Are You Ready for Some Football?

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Are You Ready for Some Football?

We are only a few days into the 2015 NFL Season and the city of Atlanta has already begun talking and preparing itself for this season and discussing which players will hopefully bring them closer to a playoff spot. But how prepared are you for this upcoming season? Are your fantasy teams looking strong? Have you picked your favorite spot in the city to #RiseUp when Roddy White makes that critical catch in the Red Zone? 

 
There is a lot of ground to cover for this season’s NFL kickoff and there may be some last minute changes that need to be made. So before you start planning that amazing tailgate or rounding up your friends to head to the local sports bar, allow TRACE at W Atlanta – Midtown to drop a little knowledge that we guarantee will help you make the most of this year’s NFL season.  

Set Your Schedule
Whether it’s home or away games, the Atlanta Falcons will find themselves facing a wide array of opponents this year. So be sure to finalize your own schedule and tie any loose ends that could cause you to miss out on the action this season. 
For those of you that scored big in your fantasy draft this year, ensure your online domination by researching and choosing the perfect lineup for week one in your league. For the chefs and the project coordinators, are you the one typically hosting the Sunday events out of your friends? Hop online and find a new way to spice up crowd-pleasing dishes that people can’t get enough of. 

 
Pinterest is overflowing with new and inventive ways to make the most out of your game-day meals and decor. So whether you’re the reigning champ of delectable goods or looking to steal the crown, make this season the time to try something new and original or put an updated spin on an old favorite.  

Utilize Your Home Field Advantage
As previous NFL Seasons have proven, home field advantage can make all the difference when it’s time to get down to business. So what better way to enjoy the 2015 NFL Season than to map out your favorite places in the city to enjoy the games? 

Whether you’re born and raised in Atlanta or recently relocated, the city boasts a slew of different places for visitors to catch the Falcons each week. Located throughout the city are restaurants, sports bars and lounges waiting to serve some of the best meals the city has to offer while you enjoy the game. Which are the best? Check out this Top 10 List from Local Expert Kelly Skinner on Winning Atlanta Sports Bars

For those of you looking for something special, be sure to stop by Park Bar near Centennial Olympic Park for the “Red Zone Punch”. Made from Crown Royal and a special fruit juice, the Red Zone Punch has been known to bring the “Dirty Bird” out of many on a Sunday afternoon. This drink is so popular it’s actually been put on tap by the establishment, so we suggest you head down to check it out. 

Stay in the Loop!

Have you missed out on an incredible opportunity because you weren’t in the loop?  Our suggestion is to head to the App Store on your smart device and begin downloading immediately! Start with your basics such as Twitter and the ESPN app. Separately, these two apps can be fun and useful but together they can turn you into an information powerhouse, constantly up-to-date with the latest sports news. From your favorite player’s weekly updates to score predictions, there is no longer a reason to wait until the pre-game show to find out exactly what’s going on with your team. 

While you’re at it, be sure to follow some of the newspapers, blogs and local brands on social media that send out information concerning your team. These places may flood your timeline with information but there’s no better way to stay ahead of the curve than to receive info on events, updates and contests. Looking for a few in Atlanta? Start with Creative Loafing, Discover Atlanta, AJC and Atlanta Sun Times. The more you follow the more will be opened up to you. So don’t be afraid to learn more about the city and what’s taking place throughout.  

Make Every Second Count This Season
How many years have you uttered the words that “this year will be different” only to find yourself (or your favorite team) repeating some of the same mistakes from previous seasons? Well this year let’s make every second count on and off the field. Whether you’re looking to cheer your team to the Super Bowl or find a new way to enjoy something you already love, let the city of Atlanta assist you in making your life just a little more amazing. There’s food, friends and a rich culture to encourage you to really push yourself to discover the city and have a great time doing it. 
 

 

 

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Agrilicious, Bringing Together Fresh Food Lovers Everywhere!

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Agrilicious, Bringing Together Fresh Food Lovers Everywhere!

There are those of us out there that simply enjoy fresh foods! Here at TRACE at the W Atlanta – Midtown we are definitely fresh food lovers. Whether it’s the first bite into a perfectly marinated grass fed burger or slicing veggies into your daily salad, fresh foods can make a world of difference. 

Unfortunately, many local food lovers have difficulty finding info on where to obtain these foods. Many find themselves online each day seeking the truth about certain foods and we’ve stumbled upon a site that should help in your venture to discover news and updates about fresh food. Agrilicious.org is more than just an online directory for local farmers, but it’s a community filled with like-minded individuals, focused on bringing vital information on fresh foods to all those who seek it.       
 
People become interested in a healthier eating style for a slew of different reasons. News reports, doctor’s orders or just becoming more aware cause many to investigate the foods they consume each day. Although fresher foods are becoming a more popular subject of conversation, where are people going to discuss these topics? The internet would be most people’s first answer and by definition they’d be correct. But more specifically, is there a site that presents the subject of agriculture and fresh food in a way that entices and educates both farmers and fresh food enthusiasts? Here’s where Agrilicious comes in. 
“Your Go-To Source for All Things Local Food” is stated boldly on the About section of Agrilicious.org and the site definitely lives up to its word. Agrilicious is a company based out of Bothell, Washington, located 20 miles northeast of Seattle. The company may be based out of Washington but Agrilicious spreads a positive message about agriculture, food knowledge and preparation that touches visitors from across the world. 

Agrilicious_Homepage.png

At first glance the Agrilicious website is easy to comprehend and fairly direct. The My Neighborhood section of the site invites visitors to Join the Movement, providing them with access to key information. Why sign up? Agrilicious gives users the ability to Search local farms, restaurants and delivery options. You can Educate yourself on the benefits of organic food and buying local. Have a delicious tip you think the world could use to improve everyday dishes? Well through Agrilicious you can Submit a Recipe to the rest of the Agrilicious Community. There’s also a Q&A as well as an Agrilicious TV section filled with both films and series to keep you in the know and entertained. 

For the business minded or “Agripreneurs” out there, you’ll enjoy the many site features that Agrilicious has to offer. The site boasts several B2B opportunities, bringing Food Hubs, Co-Ops, Supplier Consultants and Distributors under the same roof. Whether you own your own farm or restaurant and are looking for a way to connect with others in your industry or you’re a media influencer and would like to blog about the agricultural lifestyle, Agrilicious has got you covered. 

 
One amazing part about Agrilicious is the fact that they’re truly dedicated to seeing you learn more about the subjects of which you find interest. Answerville is a portion of the site that acts as the Q&A for Agrilicious. Now although we hadn’t signed up for an account we were pleasantly surprised to see visitors are granted access to this section and all others even without a membership. Certain actions are restricted such as participating in the Q&A. So although you’re free to browse through others questions you won’t be able to ask your own questions or provide feedback to those requesting information until you’ve registered with the site. 
 

With the amount of social networks and different sites that feed the internet with information, it’s amazing to see what Agrilicious has done thus far. Taking a subject such as agriculture and presenting it online in a way that today’s children and business professionals can learn and absorb and connect with others is outstanding and a big leap forward for the Farm to Table community.

We at TRACE at the W Atlanta – Midtown have outwardly spoken on what a pleasure it is to be included in the Farm to Table family especially in the city of Atlanta. Serving our customers the freshest of foods is not only warming to our hearts but provides us a certain level of satisfaction to know that we’re assisting in bridging the gap between local foods and the residents that enjoy them. We hope that you add Agrilicious to your fresh food directory and find even more information on the advancement of our agriculture system both in Atlanta as well as around the world. 

Be sure to follow Agrilicious both on Twitter @AgriliciousSPC and on Facebook.

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Atlanta Farm To Table: Fading Fad or Wave Of The Future?

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Atlanta Farm To Table: Fading Fad or Wave Of The Future?

The term Farm to Table may be one that rings a bell to you or it may be something you’re not all too familiar with. Here in the Atlanta restaurant scene, Farm to Table is a phrase that many have started getting used to. The name essentially tells us what we’re getting but it doesn’t quite define the community that keeps this tradition alive nor the power of its movement. So let’s take a closer look at exactly what Farm to Table means in the city of Atlanta and what this means for chefs, local Atlanta businesses and of course you, the customer! 


You may recall TRACE Atlanta’s January post when we interviewed 10 Atlanta Food Experts and got their two cents on what Farm to Table means to the city and what trends we could expect this year. We received amazing interviews from a number of food specialists such as Thaddeus Barton, Nick Quinones, TRACE at the W Atlanta - Midtown Executive Chef Shean Suter and many others. 

From Free Range Chicken to public recognition of organic vegetables, food experts had more than a mouthful to say about the benefits of the Farm to Table movement. But what stood out as the common topic throughout each interview is that it’s now being considered more of a necessity than a luxury. Often times a higher price tag that accompanies your meal is expected due to the overall experience of customer service, food presentation and décor of the restaurant. But in Atlanta many are beginning to argue that local is not only a trend but it is the wave of the future and it’s easy to understand why. 

