Summerfest is an annual arts festival in the Virginia–Highland neighborhood of Intown Atlanta, taking place on two days in June each year. It is one of the largest art festivals in the Southeastern United States, typically attended by more than 50,000 visitors and showcasing more than 200 artists from across the region.
In addition to art it features music (on the "dave fm" stage), food, KidsFest, and for neighborhood residents, a parade, dinner and movie. It is the main source of funding (over $100,000) for the activities of the Virginia–Highland Civic Association, which spends it on parks, schools, the firehouse and other community organizations.
Summerfest began as a block party with Atkins Park restaurant owner Warren Bruno and other local businesses in 1984. The party took place between St. Charles and Greenwood Avenues along N. Highland Avenue.
Bruno stated in an interview that in the 1980s there was a lot of animosity between residents and businesses in Virginia–Highland and the festival was a way for businesses to "give back" to the community.
In 1988 the Civic Association took over the event, though the businesses stayed involved. Restaurants set up tasting booths in John Howell Park. A Kidsfest was added to bring back the family component in the celebration.
In 2000, a spat among organizers and a shakeup in the organizing committee made local headlines, but nonetheless Summerfest did continue as usual in 2001.
In 2008 Summerfest celebrated its 25th anniversary.