

1. Logistics are important. 

The free event will take place June 3 from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (the artist market closes at 6:30 p.m. that day) and June 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Kidsfest, an area with child-friendly activities, is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The rain-or-shine festival is located on Virginia Avenue between North Highland Avenue and Park Drive. Taking public transportation is encouraged, and a bike valet will be available. You can park in the Grace Lutheran Church for $10 on Saturday and after 1 p.m. Sunday, or you can try your hand with other lots or street parking. One more thing: pets aren’t allowed, except for certified service dogs.

2. Residents get extra love.

On the evening before the festival, three events will be held especially for Virginia-Highland residents: a parade, picnic dinner and outdoor movie. The costume parade starts promptly at 7 p.m. and will be “Star Wars”-themed. Check in 30 minutes prior at Ace Intown Hardward (with a photo ID and suggested $5 donation), and you’ll be given dinner tickets. Register in advance here. Afterwards, cook-out fare will be provided by Atkin’s Park; the movie shown will be “Rogue One.”  

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3. The Summerfest 5K is a AJC Peachtree Road Race qualifier. 

The race starts at 8 a.m. It costs $30, with 100 percent of the profit going back into the neighborhood. Plus, you get a free T-shirt. And if the little ones (seven and under) want to run: a Tot Trot will be held, after the 5K race concludes, in John Howell Park about 9:15 a.m. It’s $10 per child, and again, T-shirt included.

4. Music is a big part of it.

The festival features near non-stop music with more than 20 acts playing across three stages. The two acoustic stages — called Park Drive and North Highland — will feature some local singers such as Kim Bates and Jesse Mariah. The main stage, located in John Howell Park, will see Nashville-based The New Respects headline on Saturday. 

5. Men can get their facial hair trimmed — for free.

As part of a 10-city facial hair trimming tour from Wahl Grooming, a 30-foot mobile barbershop will be parked at Virginia Avenue and Barnett Street from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Master barbers will offer free facial hair trims, while looking for someone to represent the city as the “Wahl Man of Atlanta.” The chosen man will win $500 and compete for the ultimate title of “Wahl Man of the Year.” 

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VIDEO: The owner of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit shop in Virginia-Highland showcases three baked goods recipes.


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