 
Many believe that the farther you are from the source of something, the lower the overall quality of your experience. For the most part this tends to be true. But when it comes to the food we consume each day, this phrase is not only true but it’s almost scary to think about exactly what takes place before your food touches the table.  CreativeLoafing.com wrote an article concerning the Farm to Table movement in Atlanta and had this to say. 
It seems that a lot of chefs around town are starting to take the locally-grown idea pretty seriously. Eater reports that many big-name Atlanta restaurants are starting to create their own gardens on the restaurants' premises. From herbs, and spices to fruits and vegetables, the chefs at these restaurants are dedicated to bringing their guests the freshest ingredients.

 
That article was written back in 2013. Since then, the Farm to Table movement has taken off even farther across the United States but especially here in Atlanta. Chefs across the city are focusing on bringing the freshest of meats, dairies and vegetables to consumers all coming from farms located in Georgia. But a quick look at Georgia agricultural history and it’s no surprise why Atlanta’s food scene is pro-organic. Since the early 1700’s Georgia has been a leader in farming and feeding this great nation. Foods such as apples, corn, cabbage and of course peaches are known to be farmed locally in Georgia. As the years passed, Georgia became a leader for peanuts, pecans, beef, poultry and eggs with farm production expenses totaling more than 4 billion dollars as we crossed over into this latest millennium.  
 

So what does this mean for you, the consumer? It means that not only are you experiencing a better quality of food at many Farm to Table restaurants but that you can count on things to improve as time goes along here in Atlanta. Georgia’s Agriculture is now a 72 billion dollar industry that contributes to the constantly flowing economy here. For those of you interested in knowing more about the farming and agricultural life in Georgia we encourage you to take a look at the websites for the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Farm Bureau and the Georgia Organics website

Executive Chef Shaun Suter stated that Farm to Table was not a trend but a culture…and he’s absolutely right! This culture is one that has been adopted by those who pride themselves on delivering an outstanding product and stand behind what they serve. We at TRACE, at W Atlanta ¬– Midtown,  are not only proud to be a Farm to Table restaurant but hope to showcase to our visitors just how important how much of a difference our food can make. 

 

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Calling All Art Lovers! The 2015 Piedmont Park Arts Festival Is Upon Us

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Calling All Art Lovers! The 2015 Piedmont Park Arts Festival Is Upon Us

Here at TRACE at the W Atlanta-Midtown we enjoy bringing to light local Atlanta events that the entire   family can enjoy. Whether you are in town for the weekend or a native of Atlanta, there is almost always a reason to get off the couch and head out into the city. This week we would like to bring light to the Piedmont Park Summer Arts & Crafts Festival. 2015 marks the 6th year of the Festival and will include over 250 painters, photographers, sculptors, jewelers and art enthusiasts from Atlanta and all over the United States delivering their latest offerings to the city.  
 
Organized by the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces, the Piedmont Park Arts & Crafts Festival offers art lovers two full days to enjoy all the festivities.  Visitors will be able to enjoy live acoustic music, festival foods and great drinks throughout their time at the festival. There will also be a children’s area designed specifically for the younger kids. 
Wondering what makes the Piedmont Park Arts & Crafts Festival special?  Take a look around the city of Atlanta! At any given turn you could be face to face with one of the many pieces of street art located throughout the city. Headed home after a long day of work? Do not be surprised if you see a photographer capturing the city skyline during heavy traffic. You probably have noticed a unique piece of jewelry being worn by a friend or new acquaintance and discover it is an original piece acquired from a local distributor. 
 


Atlanta is one of the biggest hubs for art which has helped the inhabitants form a special connection to the city. Check out this quote from the Piedmont Park Arts & Crafts Festival website about the city of Atlanta and what the event means for the community.  

“The [M]idtown community of Piedmont Park is considered to be home to one of the largest and most enthusiastic art buying communities in metro Atlanta. The Piedmont Park Summer Arts and Craft festival is bringing back the tradition to Atlanta’s arts community.
We created this festival with these goals in mind: 1) Give back to the community through art; 2) Bring the tradition of the Piedmont Park Arts Festival to the midtown community; 3) Create a festival for Artists by Artists, encouraging the artist have a voice in the creation and operations of the festival; 4) Create a show unlike any other in the City of Atlanta, bringing together outstanding artists from all over the country plus many from right here in Georgia”.  – PiedmontParkArtsFestival.com

We decided to speak with a few of last year’s winners to get their perspective on their art, the Piedmont Park Arts and Crafts Festival and what being in the city of Atlanta meant to them. 
Juan Francisco Adaro | 1st Place Overall
Twitter: @adaroart | Facebook: Click Here
 


“The Piedmont Park Arts and Crafts Festival was an amazing experience last year! I’ve participated a couple times and hope to be back soon. I heard about the festival by an artist friend that told me to participate so I decided to do so based on his advice. This festival has great people and art lovers. Also the location is beautiful. I’m based out of Grayton Beach, Florida where I have my art gallery, Adaro Art.” 
Kim Lowery | 2nd Place Overall
Facebook: Click Here
 


“I am a silversmith and I consider my work to be wearable mixed media art or a sentiment. My pieces are all so very personal. I hope that not only do they adorn the wearer, that they accompany them and comfort or empower them. Each piece is a one of a kind and I hand fabricate them, every element of the piece helps convey a message or intent. Last year’s Piedmont Park Arts and Crafts Festival was a brilliant celebration. AFFPS really honored their artists, artisans and crafters. The weather and spirits of the people attending was joyous. My time in and around Atlanta was a tremendous growth period for me as far as my art, I felt the community of art lovers and those who seek out hand crafted goods helped me to believe in my work. I am so very thankful for my time there.”
Michelle McDowell Smith | 3rd Place Overall
Twitter: Michmcdsmit | Facebook: Click Here
 


“I’d describe my art as whimsical and free. I try to stay true those two words. I also aim to create work that is simultaneously universal yet unexpected. I hope those who view my work find something very familiar and comfortable but yet also new and different. I try to find and use materials in specific ways and with specific meaning. I use maps, sewing patterns, old stamps and many other materials all in very particular ways. I am trying to create something where even the minor details carry meaning and add to the work as a whole. When it comes to the Piedmont Park Arts Festival, I enjoyed being there with the variety of patrons who attended. The festival brought out so many different kinds of people. It was fun to be a part of that. I will be participating again this year. This will be my second year participating. 
I love Atlanta. I visit often but when I am there as a participating artist I find myself really enjoying the park itself. It’s green and grand with such a terrific view of the Atlanta skyline. It’s a great place to soak in the energy of the city.”    


Walter Arnold | Best of Show (Fine Art)
Twitter: @WAPhotog | Facebook: Click Here
 


“For the last six years I have been creating a fine art photographic series called ‘The Art of Abandonment’. Through this series I travel the country photographing abandoned historic places and things. And through my art, it tells the stories and histories of our nation’s modern ruins. I search for beauty in unexpected places, and through my imagery engage the views imagination and artistically bring these hauntingly beautiful places back to life. Photographically, my work is different from what most people are used to seeing at art festivals and exhibits. I spend a great deal of time getting legal access to places that are typically off limits and behind closed doors. As such, I am able to create engaging scenes in places that most people have not have the opportunity to visit and shoot. 

I love the Piedmont Arts and Crafts Festival. It is such a relaxing atmosphere and honestly I love Atlanta and its residents. The people here really understand and appreciate art in all forms and they support it as well. It's a combination that is not always found in every part of the country.  I will be participating this year! I would not miss it for anything. I'm spending the entire week prepping and making sure I have enough inventory for the show. I honestly can't wait! I love the location of this show. Piedmont Park is in a major metro area but you would never know it while you are there. It's a wonderful green-space for all to enjoy!”

As you can see, this year’s festival has churned out a warm reception from both visitors and participants. The festival will be held this Saturday & Sunday (August 15th & 16th) at Piedmont Park. Hours for Saturday are 10am to 6pm and Sunday 11am to 6pm. This is a completely outdoor event so be sure to dress for the occasion. Also, check out the Festival Map here and the official Piedmont Park Arts and Crafts Festival website for any additional information pertaining to this weekend’s events.

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5 Atlanta Oyster Bars You Need To Visit This Summer

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5 Atlanta Oyster Bars You Need To Visit This Summer

Seafood is a delicacy enjoyed by many throughout the world for its fresh taste and variety of different flavors and presentations. From coast to coast, seafood establishments far and wide pride themselves on unique styles that secure a packed house night after night. Over the years, Atlanta has created and adopted tastemakers from all over the world, each giving their own contribution that assist in the development and elevation of the city’s food scene. So as the summer heat comes down, TRACE at the W Atlanta – Midtown would like to help navigate your seafood journey. 
 Although we typically know where to find great fish, lobster and crabs, today we’re looking into amazing Oyster Bars around the city of Atlanta. Take a look as we provide a list of 5 cool and innovative locations for the finest Oysters the city has to offer. 

The Optimist
914 Howell Mill Rd

Type the words “Oyster” and “Atlanta” into almost any online search engine and one of your first results will likely be The Optimist on Howell Mill Rd. Listed as one of the top seafood restaurants in Atlanta, visitors can’t seem to get enough of the Oyster Bar located off the main dining room. Owner, Chef Ford Fry brings to this venue an upscale but modern twist that reviewers rave as a top seafood experience. 
What many seem to enjoy is the amount of variation you can get. Over 10 breeds of oysters, the amazing décor and the wood fired oven are just a few reasons The Optimist is cherished by the city of Atlanta. 

