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Atlanta Dogwood Fest looks for a new home

Atlanta Dogwood Festival Coverage from the January, 2008 issue of Creative Loafing.

Related:

This is an article from 2003. For all current information and additional links see Cl's coverage of the Atlanta Dogwood Festival.

The folks who put on the annual Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park were informed yesterday that the park will host no major events in 2008 because of the drought.

That's understandable, but the late notice has left organizers scrambling to find a location for the festival, now in its 72nd year.

The festival sent out this press release today:

After the City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation’s announcement that no large festivals can be held in Piedmont Park during 2008, the 72nd Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival must search for a temporary site so that it can present a viable event for its fans. This last-minute notification delivered to festival organizers yesterday will mean major changes are required for one of the South’s oldest and most beloved spring traditions, which is scheduled to open April 4.

“We were disappointed to learn that the City of Atlanta decided to not allow any large park festivals this year,” said Atlanta Dogwood Festival executive director Brian Hill. “In spite of the city’s announcement, we will remain positive and attempt to present the festival at an alternative and suitable location, retaining the very high level of entertainment quality we were planning for Piedmont Park. We understand the severity of the drought conditions and had previously presented an alternative layout to restrict the festival’s activities to the streets within the park. We had hoped the city would allow the festival to proceed as scheduled.”

For the past 71 years, Atlanta’s “Favorite Festival” (as voted by readers of Atlanta Magazine) has brought hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city, creating a valuable economic impact with a cumulative value of hundreds of millions of dollars. The festival has always taken care to reduce the physical impact of its audience on Piedmont Park and has paid for any minimal damages to the park due to the festival use.

“We share a passion for Piedmont Park,” said Hill “Our goal is to sustain Atlanta’s favorite springtime event for many years to come.”

An announcement of the festival’s revised plans will be released in the next two weeks.