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5 US Spring Festivals You Don’t Want to Miss

Spring is here, and with it comes thoughts of housecleaning, hikes among blossoming trees, and spring festivals. If you’ve been cooped up in the house this winter and are looking for a reason to get outdoors, here are five spring festivals worthy of enjoying.

Atlanta Dogwood Festival

The Atlanta Dogwood Festival is celebrating its seventy-fifth year in 2011. This lively spring festival runs April 15–17 and features an impressive collection of fine art, historical displays, and literary activities during the full blooming of the dogwoods. Fans of “Gone with the Wind” can also join the outdoor festivities as the famous novel also celebrates 75 years of existence. As part of the celebration, the Margaret Mitchell House is offering free admission to the museum. Stay up-to-date on the goings on by following the event on Facebook.

Austin’s South by Southwest Festival

Technically this music, film, and interactive festival occurs at the end of winter, but it’s still close enough to spring to include it here. Running from March 11–March 20, this spring music festival always draws huge crowds of people who grab a chair and watch some of the best music and film currently available. This year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) celebrates 25 years of all things music and film and is bound to include numerous interesting guest speakers and artists.

D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival

This spring festival is in its ninety-ninth year of celebration and gearing up for its centennial event in 2012. The Cherry Blossom Festival has its origins in the mass gifting of 3,000 cherry blossom trees to the U.S. by government officials in Tokyo, Japan. Since then, the people of Washington, D.C. have celebrated the Cherry Blossom Festival as a way to celebrate the coming of spring and honor the relationship between the two countries. This year’s festival takes place between March 26 and April 11 and provides the perfect excuse to enjoy the outdoors in the nation’s capital.

New Orleans Wine and Food Experience

In 1991, a group of New Orleans food and wine enthusiasts envisioned a large charity event celebrating the wine and cuisine of the region. A year later the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience was born. This is one of the biggest spring events in New Orleans, after its well-known Mardi Gras. This year’s event will be held from May 24–28, featuring big names like chefs John Besh and Susan Spice. Grab a chair, sit down, and enjoy a full-flavor experience. Who knows: maybe you’ll find a great wine to enjoy by the campfire.

Towsontown Spring Festival

Located about 20 to 30 minutes north of Baltimore, the community of Towson, MD has been hosting its spring festival since 1968. With humble beginnings in the local arts, the Towsontown Spring Festival is now one of the largest spring festivals on the East Coast. This outdoor festival is family-friendly, featuring a wide array of things for children and adults to do. This year’s events are scheduled to take place on April 30 and May 1 in Downtown Towson.