Shucks Oyster & Wine Bar 
705 Town Brookhaven

 
For those looking to get straight to business Shucks Oyster & Wine Bar has just what you need. Located in the swanky cove of Town Brookhaven, this Oyster Bar is designed in mind for those who know what they want (i.e. Oysters) and need a whole lot of it. Shucks Oyster & Wine Bar is a family-run restaurant; the third restaurant in Town Brookhaven from Here to Serve Restaurants founder Tom Catherall. 

So what makes Shucks Oyster & Wine Bar so different? One big highlight is the imported Oysters that come from France, Ireland, England, Milan and many other countries. Catherall’s travels serve as a large inspiration for his passion for seafood. During a trip to London in 2013 Catherall visited over 20 Oyster Bars and made sure to bring the same enjoyment he found overseas back to the states. Shucks has won over many Atlanta residents with its $6 half dozen Oysters Happy Hour special. Online reviews prove that although many didn’t know what to expect they are happy to stop in for a wonderful family style experience. 

Hugo’s Oyster Bar 
10360 Alpharetta St 

 
For the Oyster enthusiasts willing to travel the extra mile for an amazing experience, we’ve got the perfect place for you. Fifteen minutes north of the city, in Roswell, stands the great white building of Hugo’s Oyster Bar. Decorated with a professional but relaxed style, Hugo’s Oyster Bar is the hidden treasure you’ll be telling friends about later that week. Whether you enjoy your Oysters inside or prefer the open front patio, Hugo’s provides guests with a warm welcoming vibe to go along with their amazing menu. Aside from being a seafood powerhouse Hugo’s is known for their specialty flavors of Oysters. The restaurant even has their own signature Oyster titled the Hugo’s Oyster which includes Bacon, Jalapenos and Cheddar cheese. 

Kimball House 
303 E Howard Ave 

 
Decatur, Georgia is an area known for its rich culture and wide variety of eateries. Although many restaurants inhabit the region, when it comes to Oysters, Kimball House is likely the first to be mentioned. Kimball House is considered an Atlanta favorite but let’s break down why that may be. Is it the ever popular but constantly evolving menu? Could it be the great customer service? Or is it the half priced menu that keeps this place buzzing? Whatever it is, Kimball House has earned a name at the top of the Oyster Bar scene in Atlanta and we doubt they’ll be replaced anytime soon. 

Fontaine’s Oyster House 
1026 N Highland Ave NE 

 
The Virginia Highlands area has seen a large update over the past year filled with new apartments, visitors traveling along the Atlanta Beltline and of course amazing restaurants. So it should come as no surprise that Fontaine’s Oyster House made our list. The moment you open your phone and head to your Yelp app it is plain to see that the city of Atlanta can’t get enough of Fontaine’s. Whether it’s raw oysters, baked oysters or the Oyster Sampler you can’t seem to go wrong with just about anything on their menu. As if the excellent food isn’t enough, the outdoor patio during the summer months provides a great way to enjoy the food and the scenery simultaneously. 

Love everything on our list? Did we miss your favorite place? Follow TRACE Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation! Let us know your favorite Atlanta Oyster Bars and what can make or break your Oyster Bar experience.  

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Get the Scoop: Don’t Miss the 5th Annual Atlanta Ice Cream Festival

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Get the Scoop: Don’t Miss the 5th Annual Atlanta Ice Cream Festival

TRACE at the W Atlanta-Midtown is a restaurant focused on capturing personality through flavors and providing an extraordinary level of customer satisfaction with each item we deliver. So as things heat up outdoors, TRACE invites guests to come in and cool down with an award winning treat you won’t forget. At the 9th Annual Slow Food Atlanta Ice Cream Social Contest, TRACE at the W’s Executive Chef, Shean Suter took first place for his Carrot Ginger Sorbet entry. In honor of the big win, Chef Shean’s sorbet is now being served throughout the month, exclusively at TRACE at the W Atlanta-Midtown. 

As we approach the middle of the summer and the heat continues to rise, we’d like to remind local ice cream lovers about Atlanta’s premier event taking place this Saturday. The 5th Annual Atlanta Ice Cream Festival is back on July 25th and will be held at Piedmont Park, located just minutes away from TRACE at The W Atlanta-Midtown. Previous years have boasted an incredible turnout full of games, live music, delicious treats and fun for the entire family. Scroll below for the full scoop on what to expect at this year’s Ice Cream Festival. 

For those of you with a larger-than-life love of Ice Cream, this year’s festival has the challenge you’ve been waiting for. Display your love for America’s sweet treat by entering the Ice Cream Eating Contest hosted by Bruster’s Midtown Atlanta. The contest is set to kick off at 3PM allowing contestants to compete against other local Ice Cream lovers. We spoke with Bruster’s in Midtown Atlanta to discuss participating in the Ice Cream Festival this year and they had this to say.

“This family fun day is well attended and allows our brand a tremendous opportunity to take part in a local community event. We will be at the festival with some of our most popular flavors. We can’t wait to see everyone.” 

For the music lovers in town you’ll also want to drop in as the day will be filled with live music brought to you by Tiffany & Anonymous Da Band. There will also be Health & Wellness engagements on site sponsored by Fulton-Dekalb Hospital. Activities will include yoga, boom shock fitness and free on-site health screenings. 

With each approaching day Atlanta Ice Cream Festival’s social media seems to be announcing more and more vendors to its list. Interested in learning more about them? Check out a few of the local vendors you won’t want to miss below.  

Vintage Frozen Custard
Twitter: tastevintage  |  Facebook:  vintage-frozen-custard       
Known for its classic yet delectable flavors, Vintage Frozen Custard has been quietly making a name for itself throughout the city of Atlanta. First appearing, on the scene in 2012, Vintage Frozen Custard wowed customers and won over many locals, particularly east coast natives. Their delicious treats have created a recipe for success transitioning them from their Food Truck beginnings to their latest retail location in the West Midtown area. 
 
With a particular appeal that brings to mind an essence of The Big Apple and the 2014 Atlanta Magazine’s “Best Of Atlanta” award under their belt patrons and critics agree that Vintage Frozen custard has a signature flavor that you won’t go wrong choosing.     
Vintage Frozen Custard’s Fan Favorites: “Fan’s love our Blueberry Cobbler ice cream. They also enjoy our Liege Waffle.“ – Malik Wilder, Owner of Vintage Frozen Custard

Queen of Cream
Twitter: QueenofcreamATL  | Facebook: QueenOfCreamATL
For those of you that appreciate fresh local ingredients you’ll definitely enjoy the deliciously handcrafted ice cream from Queen of Cream. Their rich and flavorful ice cream is made 100% from scratch using local dairy from Waynesboro, Georgia. Don’t just take our word for it…here’s a few words directly from Queen of Cream’s website describing their creation process.

 “We make our ice cream in small batches to ensure ultimate flavor and texture. We strive to make the best ice cream possible, where flavor, texture and mouth feel are in perfect harmony, providing you with the ultimate sweet experience”. 

Queen of Cream’s Old Fourth Ward location is almost here but until then be sure to swing by on the 25th to grab a cup of deliciousness! 

Queen of Cream’s Fan Favorites: “Some fan favorites are Brown Butter Whiskey Pecan, Georgia Sweet Corn + Blueberries, Cold Brew Coffee with Cacao Nibs and Cookies & Cream made with homemade salted chocolate cookie crumbles”  - Cora Cotrim, Lead Chef at Queen of Cream

Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream
Twitter: morellis   |  Facebook: MorellisIceCream
Drive a couple minutes west of Grant Park and stop just before East Atlanta and you’ll find yourself nestled between infatuation and sheer obsession after one cup from Morelli’s Gourmet Ice Cream. Boasting high reviews, two popular locations and a slew of online pictures, Morelli’s has won over a large majority of the city with their fun and over the top flavors placing them pretty high on the list of Atlanta favorites. 
 
Over 200 flavors of premium, densely textured ice cream has been the winning formula that allows Morelli’s to list themselves as “Atlanta’s Ice Cream” on their website.  So be sure to stop by Morelli’s stand at the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival and come see what all the hype is about. 
Morelli’s Fan Favorites: Smooth Monkey, Salted Caramel or any original flavor on a Chocolate Dipped Waffle Cone. 

Now before you start planning your day around which vendors you’ll be eyeing, remember this is just a handful of what the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival has in store. We’ve also received word that Kelvin’s Homemade Ice Cream, Banjo Cold Brew Coffee and many more will be in attendance.

The Atlanta Ice Cream Festival is free and open to the public so be sure to spread the word to friends, coworkers and just about anyone that enjoys warm weather and delicious treats. For more updates on this event stop by atlantaicecreamfestival.com and follow them on Facebook at atlantaicecreamfest and on Twitter at @ATLIceCreamFest. Also, be sure to make your reservation, grab a bite and follow TRACE at the W Atlanta-Midtown at @TraceAtlanta to stay up to date on new events and updates you won’t want to miss! 

