Special Events in Augusta
Throughout the year, Augusta, GA, is home to a number of events that draw local residents, out-of-town visitors, and even international guests to the area. Beyond the states of Georgia and South Carolina, Augusta is most known for hosting the Masters Tournament, a golf tournament played each April at Augusta National Golf Club. The tournament is one of four major championship events held each year. First played in 1934, the tournament is prestigious, both because of the caliber of the golfers participating and because of how difficult it is to purchase tickets for the event. During the week of the Masters – which always falls on spring break for Columbia, Richmond, and Aiken counties, the city of Augusta welcomes thousands of visitors, filling both area hotels and the homes of many local residents, who choose to rent their homes out for the event.
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 during Memorial Day weekend. This music festival began in 2010 to honor the legacy of Joe Pond, a prominent local resident who lost his hard-fought battle with cancer. Along with local Augusta area musicians and bands, the Banjo-B-Que line-up has included popular musicians such as Ricky Staggs, Old Crow Medicine Show, Willie Nelson & Family and The Avett Brothers.
The spring and summer offer residents and visitors their fill of golf and barbeque, but in the fall, Augusta is home to two separate events that highlight the local arts culture in Augusta – Westobou and Arts in the Heart.
During early September, the streets of downtown Augusta are home to Arts in the Heart, this three-day weekend event highlights the art of many local and regional artists, who sell new handmade arts and fine crafts on Broad Street, as well as local choirs and musicians, who perform throughout the event on multiple stages. There is also a kids area, featuring kid-friendly activities such as face painting and simple art activities, as well as the occasion child artist. Along with the art and music and dance performances, Arts in the Heart has continued to gain popularity for its international food court. A variety of cultures are represented, allowing any attendee to sample food from around the world, without ever leaving Augusta. Some of the cultural menus are prepared by local restaurants and small businesses, while others are prepared thanks to local area families.
A few weeks later, the city of Augusta is again buzzing with activity, thanks to Westobou, a five-day arts event that began in 2008, to honor the memory of Shirley Fleming, a music critic who lived in New York City, but maintained a home and presence in Augusta until her death. The festival is intended to provide cultural enrichment activities for individuals of all ages, exposing them to aspects of multiple music, dance, spoken word, food and visual arts. Events are held throughout the weeks at multiple venues in Augusta. Some require a ticket, but many are free to the public.
Before you declare there is nothing to do on any given weekend, be sure to do your research. You’re likely to find a variety of activities and events taking places, bringing the arts, music, food, sports and more to you, right here in Augusta.