A Year of Festivities: Middle Georgia's Top 10 Events for 2024


What the participants of the Cherry Blossom Festival's Weiner Dog Races lack in size, they make up in spirit (Photographer Nate Weeks)

There are plenty of exciting events taking place in Middle Georgia in 2024 and the beginning of the year is a great time to start making plans to attend them. The following are just a few of the signature events taking place this year.

1. Cherry Blossom Festival: The Cherry Blossom Festival will include multiple special events such as the Cherry Blossom Road Race and the very popular (and hilarious) Weiner Dog Races, performances from talented musicians (including Ernest, Bryce Leatherwood, and Lupe Fiasco), and much more. This year will mark the 42nd anniversary of the festival, which is scheduled to take place from March 15th through 24th.

2. Mulberry Street Arts & Craft Festival: This festival usually takes place around the end of the Cherry Blossom Festival in mid-March. Downtown Macon streets will be filled with vendors selling many unique artworks, crafts, clothing items, jewelry, and more.

3. Fired Works: The Macon Arts Alliance's Fired Works takes place annually in April. Described as the  largest exhibition of functional pottery in Georgia, the creativity and intricacy of the pottery at this event is truly mindblowing. 

Some of the colorful pottery pieces on display at last year's Fired Works (Photographer Nate Weeks)

4. Bragg Jam: Last year's Bragg Jam included live music from almost 50 different bands/acts and was headlined by the band Shovels and Rope. This year will be the 25th annual Bragg Jam. It usually takes place near the end of July.

5. Macon Film Festival: There are a lot of festivals that take place in Macon every year, but the Macon Film Festival is an especially entertaining one. Documentaries, short films, educational films, dramas, comedies, and more are screened at the festival every year. One of the more immersive types of films shown at this festival are the Full Dome films, which are 360-degree films projected on the huge ceiling of Macon Museum of Arts and Science's Mark Smith Planetarium. The Macon Film Festival usually takes place in mid-August.

6. Ocmulgee Indigenous Festival: The 32nd annual Ocmulgee Indigenous Festival usually takes place in mid-September. It celebrates the history and culture of the Southeastern Native American people who once lived in Middle Georgia. The Ocmulgee Indigenous Festival is a family-friendly event that features crafts, storytelling, live demonstrations, music, dancing, and more.

Crowd participation is encouraged during some of the dances at the Ocmulgee Indigenous Festival (Photographer Nate Weeks)

7. Georgia National Fair: The Georgia National Fair is scheduled to take place October 3rd through 13th this year. In 2023, the fair featured "over 150 events and over 958,000 visitors", according to a recent Facebook post. There are nightly concerts at the Georgia National Fair (last year Lee Greenwood, Smash Mouth, and Mark Chestnutt were among the performers), special events, rides, fair food, and more. 

8. Macon Beer Festival: The Macon Beer Festival is unique not only in how many different types of beers are available but also because it serves the mission of encouraging prostate cancer awareness and screenings. The festival includes races and other special events besides the main beer-tasting event. This year the Macon Beer Festival is scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 13th.

9. Thriller Parade: 2024 will be the 18th time that Downtown Macon's streets will be filled with zombie-like dancers recreating Michael Jackson's "Thriller" music video. This free annual family-friendly event is presented by Hayiya Dance Theatre. It usually takes place in Cherry Street Plaza and the dancers get together to practice before the parade to make sure they get their zombie shuffles perfected before the big event.

10. Macon Pride Festival: The Macon Pride Festival expanded from a one-day event to a full week of events that include live music, vendors, a beauty pageant, and more. The event takes place at various locations around Downtown Macon. Last year the Macon Pride Festival took place near the end of September.

Attendees at last year's Pride Festival were encouraged to add their mark to a pop-up graffiti wall (Photographer Nate Weeks)

While the events above are sure to be exciting, there are many other special events taking place in 2024 that would have fit in perfectly on the above list. Some of those events include the Macon Art Explosion (in February), the Central Georgia Greek Festival (March 9th), the Mimosa Festival and the All About Animals Rescue Run (both usually in May), the Great Ocmulgee River Duck Race and the Macon Vegan Fest (both usually in June), the Labor Day Road Race (September 2nd), the Perry International Festival and the First Street Art and Wine Festival (also in September), and the Macon Witches Float (in October). Of course, with all the festivals and special events that take place in Middle Georgia, there are many more fun events not listed in this article, which just demonstrates just how much there is to do every year in the heart of Georgia.

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