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The Attack is Back: Chef Ford Fry’s 7th annual JCT. Kitchen & Bar Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival

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The Attack is Back: Chef Ford Fry’s 7th annual JCT. Kitchen & Bar Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival

Firmly planted in the Atlanta food scene, the 7th annual JCT. Kitchen & Bar Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival rolls in to the Westside Provisions District from 1:00 to 5:00 P.M. THIS Sunday, July 19th, 2015. Sample tomato treats from more than 50 of the South’s top chefs and Atlanta’s best mixologists, listen to live bands, and generate big bucks for The Giving Kitchen  and Georgia Organics. Chefs are paired with a local farmer to create a festival  dish to sample, while mixologists muddle up tomato inspired cocktails. The Killer Tomato Festival is always a sellout. Grab your tickets now!  Use the hashtag #AKTF2015 on social media and follow the JCT. Kitchen & Bar Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival on Facebook and Instagram.

♪Sweet tomato dreams are made of these ... ♫ How did Ford Fry dream up the tomato festival? Fry wanted to be a food festival host and peaches in Georgia did not scream unique. A great name from a movie Fry fondly recalls from childhood, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, along with a thriving local farmer relationship, many with an excess of tomatoes and BAM! -as Chef Emeril Lagasse would say. “I can feel it: This year will be crazier than ever. Plus, rumor has it that Ill Communication will be blowing it up Brooklyn-style,” said Chef Ford Fry. Five Bone Rack, Ford's all-chef band will also be taking the stage.

Sliced, crushed, diced, and pureed,  enjoy the many creations and libations in which tomatoes can be savored and sipped.  The competition is fierce and friendly with competitors ready to crush all rivals. Bloody Mary Ice Pops, a favorite from the 2014 #AKTF,  were created by master of pastry for Ford Fry’s restaurants, Chef Chrysta Poulos. 

“We love the Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival because it celebrates our agrarian roots. It focuses on one of the beloved crops Georgia Organics farmers grow so perfectly: the tasty tomato,” Georgia Organics Executive Director Alice Rolls said. “It’s a day to stimulate our taste buds and toast to the fun members of the good food community.”

The W Atlanta – Midtown restaurant, TRACE Atlanta, will be at the 7th Annual JCT. Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival this Sunday. Our Chef Shean Suter, partnering with Mayflor Farms   will serve heirloom cherry tomato and Vidalia onion cobbler with black pepper cheddar biscuits.   Atlanta native, Chef Shean Suter’s career has spanned the nation but his heart lies in Southern cooking.  From a stint working in California, he was inspired by the relationships that chefs forge with farmers.   As the executive chef at TRACE Atlanta, Suter combine his love of Southern cuisine with his passion for tapping into local farmers to manifest the TRACE Atlanta philosophy of fresh and healthy farm-to-table cuisine.
http://www.killertomatofest.com 

 

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2015 Atlanta Street Food Festival:  7 Food Trucks You Don’t Want To Miss

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2015 Atlanta Street Food Festival: 7 Food Trucks You Don’t Want To Miss

Calling all food truck fanatics!  This weekend is the  4th annual Atlanta Street Food Festival on Saturday, July 11, 2015 from 12p.m. to 10 p.m.  Dine all day on street cuisine from over 60 food trucks, sip a craft beer, wine or cocktails while groovin’ to the music of local bands. A portion of event proceeds will support the Giving Kitchen. The intent of The Giving Kitchen is to be the beyond-expectation resource at times of unanticipated crisis for anyone employed in the Atlanta restaurant community. The Atlanta Street Food Festival was recently named “One of the Top 4 Food Truck Festivals in the Country” by Travelpulse.com and “One of the 5 Latest and Greatest things to Hit the South” by Southern Living Magazine.

FESTIVAL TIP
Get there early! Check in to the W Atlanta-Midtown Hotel on Friday night, dine at TRACE Atlanta, enjoy the nightlife or experience the hotel amenities. In the morning, have breakfast in bed or join Chef Shean Suter at TRACE before you head down to the Festival- and remember Piedmont Park is just steps away.  After the festival, stay another night and join us Sunday morning at TRACE for Mimosas and our Handcrafted Bloody Mary Bar during Sunday Brunch.

THE TRUCKS
There are over 60 food trucks to choose from at the 4th annual Atlanta Street Food Festival. Check out the food trucks that will be in attendance and make a Top 10 List of trucks to stop at. This is not a tasting event so haul in an appetite and set your itinerary. Here are some suggestions to get your wheels turning:

The Pickle is the original food truck that started the rolling restaurants in Atlanta. The Pickle is a little South of the Border, and a bit On the Bayou. Chicken & Green Chile Quesadillas, Fish Tacos and Etouffée are all crowd favorites.




King of Pops says “We love making pops. We hope you love eating them”. We sure do! This popular paletas peddler has their Latin American ice pops in push-carts, food trucks, restaurants and retail stores. Grab a stick and cool off with an all natural, frozen treat.
 

W.O.W! Food Truck is best known for Arepas, a savory Venezuelan griddled corn cake stuffed with slow roasted meats, topped with their creamy cilantro jalapeno “Kicky” Sauce. Grab a W.O.W! bowl filled with anything from smoked pork, brisket, grits, slaw, roasted potatoes topped with horseradish cream, BBQ and of course Kicky sauce.

Nectar Food Truck was elected one of the healthiest food trucks in America by Huffington Post. Paninis, smoothies, raw juices and more can be found on board. We could all use a dose of healthy eating and living.

iBiZA Bites is known for commitment to fresh ingredients, imaginative “SoLa” cuisine and upscale presentation.  Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese and specials like Andouille & Shrimp over Pumpkin Raviolis is what may have them named Best of Atlanta Food Truck 2011 by Atlanta Magazine and one of the Top 15 New Food Concepts in America by the Food Network. 

Mix’D UP claims they are a rockin’ burger truck, a Hard Rock Café on wheels. Add in a couple of “Mix’D UP folks” blended finely with the best quality ingredients (purchased locally as well as renewable and friendly sources), and you get the best burger known to the human race. Burgers and hand cut shoestring fries, now that’s rockin’.

The Fry Guy If you are at the movies, you get popcorn. When you’re at a food truck event, you get a fry, filled cone from the Fry Guy. Top it off with your choice of sauce or select from the imaginative menu. Blue cheese fries or bacon fries? Yes please.

 

SURVIVAL GUIDE

Check out the festival -goers “Survival Guide”, the insider's rule book for a good experience at #StreetFestATL.

Here are a few DO’s:

  • Come with a group of family or friends. It's just more fun and you can try more food that way.  The food portions tend to be large and you can all get something different and share.
  • Splurge for the day pass at “Nuloo”.
  • Download the site map and take note of the 5 check in locations that are available when you arrive at the festival.
  • Use the Festival hashtags #ASFF,  #StreetFestATL,  #WeLoveATL
  • Download the Atlanta Street Food Festival app to view food truck menus while waiting in line, check the  entertainment schedule, plan your day, and more (Google Play  iTunes)

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Happy Birthday America!

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Happy Birthday America!

Here is your list of all things RED, WHITE & BLUE TO DO this weekend:

Peachtree Road Race 2015
Apple Pie, baseball, watermelon and barbeque are all Independence Day traditions. In Atlanta, Georgia,  July 4th celebrations begin with the AJC Peachtree Road Race, a Fourth of July tradition for thousands of people throughout  Georgia and beyond . The Peachtree Road Race is the largest 10K in the world and is hosted by the Atlanta Track Club. Kick off your Fourth of July festivities with the 46th running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race.  The race begins in Buckhead and ends at the finish line in Piedmont Park. Be sure to watch the race live on 11Alive.com at: on.11Alive.com/peachtreelive .  WXIA will be providing course updates, weather forecasts and starting information for each group via text alerts. Text RACE to 25543 to subscribe and to get these alerts. Get full race coverage and information from 11 Alive.

W Atlanta – Midtown
Celebrate the Fourth of July with the W Atlanta - Midtown. Where you have easy access to the best of the in-town Atlanta festivities. Relax in the huge guest suites or beat the heat under the cabanas on WET DECK. Escape to Bliss® Spa where you can become a "BIP" (Bliss Important Person) chill at WHISKEY PARK , the W Atlanta - Midtown haute spot for music and libations. Psst... W guests get to skip the line. When you’re hungry, TRACE restaurant has foraged so you will be fed the freshest farm to table breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. In addition to its Southern-inspired menu, TRACE Atlanta offers a full bar menu and local craft beer.

The World of Coca-Cola
The World of Coca-Cola, a 20 acre museum dedicated to a soft drink is celebrating 25 years of sharing happiness in Atlanta. Have a Coke and a smile, 60 of them! At the end of the tour, you can sample more than 60 Coca-Cola products from around the world. Skip the line and get your tickets in advance. What could be better? The VIP tour.

CityPASS
With CityPASS, Atlanta’s must-see attractions are bundled into one convenient package, 
at one amazing price!  Save 43% and visit: 
    World of Coca Cola
    Georgia Aquarium
    Inside CNN Studio Tour
    Zoo Atlanta OR Center for Civil and Human Rights
    Fernbank Museum of Natural History OR College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-a Fan Experience

Red, White and Brew: Georgia Aquarium's 4th of July Beer Festival
Beluga whales and manta rays, and whale sharks, oh my! Dive in with local and national beer samplings. Wolfgang Puck catering will have waves of BBQ and Buttermilk Fried Chicken for dinner while The Regulars Band are on deck for live music. The Aquarium's parking deck rooftop will  provide a fantastic view of the Centennial Olympic Park firework show.  Check out Red, White and View for the family fun version here.

