Arts in the Heart of Augusta 2018.
Arts in the Heart.
Where: Downtown Augusta, Georgia
When: Typically the second weekend in September
Cost: $7 in advance // $12 day-of . *badges are good for the entire weekend (Friday-Sunday)
More info: artsintheheartofaugusta.com
Growing up in the South, there are a wide variety of festivals and events that take place throughout the year. Arts in the Heart of Augusta is an annual art festival in September that includes local artists, international cuisine and live music. The festival features every medium of art you can imagine, from watercolor to jewelry! This year there was even a little girl selling her handmade earrings (so precious!!). Local schools, like Jessye Norman School of the Arts and Augusta University, also had booths set up.
Instead of tickets, badges are given out for you to wear. It is so much fun to be able to add a new one to your collection every year and to see the progression of the artwork on different years’ badges!
My favorite part of the festival is the wide variety of culturally diverse foods. As soon as you enter the gates you’re hit with an overwhelming aroma of the most delicious smelling food. This year, there were over 25 countries represented with food tents. What I love about the different countries’ tents are that most of the workers speak to each other in their native tongue. It’s neat to experience so much culture in just a few blocks.
I’m not very adventurous when it comes to trying new foods but this year I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried food from Yemen! I tried the Bajiah Bowl ($6). According to their menu, Bajiah is falafel made of black eyed peas, onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic & vegetable oil, and Yemeni spices. The outside had a nice crunch to it while the inside was soft and moist. I normally stray away from spicier foods, but I actually enjoyed the little bit of a kick it had from the Yemeni spices. I also had their lemonade…not sure if it was any different from regular lemonade but it sure was refreshing haha. The workers at the stand couldn’t have been any nicer. They helped us decide which dish to get and they even gave out free samples of some of their food.
This year’s festival happened to be the same weekend as Hurricane Florence. While Augusta was not directly impacted, we did have a lot of rain, causing the festival to get cut short on Saturday. I was able to go all three days of the festival and want to share a few of my tips if you plan on going next year!
Friday, to me, was the busiest day of the festival this year. It was also the sunniest, so I think the hurricane weather was a main cause for the larger crowds. One thing I found out while talking to many of the food vendors on Friday was that they were not serving all of the dishes on their menu until Saturday. So if you are planning on going to Arts in the Heart for the food, I recommend attending on Saturday for the best food selection! Also, be sure to carry cash because most of the vendors were not taking cards! One negative of the festival this year was the amount of people smoking. Because this event is so family friendly, I was surprised by the amount of people smoking. I get migraines very easily from cigarette smoke and unfortunately had to leave the festival early on Sunday because it was starting to get to me. I hope in the future they are able to make this a non-smoking event so that everyone can enjoy the festivities! As far as parking goes, it was not ideal but if you don’t mind walking a little bit it wasn’t too hard to find a space.
Despite the weather, Arts in the Heart of Augusta 2018 was one for the books. I’m already looking forward to next year!
For more information on Arts in the Heart of Augusta, check out their website here.
To find upcoming events in the Augusta area, check out VisitAugusta.com.
Photo’s by Michael David Productions