If “Home is where the heart is,” as Roman author Pliny the Elder once said, then there is little doubt this year’s Sandy Springs Festival will again be “home” for residents and visitors to the city Sept. 28 and 29.

The festival, which will celebrate its 34th anniversary this year, continues to give residents and visitors an opportunity to meet one another and enjoy fine art, diverse food, a silent auction and live entertainment both days.

The event, which is hosted by the nonprofit Heritage Sandy Springs Museum and Park and held on its grounds as well as the streets surrounding it, regularly attracts more than 20,000 attendees during the two-day period.

The festival will be open Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sept. 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission and parking are free, with shuttles provided at Lake Forest Elementary School (5920 Sandy Springs Circle) and the Century Springs office complex (6100 Lake Forrest Drive).

“We’re working hard this year to give Sandy Springs a bigger and better festival than we’ve had in the festival’s history,” Heritage Executive Director Carol Thompson said in the release.

“We are enhancing many of our traditional features, including attracting fine art artists’ booths in our Art District, as well as a larger global presence, that includes entertainment from around the world, in the festival’s Cultural District.”

In addition, she said, along with DJs J&M Sound Design and great bands on stage in the Sandy Springs Society Entertainment Lawn, there will be entertainment for the whole family, including the kids’ area. Festival favorites, such as the pet parade and the Sandy Springs Lightning 10K/5K, are also back.

New this year are the Sandy Springs Wine Festival, a ticketed event within the festival and in partnership with the Atlanta Sport and Social Club, and the grand opening of “Grit, Gumption, and Grace: The Women of Sandy Springs,” a museum/Williams-Payne House exhibit that spotlights female leaders in the city’s history.

“There will be something for everyone at the Sandy Springs Festival,” Thompson said.

Robin Golivesky, who is in her second year as a volunteer with the festival, has also volunteered at Heritage’s Concerts by the Springs spring/summer series. She said she has been a Sandy Springs resident since 2001 this festival is one way she stays “connected” with her community.

Although Golivesky said the different attractions throughout the festival, which are called districts by festival organizers, are great, she most enjoys the social aspect of the event.

“You see people you do know at the festival and new people you meet, so it is a great community event,” she said.

Sandy Springs resident Jan Stewart said her family has attended the festival for 19 years.

“My children are in their 20s now, but when they were in college, they would do their best to return home the weekend of the festival because it was something our family does together,” she said.

For more information, visit www.heritagesandysprings.org.

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