Plan Your Calendar for These Augusta, GA, Highlights
Each year, Augusta, GA, hosts events that draw people from across the CSRA, as well as out-of-town visitors and international guests. Golf fans across the world are familiar with the Masters Tournament, a golf tournament played each April at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta. The Masters is one of four major PGA championship events held each year. Since its inaugural tournament in 1934, the tournament has gained popularity and notoriety. This stems from both the caliber of the golfers participating and from how difficult it is to purchase tickets for the event. Many local residents rely on a ticket lottery (if your name is drawn, you have the option to purchase tickets at face value) or short-term tournament jobs on the course to gain access to the famed azaleas and pine trees that line the holes. In 2020, the tournament shifted to November for the first time in its 87-year history, though future tournaments are scheduled again for April.
During the late spring and summer, a number of popular area events occur, including Banjo-B-Que, which brings together bluegrass music and barbeque for a two-day event hosted each year on Memorial Day weekend. This food and music event, which began in 2010, honors the legacy of Joe Pond, a prominent local resident who died after a hard-fought cancer battle. The Banjo-B-Que line-up combines local musicians from Augusta and surrounding areas with nationally recognized performers. In previous years, the event has included a variety of headliners, including Old Crow Medicine Show, Ricky Staggs, Willie Nelson & Family and The Avett Brothers.
During April and May, Augusta offers ample opportunities to enjoy golf and delicious food, and time outside with family. As the leaves begin to fall (or at least, the temperatures stop hovering above 90 degrees every day!), Augusta is home to two unique and popular events that highlight the local arts culture in Augusta – Arts in the Heart and Westobou.
In early September, multiple blocks of Augusta’s primary downtown thoroughfare, Broad Street, become home to Arts in the Heart. Arts in the Heart is a three-day event (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) that promotes the art of many local and regional artists, who sell their handcrafted wares, along with local choirs and musicians, who perform throughout the event on multiple stages. The event includes a kids area, with kid-friendly activities such as face painting and simple art activities and kid artists with their works for sale. Some of the activities are free and others cost money. Along with performances and visual arts, Arts in the Heart is known to locals for its international food court, located in Augusta Commons. Each year, a variety of food cultures are represented, allowing attendees to experience food from around the world, without ever leaving Augusta. Some of the cultural menus are prepared by local restaurants and small businesses, while other menus are prepared by local area families sharing their own family recipes.
Take a deep breath to let your wallet and waistline recover, because in five weeks Augusta is again buzzing with activity. Westobou is a five-day arts event that began in 2008. The event honors the memory of Shirley Fleming. Fleming was a music critic who lived in New York City, but maintained strong ties to Augusta until her death. The festival was founded to provide enrichment activities for people of all ages, exposing them to different aspects of dance, music, food, spoken word, and visual arts. Plan ahead, because events are held throughout the weeks at multiple venues in Augusta, and advance registration may be required.