The Atlanta Braves
Baseball, hotdogs and apple pie on July 4th. After the Philadelphia Phillies vs Atlanta Braves game, stay and watch the All-American Fireworks Spectacular choreographed to Patriotic music. 
♪ Take me out to the ball game ♫

Red, White and Booze
"Top O' the World, Ma"  is what you might say during this roof top Fourth of July party. Held at Ventanas, an exclusive rooftop event space (indoor and outdoor viewing areas) overlooking Centennial Olympic Park.  Party with DJ Gary Braner, an all American buffet, cocktails, and a spectacular view of fireworks at eye level.

Lenox Square: Legendary 4th of July
Lenox Square has been host to the most popular Fourth of July gathering in Atlanta for over 50 years. Music, food, fun, and of course fireworks have the community out early to claim their prime viewing territory. It is a show that you must see at least once!

Centennial Olympic Park
Free music and fireworks in the heart of downtown Atlanta.  Relax on the Great Lawn and celebrate Independence Day at Centennial Olympic Park. This 4th of July celebration will be broadcasted by local ABC affiliate WSB-TV, Channel 2 Action News.
Happy Independence Day!

 

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5 Beers You’ve Gotta Checkout at Atlanta Summer Beerfest 2015

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5 Beers You’ve Gotta Checkout at Atlanta Summer Beerfest 2015

The Atlanta Summer Beer Fest is one of the best festivals of the summer and the Masquerade Music Park is host for the 6th straight year.
Over 200 beers, featuring local Atlanta Breweries along with breweries from all over the country.  200+ Beers, Live Music on multiple stages and plenty of fun and games THIS Saturday, June 20, 2015 - 4pm-9pm.

With over 200 beers to sample, where do you start? Our Insider and Mike DiLonardo, Director of Operations for Atlanta Beer Festivals suggest you support local, drink local and taste all the #GAbeer you can grab a hold of. With over 50 brew pubs, breweries open or in planning, Georgia continues to add Craft Beer choices to enjoy. Check out @BeerGeekATL for more #GAbeer news and updates. Here are 5 local brews to set your sites on when you arrive at the Atlanta Summer Beer Fest. Go forth and sample. CHEERS!

Cherry Street Brewing 
IRISH RED I JEDEYE
Not too dark with just enough color, don’t let this beer fool you. Despite the color, Jedi is actually quite light with a hint of malti-sweetness lingering from the Scottish Yeast. They designed this beer after the more robust Reds in Ireland.

Three Taverns Brewery
A NIGHT ON PONCE IPA
A Night On Ponce is the result of curiosity run amok. What if they switched out the Belgian yeast in A Night In Brussels IPA for an American ale yeast? They did, and the result was an entirely different beer, one that brings out the lush notes of citrus fruit inherent in this hop-forward style before tapering to a clean, dry finish. It’s an American IPA for lovers of American IPA, yet crafted with the same painstaking attention to detail that’s a Belgian hallmark.

Service Brewing Co.
COMPASS ROSE IPA
The Nautical Compass Rose has helped Mariners find their way for centuries. Their Compass Rose IPA honors those who have dedicated themselves to building the proud tradition of our navy. Like a ship charging across friendly waters, this American-style IPA balances a medium-bodied malt presence with a bitterness that does not overpower. With its hop forward taste and refreshing citrus and floral notes, this is a brew for the high seas.

Pontoon Brewing
NO PANTS PILSNER
Pants are undeniably a constraining piece of material that sings songs of boredom and monotony. Why do we wear ‘em? Who knows. But we do know that No Pants Pilsner is an unconstrained and unique brew that blends old school Gold Rush Common-Style brewing with traditional Saaz hops and Pilsen malt from our European friends across the pond. What does that mean for you? Flavor, drinkability, and absolute awesomeness. Go ahead and pop off those pants and jump aboard your party platform.

Burnt Hickory Brewery
BIG SHANTY GRAHAM CRACKER STOUT
Named after the original name of the city of Kennesaw (their home town), Big Shanty is not a little beer by any means. Made with real graham cracker crumbs and honey, it’s sweetness is only challenged by it’s strong roast and hop bitterness. A world class stout with an extreme amount of local flavor.

Wait!  ... There is more than local #GAbeer to sample at 
the Atlanta Summer Beer Fest. There is local #GAmead too. 
Okay, so 5 Beers and a 1 Mead, our must try suggestions.

Monk’s Mead
“Monks Mead is a blond effervescent drink that conjures something of the essence of both beer and champagne. At 12.9% alcohol, it’s dangerously easy to imbibe, with a fruity honey aroma and a surprisingly dry palate.”
-- Bob Towsend - Atlanta Journal Constitution

And you can always stop by TRACE and enjoy our  
flight of 3 Atlanta-area beers for just $9.00.
Complimentary Valet Parking too.  

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6 Insider Tips On What To Do For Father’s Day 2015 In Atlanta

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6 Insider Tips On What To Do For Father’s Day 2015 In Atlanta

The W Midtown-Atlanta has that covered all weekend long with Brunch and cocktails served Saturday and Sunday. Family time with Dad at WET DECK where you will relax pool-side in style under Dad’s Cabana while enjoying food and drink from the TRACE Atlanta menu. Ask Chef Shean Suter what Dads and Grandads really want for Father’s Day and he’ll reply, “A grilled burger and a cold beer”.

The Grilled Southeast Family Farm Burger at TRACE Atlanta is a 50/50 blend of local beef short rib and brisket that we double grind in house, season to perfection and grill on our flat top. A Holeman & Finch brioche bun holds it all together while Clothbound White Cheddar from Nature's Harmony in Elberton, GA., tops it off along with heirloom tomato, farm fresh lettuce and thin sliced fried onions. ZAGAT Atlanta says our TRACE burger is a must-try!
This Burger & Brew deal is only $15.00 on Father’s Day. TRACE seeks out  the freshest local products including our beer selections. Tell Dad to order a draft #GAbeer from our local beer selection along with the signature burger and a Happy Father’s Day will be on tap. Dad deserves a sample of more local beers, we suggest a flight of 3 Atlanta-area beers for just $9.00.

Dad’s day doesn’t end after a great meal. Tell Dad how much you love him and don’t forget to show him that love too. Our insider knows what a guy wants and your Dad will thank you for being there for him with these Atlanta Father’s Day celebration suggestions:

Father's Day Catch on the Field
Mets vs Braves
Looking for a Father's Day gift for Dad? Here is your opportunity to enjoy Turner Field from the players' perspective and play catch in the backyard of Braves Country!

Georgia Aquarium
Georgia Aquarium wants to treat all Dads with FREE admission and special gifts on Sunday, June 21, 2015.

Eddie’s Attic
Joan Osborne - Love and Hate Tour
Acoustic Duo featuring Keith Cotton

Stone Moutain Park
Calling all Dads! Come out to Stone Mountain Park on Father’s Day to enjoy a vintage car show featuring Camaros, Mustangs, Chevys from the 1950s and more.

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Josh Turner performs at SunTrust Concerts in the Garden on the Great Lawn in Atlanta.

The 2015 Atlanta Summer Beer Fest
One of the best beer festivals of the summer, the Atlanta Summer Beer Fest. The Masquerade Music Park hosts the 6th straight year.

 

 

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Eat, Drink, Explore

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Eat, Drink, Explore

How to Tackle the Trails at the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival

Hey Atlanta, this weekend the fifth annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival returns to Midtown welcoming culinary greats from all over the South. The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is the first culinary weekend in the nation that unites the region’s culinary leaders, award  winning chefs, mixologists, barbecue pitmasters, Sommeliers and local growers for four days of exploring and celebrating Southern food and beverage traditions.

Tasting Tents – a showcase of the region’s top talents and flavors are in the Festival Tasting Tents which have been curated by chefs and industry experts. The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival Tasting Tents are designed to take guests on an epicurean journey through the South with “tasting trails” showcasing great food and drink items from below the Mason-Dixon line and other Southern regions around the globe.

Make a “pit-stop” at booth 120 on the Barbecue Trail, Sunday (1:30PM – 4:30PM), and visit TRACE Atlanta’s Chef Shean Suter.   Chef Shean will be serving up Southern Hospitality along with BBQ goat sliders with whole grain mustard slaw, stuffed between a brioche bun. Ya’ll come down now, ya here! Blaze your own trail and make the W Hotel – Midtown Atlanta base camp for this weekend under the tents. 

NAVIGATION:
Make sure to download the official Atlanta Food & Wine Festival App to get the latest news and updates on the Festival. To download the app, visit: www.atlfoodandwinefestival.com/app. The Festival is excited to introduce a new component to the app this year – iBeacon.  Guests will be able to use iBeacon to guide themselves through the Tasting Tents and alert them when they approach a new Trail.  Through iBeacon, guests will be able to access all types of information about each Trail and the Exhibitors.  The app is available for free on both Apple and Android devices.

