Another summer weekend is here, and that means Athens, Georgia has lots going on!  Among the numerous events, the Classic City is proud to have an exceptional abundance of musical talent and fun for the family this weekend!  Opportunities to see live performances downtown, participate in a cultural festival, cook your family's secret chili recipe at Terrapin, and enjoy Athens' beautiful nature make for an awesome weekend for everyone!

The Georgia Theatre is always a favorite Athens spot, especially during the warm summer months with its rooftop bar and food from the Branded Butcher. This Friday, however, is an especially exciting night at the venue, because Taj Mahal is performing!  Taj began playing blues music forty years ago and earned his title as an influential figure in late 20th century blues and roots music.  He has since been traveling the globe and expanding his style.  Tickets are $30 and may be purchased online or at the venue.  Taj Mahal's show at the Georgia Theatre will be a blast with his talent and sounds from all over the world!

Terrapin Brewery, another frequently visited Athens attraction, is having a special weekend as well!  In addition to their weekly Wednesday through Saturday brewery tours, this Saturday has been declared the 1st Annual IHNA Chili Cook-Off & Family Cookout! Bring the whole family for two of the most fun hours possible this weekend! From 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., hot dogs, hamburgers, side items, vegetarian options, and all of the chili made by the participating competitors will be served to guests ($7 per person or $20 per family). Live outdoor music by The Last Tycoon and a moon bounce will also be present on Terrapin's expansive grass. The proceeds will benefit Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens (IHNA), which is a non-profit organization that works with a network of local congregations to provide emergency shelter and vital services for homeless families with children in Athens and Northeast Georgia.  Bring the whole family to this event that will hopefully continue for many years to come!

It's that time of year again to celebrate the traditional center of black culture and commerce in Athens, Georgia: the Morton Theatre!  This weekend will be Hot Corner Celebration & Soul Food Festival's 13th year of soulful celebration.  The event begins on Friday night with a Gospel Praise Party in the Morton Theatre lasting from 6 - 10 p.m., and the festivities continue all day on Saturday (noon - 10 p.m.) on Washington Street in downtown Athens.  Live performances, showcases, games, speakers, a raffle drawing, and more will keep all in attendance entertained.  People of all ages will enjoy celebrating culture and diversity in the Classic City this weekend!

Head to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia on Saturday morning from 9 - 11 a.m. for the Family Hiking Club! Sign the family up to explore the beautiful gardens and trails for a relaxing and educational Saturday morning. Along the way the guests will play fun environmental and sensory games as they discover interesting facts about plants.  Pre-registration is required, so call to book spots the whole family for $15 or individuals for $5 each.   Kids under age 3 are free.  Wear comfortable clothing, sturdy shoes, and get ready to explore!

University of Georgia College of Education professor Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor is hosting Seat in the Shade: Summer Poetry Reading Series- a week of poetry reading and discussion of the poetic craft during the days of June 6-13. The reading this weekend by Stephen Corey, Jenny Gropp Hess, The GA Review Team will occur on Friday night at The Globe at 7:00 p.m.! This is the celebration's second year running, and all performances are free of charge, so check it out!

Yet another musical icon is coming to the Classic City this weekend!  On Sunday night, Jake Shimabukuro: World Class Ukulele Master will blow guests away at The Melting Point with his flawless, passionate style.   Start your week on an inspired note with Shimabukuro's globally-practiced style! Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 8.  Get your ticket ($25 in advance) while they last!

Lastly, don't forget that Athfest is coming up quickly on June 19-23!  For hotel packages and a complete compilation of Athens events, visit our website's event calendar.  Now gather the family to get out and enjoy these great local events!