Dogwood Fest ’08 disappoints

Prior to 2008, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival was always held in Piedmont Park. Because of the severe drought conditions, however, the city of Atlanta ruled that the festival must take place at an alternate location this year. After spending several months looking, the festival settled in the parking lot outside of Lenox Mall.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to appreciate spring and the beauty of blooming dogwood trees and green grass when you’re in a parking lot. It wasn’t the festival’s fault, but it definitely lost something when it changed locations.

Still, there was fun to be had at the festival this year. As always, the artist market was jam-packed with over 200 vendors selling everything from silk scarves to wooden tables to oil paintings.

The artists seemed more diverse this year than they have in previous years, which made for some interesting shopping. Almost as much fun as looking for things to buy was looking at stuff you’d wonder if anyone would buy.

Having planned the date of the festival almost a year in advance, there was no way for the festival ‘s planning committee to have foreseen that it was going to rain on Friday and Saturday. It’s ironic that the location of the festival was changed because of the drought; it poured almost all weekend.

It seemed as though the food was about half of the event. There was a huge mass of food stands selling gyros, funnel cakes, crab cakes, barbeque and just about anything else you might find at a carnival or festival type event.

In the past, one of the highlights of the Dogwood Festival has been the canine competition, featuring some very talented dogs catching Frisbees in the air. Unfortunately, due to the aesthetics of the new location, this event was cancelled.

Although the 72nd Dogwood Festival wasn’t as enjoyable as it has been in previous years, its solid reputation merits giving it another chance in 2009.