FESTIVAL PROGRAM & MAP:
You can pick up a Festival Program at the Welcome Center, along with a copy of the Map.  There is also a downloadable site map located at: www.atlfoodandwinefestival.com/planning-tools

SOCIAL MEDIA:
Join the conversation and stay up-to-date with the 
Atlanta Food & Wine Festival’s social media:  
Twitter – @ATLFoodAndWine
Facebook – www.facebook.com/AtlantaFoodandWineFestival
Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/ATLFoodAndWine
Instagram – www.instagram.com/atlfoodandwine
Festival Hashtag:  #AFWF15 and #DiscoverSouthern

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.atlfoodandwinefestival.com 

A bit about the South ...
•    “Hey” is a common salutation to greet friends and family.
•    “Ma’am” and “Sir” are terms of respect. It doesn’t mean you’re old!
•    “Y’all” may be used in plural or singular form.
•    When you hear “Bless your heart” – you’re getting a little sympathy.
•    When ordering ice tea, indicate “un-sweet” if you don’t want traditional Southern sweet tea.
•    No self-respecting Southerner is ever, ever drunk – they’re just indisposed!
•    The most offensive phrase in the South is “that’s nice.” If you don’t know what it means, its best you don’t ask.
•    In the South, coffee is hot and tea is cold. Get it right!

 

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Where To Go and What To Do In Atlanta for Memorial Day 2015

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Where To Go and What To Do In Atlanta for Memorial Day 2015

What is there to do Memorial Day weekend 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia? Plenty! TRACE Atlanta gets your Summer started with what’s hot and where to chill. Cruise the Midtown Mile, experience the sites and sounds in town and make the W Atlanta-Midtown your base camp to be close to all the action in town.

W Atlanta-Midtown 
Spend Memorial Day weekend at the W Atlanta-Midtown where you can walk, bike or take a short ride to all the in-town action. Grab some fresh air with a walk to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, or bicycle through Piedmont Park right next to the hotel on our complimentary bikes. Make the most of your weekend at the W where you can cool off at WET Deck in your private cabana, fresh farm-to-table Southern dining at TRACE, relax at BLISS Spa, play at Whiskey park, and enjoy libations in the Living Room. This and more welcomes you with plenty to do. 

Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks are hot and True to Atlanta! Get your tickets to see the Hawks play at Philips Arena for game 2 of the NBA Playoffs, Friday, May 22. Watch the Atlanta Hawks on TNT, Sunday, May 24, 8:30 PM for game 3 of the NBA Playoffs.

Atlanta Braves
On Friday, May 22, 2015, it’s Friday Night Fireworks. Following the game, fans will be treated to the sights and sounds of the #1 rated fireworks show in the Southeast. This week's show will feature a School's Out Theme! The Atlanta Braves vs Milwaukee Brewers this week in a four game series. View the Braves website for other promotions all this week.
Like Beer and Baseball?  Check out Southern Beer Tours Brewery and Baseball Memorial Day Weekend tradition. A private 2 hour pre-party at SweetWater Brewing then off to Turner Field to see the Atlanta Braves play. Round trip transportation on a luxury charter bus is included.

Atlanta Jazz Festival
The Atlanta Jazz Festival is regarded as one of the largest free jazz festivals in the country. An annual celebration of the music, culture and art of jazz begins in April and culminates each Memorial Day weekend, with an outdoor festival featuring jazz artists from all over the world. 

Atlanta Symphony Hall
Music of the Mad Men Era. Grab a cocktail shaker and head back in time — the music was hot, skirts were short, and dance music was on everyone’s hi-fi. Conductor Steven Reineke leads the ASO on a nostalgic trip back to the 50s and 60s, featuring vocalists Nikki Renée Daniels and Ryan Silverman singing everything from old standards by Mancini and Berlin, to music by Bacharach and Amy Winehouse.

Brew at the Zoo...and Wine too
Looking for the festival that swallows all the other festivals whole? Go ahead, shed your skin! Brew at the Zoo is back with more brews, more bubbly and more bands to add to your favorite Memorial Day weekend tradition.

Stone Mountain Park
An Atlanta Memorial day tradition. A special salute to the troops, extended fireworks finale, and the Lasershow Spectacular in Mountainvision with all-new breathtaking fire effects. Three flame cannons add a punch to the show by sending a trio of flames nearly one-hundred feet into the air. Plus, special new fireworks spray multi-colored bursts and dance on the water at the base of the mountain. Marvel as the skies above light up in a specially choreographed musical tribute honoring the brave men and women who protect our country.

Callaway Gardens
Kick off Summer 2015 with a splash! Memorial Day Weekend Festival features the 56th Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament and a host of other fun attractions at Robin Lake Beach including live music, the Callaway Gardens Farmers Market, beach activities, kids zones, great food, drink specials and so much more.

Georgia Renaissance Festival
The Georgia Renaissance Festival is an art and entertainment festival combining outdoor theater, circus-style entertainment, and an arts and crafts marketplace, set in a recreation of a 16th-Century European village. Renaissance festivals are one of the most interactive entertainment shows ever created with wonderful amusements and antics ongoing all around you! Join them for their 30th season.

LanierWorld at Lake Lanier
Whether you are looking for the coolest lakeside spot for day play and nightlife, a sandy area to bask in the sun, or a place to let loose and let your inner child out, LanierWorld has it all. At the Family Fun Park, enjoy Wild Waves, the South's largest wave pool, as well as Raging River, carnival rides and TAD'S Lakeside Grille. A short walk through the tunnel takes you from the Family Fun Park to Big Beach, home of the largest collection of rides, slides and dining options at LanierWorld. Across the sand and over the Boardwalk, lies Sunset Cove, the spot on Lake Lanier for music, entertainment, dining & nightlife!

Bone Lick BBQ
Celebrate the unofficial start to summer at Bone Lick BBQ during its annual Memorial Day cook-out. On Sunday, May 24, 2015 join award-winning pitmaster Mike LaSage and the Bone Lick crew in the restaurant, on the patio and its expansive sidewalk for a daylong party featuring live bands, DJs, plenty of barbecue, local brews and then some.

Roswell Remembers
The Largest Memorial Day Ceremony in Georgia. Military exhibits and displays begin at 10 a.m. The military ceremony follows at 11 a.m., and a concert on the lawn follows the ceremony. http://www.roswellmemorialday.com/2015-program

Atlanta is a wonderful city and has a plethora to offer residents and tourist during the Memorial Day weekend. Spend your holiday poolside, in dining rooms or on patios, fresh air outdoors, listening to concerts, attending festivals, visiting parks, watching parades and of course rememberance and tribute to those who gave all. Enjoy your stay at the W Atlanta-Midtown where holidays are memorable.

Memorial Day Tradition
On Memorial Day, tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half mast from dawn until noon. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. The flag is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. At noon, their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

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Hands Down The 6 Best Burgers In Atlanta In Honor Of National Burger Month

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Hands Down The 6 Best Burgers In Atlanta In Honor Of National Burger Month

Hamburgers may have originated in Hamburg, Germany. The tradition of eating hamburgers on buns is all American. The W-Midtown Atlanta Insider has a fist-full of Atlanta burger recommendations to wrap your hands around in May during National Hamburger month.

TRACE Atlanta
The Grilled Southeast Family Farm Burger is favorite of our TRACE patrons. Our creation is a 50/50 blend of local beef short rib and brisket that we double grind in house, season to perfection and grill on our flat top. Holeman & Finch brioche buns hold it all together while Clothbound White Cheddar from Nature's Harmony in Elberton, GA., tops it all off along with heirloom tomato, farm fresh lettuce and thin sliced fried onions. This is a great burger to be enjoyed during the month of May and all year long. ZAGAT Atlanta says our TRACE burger is a must-try!

Cibo e Beve
Chef Linda Harrell knows all about making meatballs. It's no surprise this buongustai took her knowledge and developed a burger patty. Linda's  burger build begins with ground beef short rib, sirloin tri-tip and brisket. Float in some whipped mozzarella, add  Berkshire Farm  pork bacon,  challah bun, Pascalina Farms lettuce, tomato, and cornichons.  Mangia! Mangia!

Cypress Street Pint and Plate
You may have heard of the Sublime Burger, a ½ lb burger,  cheddar, caramelized onion,  and apple-wood bacon, slid between two Sublime doughnuts. This glazed doughnut from Sublime Doughnuts is made especially for this offering at Cypress Street. Get your doughnuts, drinks and burgers at this neighborhood favorite.

FLIP Burger Boutique
A big appetite deserves a Big Bison Burger! Your burger craving is sure to be satisfied by FLIP burger boutique’s May Burger of the Month: a half-pound bison patty with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, crispy bacon, a fried egg and their signature FLIP sauce. The Big Bison Burger is available at all FLIP locations until May 31.

Del Frisco's Grille
Celebrate Burger Month with Chef Adam Esser's Prime BBQ Beef Burger featured at brunch, lunch and dinner, all May long. This burger is stacked tall with aged cheddar cheese, hickory smoked bacon, bread and butter pickles, and fried tobacco onions.

Ormsby's
It doesn't matter what kind of burger you get, just enjoy one! The Bruno Burger gives you options: half pound of grass-fed ground beef, boneless chicken breast or fresh ground turkey, topped with caramelized onions, mushrooms & provolone, on a potato bun. Check out Mediterranean flavors on a bun with the Lamb Gyro Burger: ground lamb, hummus, cucumber, feta, pickled red onion, tzatziki sauce, dill, potato bun.

