Atlanta Dogwood Festival future may be at risk

The Atlanta Dogwood Festival was back this weekend at Piedmont Park for the 88th year. But with rising costs, the future of the festival could be at risk.

"It's just a great area that they really seem to appreciate the art here," artist Lisa Keys said.

This is the third year Lisa Keys has made the trip from South Carolina to be a part of the festival and sell her artwork.

"The weather has been beautiful, other than the wind. It's always a great show for us," she said.

But all this fun for artists like Keys, and the thousands of attendees each year, could come to an end one day. Festival leaders say it's all due to rising costs.

"I know our costs since Covid have gone up 25-30% just right across the board, but that doesn't mean the revenue is going up with it," Brian Hill, Atlanta Dogwood Festival Executive Director, said.

Hill said everything from labor costs to costs of materials have skyrocketed in recent years.

"And the costs of things like security and safety and all of that stuff, we're in a different world than we were a little while back. Safety is our primary concern for all of our guests, and those costs are going to go up," he explained.

And without donations from everyone attending the free event, he said the festival may not be able to continue to go on.

"If the finance isn't there, someone has to pay for it," he explained.

"We try to cut where we can cut, but we don't want to cut the integrity of the programming," he added.

Artists like Keys say they rely on festivals like this to do what they love.

"I'd have to find another job," Keys explained. "I need festivals to be able to sell my art. I really prefer this venue to sell art. I like seeing people interacting with my customers."

The Atlanta Dogwood Festival ended on Sunday.