"I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
~ J. Wellington Wimpy

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6 Perfect Brunch Spots In Atlanta To Take Mom For Mother’s Day

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6 Perfect Brunch Spots In Atlanta To Take Mom For Mother’s Day

Your Mom fed you for years, now cater to her every whim.
Feed Mom's heart and taste buds on Mother's Day.
The W Insider has a handful of Atlanta, Mother's Day brunch suggestions.
Make Mom proud with reservations in advance.

TRACE at the W Atlanta-Midtown
Chef Shean Suter will have a special serving of Pineapple bread pudding for that sweet Mother of yours. Along with dessert, Chef will be cooking up bacon, egg, and cheese flatbread for Mother’s Day brunch. The TRACE brunch menu is offered with additional specials created by Chef Shean to honor all Mom's. Mother's Day brunch Sunday, May 10th from 11:30am-3:00pm. Dinner 5:00pm-10:00pm. Complimentary valet parking.

You don't have to wait until Sunday to celebrate with your Mother ... Bottomless Mimosas and Hand-crafted Bloody Mary Bar are served up on Saturday and Sunday. Treat Mom to cocktails and some one-on-one time or pamper her at the facial and massage mecca BLISS. Mom will look radiant and feel relaxed on her special day. 

Seed Kitchen & Bar - Marietta, Ga
Mother’s Day brunch guests can choose from a wide range of brunch fare from the farm-to-table menu. Unique dishes available on Mother’s Day include bacon and oyster benedict on brioche; Spanish chorizo, potato and piquillo pepper frittata; and duck confit with sweet potato scramble. Chef Doug Turbush's most popular menu items are pimento crostinis and Lump Maryland crab eggs benedict. 
Brunch will be served 10am-3pm.

FADO Irish Pub - Buckhead, Ga
Just in time for Mother's Day, a new brunch menu with old favorites like Irish breakfast and new items including chorizo breakfast taco and smoked salmon frittata. "Irish I was Mexican" food and cocktail specials are also available.

Downstairs: 
Doors open at 8.30am. All the cool Moms will have bottomless Mimosas in hand while watching English Premier League soccer. Chelsea vs Liverpool is at 11am.
 
On the Rooftop Patio: 
Doors open at 11am with live music from 1pm-4pm. 

South City Kitchen - Vinings, Ga
Visit South City Kitchen Midtown or Vinings for a farm-fresh, southern-style, three-course, Mother’s Day brunch. Enjoy classic South City favorites fried green tomatoes and grilled Georgia trout or one-time-only offerings like apple butter-mascarpone French toast. Give Mom the sweetness she deserves with some peach cobbler or flourless chocolate cake. See y'all then.
  

Park Tavern - Piedmont Park, Ga
One the Tavern's most popular annual events, guests are invited to celebrate Mom while overlooking Piedmont Park and the city skyline. On the Southwest porch from 10:00am-2:30pm feast on an exuberant buffet of omelets, French toast and carving stations in addition to traditional favorites like eggs benedict with smoked salmon, applewood-smoked bacon and sausage, cheese grits, sweet potato soufflé, assorted muffins, biscuits, rolls, salads, and  more.

Canoe Restaurant - Vinings, Ga
Canoe rests on the banks of the Chattahoochee River and offers guests a picturesque atmosphere. Would Mother care for wine? Which one my dear, there are over 300 bottles of wine to choose from with 40 available by the glass.

Sticky Buns, scones and zucchini bread. Oh, my! Don't let these freshly baked pastries keep you from the remainder of the menu. Brunch is 10:30am-2:30pm with smoked salmon menu favorites and Mother's Day specials by Executive Chef Matthew Basford.

Dear Mom,

Thank you for helping me remember what is important in life. Today it is you.

Happy Mother's Day!

 

 

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5 Questions With Farm-to-Table Expert Judith Winfrey From PeachDish

The idea of good, healthier food choices for what we put in our bodies isn't a new one. It's the idea that's steeped in sustainability and reaping the benefits of eliminating waste, producing food that's better for you and highlighting the tireless efforts of farmers and local purveyors that are putting high quality ingredients front and center. You may remember Judith Winfrey from our 10 Atlanta Food Experts Share 2015 Farm-to-Table Trends/Predictions post where she provided valuable insight on what to expect for 2015. She's the mind behind PeachDish, a revolutionary service that changing the meal kit delivery game with fresh and flavorful ingredients plucked at the season's peak for delicious recipes folks can make at home. We caught up with her to get more of her story, and how PeachDish fits into the equation.

1) Tell us a little about you and your background prior to PeachDish?

"I've been working in good food for the past decade. First as an advocate with Georgia Organics, Slow Food Atlanta, Wholesome Wave Georgia and Community Farmers Markets. My husband and I own and operate Love is Love Farm at Gaia Gardens, one of the city's leading certified organic farms. For five years I ran operations for Resurgens Hospitality Group and their two restaurants, bakery, liquor store and food stands. My entire career is dedicated to getting good, healthy, responsibly-sourced food to as many people as possible. That's what makes this opportunity with PeachDish so exciting."

2) How did the idea for PeachDish come about?

"This is an emerging market. We see it happening all over the country. The meal kit delivery service is more than a trend. It's here to stay and we're delighted to be at the leading edge of this expanding market place. People want good food and the pleasure and experience of creating it for themselves. They don't always have time to plan their meals and do the necessary shopping. We're here as an exciting and viable solution for working families who want to eat healthy at home."

3) How has the farm-to-table movement affected your choices for what goes into PeachDish deliverables?

"I believe in good food. I believe in local producers and the power of local economy. It is my great pleasure to deliver some of Georgia's finest produce, proteins and artisan goods to eaters all over the country. We're really here to deliver delicious, healthy food straight from farms and farmers to people all around the country. Our recipes are inspired by the foodways and cuisine of the New American South."

4) There's a growing number of services offering recipes and ingredients shipped directly to the consumer, what makes PeachDish different and stand out?

"The quality of our product, recipes and ingredients is our number one differentiator. Our Southern accents also makes us stand out, along with the fact that we deliver straight to the customers door. It makes answering the question "What's for Dinner?" easy, fun, healthy and delicious."

5) What are your go-to farm-to-table ingredients of the moment and for the upcoming season?

"We love White Oak Pastures for proteins. We're having a lot of fun with artisan vendors like Garner Girl Pickles and D'Evereaux Hot Sauce. Spring is a time of roots, shoots and leaves so we're looking forward to more beets, chard, carrots, kale, asparagus, peas, turnips and more."

Judith Winfrey - President, PeachDish

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Celebrate Earth Day with Local, Farm Fresh Vegetables in your Home

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Celebrate Earth Day with Local, Farm Fresh Vegetables in your Home

April 22, 2015, Earth Day, is usually celebrated by individuals or groups performing acts of service to Earth. Typical ways of observing Earth Day include planting trees or conducting various conservation programs, as people unite on Earth Day to appreciate and respect Earth's environment. TRACE at the W Atlanta - Midtown invite you to celebrate Earth Day with Mayflor Farms Community Supported Agriculture program. Mayflor Farms Spring 2015 CSA is now open for Signup! With a passion for providing locally sourced ingredients, TRACE and CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture) are a natural pairing — like two peas in a pod.

What is a CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a popular way for consumers to buy seasonal food directly from a local farm. CSA members enjoy a basket of ultra-fresh organic food from Mayflor Farms each week throughout the farming season. Members receive 6 to 8 different types of vegetables that may include mixed green lettuce, arugula, radish, beets, kale, swiss chard, spinach, broccoli, squash, zucchini, melons, tomatoes,cabbage, turnip, herbs, peas, carrots, okra, mustard greens, collards, bok choi, long beans, or garlic. 

Membership funds for Mayflor Farms, an organic, Certified Naturally Grown farm, are used towards operation costs for seed, organic fertilizers, fuel, equipment, labor, greenhouse supplies, etc. Here are the basics: the farm offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Membership is limited to space available until full. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return they receive a basket of seasonal produce each week. This arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer. 

Advantages: 

  • Eat ultra-fresh organic food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits.
  • Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking. Eat well!
  • Visit the farm that grows your food. You can even help grow it yourself.
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows your food and learn more about how food is grown.
  • Keep your money in your local economy.
  • Help the farmer do what he does best, farm.

Where do I pick-up my weekly basket?
Shares will be available for pick-up at TRACE Restaurant (W Hotel Midtown) at 188 14th St NE, W Atlanta Hotel, Atlanta, GA 30361. Wednesday from 4PM-9PM. We understand that everyone has a different schedule and that not everyone will be able to pick-up their share on the designated pick-up day. If you can't make it on pick-up day, then we will work with you to schedule another day. 

What if I'm out of town one week? 
Let us know so that we can provide more food for our other members, or we recommend that you find someone who is able to take your share. The garden still grows and we still need to harvest.

Visit www.MayflorFarms.com for details, pricing, and to register.

Would you like farm fresh vegetables prepared for you? 
TRACE Atlanta is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, be our guest 
and support your local farmers while dining in the heart of Midtown. 

Happy Earth Day 2015!

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The 6 Best BLTs In Atlanta In Honor Of National BLT Month

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The 6 Best BLTs In Atlanta In Honor Of National BLT Month

The BLT, (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich), is an icon that has been around since the late Victorian era, and believed to have descended from tea sandwiches. Crispy bacon, juicy tomatoes, creamy mayonnaise, and fresh lettuce on toasted bread. Bacon makes EVERYTHING better!

People have been enjoying this classic sandwich for years, but were not always calling it a BLT. Bacon sandwich recipes began to appear in cook books during the early 1900's. The term BLT doesn’t appear in print until around 1941. Diners were popular then and the term BLT is believed to be verbal short-hand used by the restaurant workers. In 1958 Hellmann’s mayonnaise advertised their product was “traditional on bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches.” Here is where to grab a hold of this tasty trio in Atlanta.

TRACE Atlanta
What makes a BLT great? Some say it’s the proper layering of the sandwich. Chef Shean Suter, using “traceable” ingredients, begins with slow cooked, caramelized Vidalia onions, bringing out their sweetness. The onions are mixed in to a rich mayonnaise, which is spread upon toasted local white bread. This sweet, creamy base now gets topped with locally sourced tomatoes, that only get better as the season progresses. We thick slice Neuske bacon right off the slab and grill it  bringing out the smokiness and saltiness of the bacon. Local lettuces from Atlanta harvest are tossed in house-made balsamic vinaigrette to complete this Southern Sandwich experience. So what makes a great BLT, well TRACE does.
http://www.traceatlanta.com

One Flew South
Benton's Bacon snuggles next to house-made black truffle mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato on H&F Bread Co. bread, served with a side of Five Spice fries from Chef Duane Nutter. Diners at One Flew South enjoy spirited global fare featuring premium ingredients from regional farmers and purveyors.
http://www.oneflewsouthatl.com

Egg Harbor Cafe
This Off-the-Menu Classic begins with buttery grilled Texas toast from Masada Bakery, piled high with jalapeno-cured bacon, Hellmann's mayonnaise, vine-ripened tomato, sliced avocado and fresh leaf lettuce. Served with a side salad topped with homemade poppy seed dressing and a side of Nora Mills stone-ground cheesy grits. The robust jalapeno bacon balances bold pepper notes with enticing chili and southwest flavors.
http://www.eggharborcafe.com

Buttermilk Kitchen
This BLT twist starts with a fried, cage free egg on H&F Bread Co. Ciabatta, organic spinach, organic grape tomatoes, house pickled green tomatoes, house-made lemon mayonnaise, all natural bacon. Chef Suzanne Vizethann mission is to nurture people through food by use of sustainable, local ingredients.
http://buttermilkkitchen.com

South City Kitchen - Midtown 
The Brunch menu here adds a bit of Southern flair that may make other BLT's green with envy. The BLFGT features bacon, fried green tomatoes with goat cheese and baby arugula served on H&F Bread Co. Rye bread.
http://midtown.southcitykitchen.com

JCT Kitchen & Bar
Check out this Jammin' Georgia sandwich from Chef Brian Horn “We serve our BLT with crispy green tomatoes, Patak bacon from Austell, Ga., lettuce from Tucker Farms (they’re sustainable lettuces, hydroponically grown in Rome, Ga.), Dukes Mayonnaise, and tomato jam (that’s San Marzano tomatoes cooked down with sugar and vinegar to a jam-like consistency). We have a version of a BLT on the menu at pretty much all times! In the summer months, we use heirloom tomatoes, and we change the set frequently.”
http://www.jctkitchen.com

 

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How To Plan For An Epic 79th Atlanta Dogwood Festival

THE 79th ATLANTA DOGWOOD FESTIVAL 

 

The beloved Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Atlanta's official kick-off to Spring and the city’s longest-running festival, returns to Piedmont Park, Friday through Sunday, April 10-12. Presented by PNC Bank, the festival welcomes artists and visitors to a three-day weekend of live music, international performances, gourmet and festival fare, midway rides and games, the popular disc dog competition and more under the always anticipated blooming dogwood trees.

Music is an essential feature of the festival.  See your favorites on the Coca-Cola Main Stage then head over to the Lake Clara Meer dock and check out the International Stage. When you get hungry, follow the enticing festival food aromas of funnel cakes, onion rings, kettle corn, and more!

On April 19, 1936, Atlanta invites the world to attend her first Dogwood Festival. Walter Rich, president of ADF and founder of Rich's department store, seeks to make Atlanta internationally known for the blooming of the dogwood trees during the week-long event. Trees are planted in all parts of Atlanta under the sponsorship of the garden clubs and public spirited citizens interested in the beautification of the city. Pageants, parades and carnivals sponsored by the Junior League, along with performances by the Metropolitan Opera, Philadelphia Symphony, and choruses from local colleges.

Show up hungry to the Backyard Barbecue & Brews on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. This ticketed event, held in a spacious tent overlooking the Main Stage, Backyard Barbecue & Brews showcases local craft beers, wine, barbecue and picnic fare from some of the city’s favorite restaurants and chefs. You’ll also find picnic-style seating, activities like corn hole and access to private bathrooms. 

Matt Simpson will be playing "Ask The Beer Sommelier" Matt will be onsite during Backyard Barbecue & Brews sharing information about the craft beer industry, the brewing process, food and beer pairing, serving temperatures, styles and more! Look for Matt's table under the The Beer Sommelier banner and his Beer Aid banner all day, so come on by, before you start drinking!

What to do at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival?


5K RUN Festival attendees will now have a chance to run off that funnel cake by hitting the pavement at the first-ever Atlanta Dogwood Festival 5K. Held Saturday, April 11, 2015, the run will include the 5K and a 1-mile Fun Run.

ECO-VILLAGE The festival recycles all cooking oil, requires vendors to use only compostable serving ware and hosts the Eco-Village where guests can meet “green” companies, learn about taking Eco-friendly practices home and find out about the latest green developments.

YOUTH ART The Atlanta Dogwood Festival gives high school artists an opportunity to compete, exhibit their work and earn prizes such as scholarships and art supplies. The Atlanta High School Art Exhibition is a juried competition and exhibit drawing upwards of 700 entries each year.

KIDS & RIDES The much-visited Kids Zone is situated in the Mayor’s Grove close to the children’s playground and a variety of rides can be found in the Piedmont Park Meadow. Children and adults can spend hours having fun, jumping on the inflatables, riding the merry-go-round, or something more adventurous.

FAMILY FRIDAY In 2015, the festival will offer families a special package for a night on the town by putting together a deal with ride tickets and discounts.

DISC DOGS A festival favorite, the disc dog competition takes place on Saturday and Sunday. The competing canines amaze and astound as they literally fly through the air. (Other than competing dogs, no pets are allowed in the park during the festival, per a City of Atlanta ordinance.)

THE GREAT CHAIR HACK Saturday, April 11 from 1pm to 5pm, MODA and IDSA present an afternoon of “chair hacking” at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival.
 

During the Atlanta Dogwood Festival ...

SLEEP. DINE. All UNDER ONE ROOF.  At the W Midtown Atlanta. Rest up for tomorrow, or grab a nap before an evening out.  Whatever inspires you, find it here. Cozy up for a chat in our Living Room or delight in classic and modern twists on New South favorites at TRACE, Midtown's farm-to-table dining experience. Work out in FIT, our state-of-the-art fitness center, or cool things off in WET®, our outdoor pool. When it comes time to wind down, visit the luxurious Bliss® Spa.  Also let the pet pal you love travel in style with you at W Atlanta Midtown.

And when the sun sets, free your inner night owl at some of Atlanta's chicest clubs, including Rande Gerber's Whiskey Park, which is at home inside the W Atlanta - Midtown Hotel.

BED AND BREAKFAST The Shellmont Inn an award-winning bed and breakfast, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1891, offers all the luxurious amenities found in an upscale boutique hotel. Located on Piedmont Avenue in Midtown Atlanta’s theater, restaurant and cultural district, this crowning jewel is an urban oasis just steps from Atlanta’s Midtown Mile and bustling Peachtree Street.

THE FOX THEATRE See the Blue Man Group at The Fabulous Fox . Blue Man Group’s critically acclaimed show has been called “visually stunning,” “wildly inventive,” and “hysterically funny.” Although it is impossible to describe, people of all ages agree that Blue Man Group’s show is an intensely exciting and wildly outrageous experience that leaves the entire audience in a blissful, euphoric state. With no spoken language, Blue Man Group is perfect for people of all ages, languages, and cultures. This unique theatrical experience is like nothing else.

ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Two great musicians together — Ax and Mozart! One of the world’s most sought-after soloists, Emanuel Ax, playsMozart’s effervescent 14th PianoConcerto, written not for himself as were most of his concertos, but for his favorite student. Lionel Bringuier conducts two brooding pieces from the German Romantics — the Overture to Weber’s opera Der Freischütz, about a marksman who has to earn his love in spite of a deal with the Devil, and Schumann’s triumphant Fourth Symphony.

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Like the Atlanta Dogwood Festival on Facebook -
www.facebook.com/atlantadogwoodfestival
Follow the Atlanta Dogwood Festival on Twitter -
www.twitter.com/dogwoodfestival

 

Click below to download the 78th Annual Dogwood 2014 Festival Guide. This guide will assist in planning your 2015 festival itinerary.

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