By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Welcome to Your Weekend: Graduate in style

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..." - Dr. Seuss.

‘Tis the season for graduation. Congrats banners grace the entrance of every neighborhood. Cap and gown cups and plates are front and center at the party store. All the proud parents are posting cap and gown pics of their lovely children on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Restaurants are hosting grad parties. Churches are honoring their graduating members. Parents are making craft room and man cave plans for when the kids go off to college (What...too soon?). It's the time for saying goodbye to one chapter in life and embarking on the next one. Sunday morning, my pastor reminded the members of our congregation what it was like when we were high school graduates. We were excited. We felt invincible. We wanted to get out and take the world by storm. We weren't thinking about mortgages, health issues or the heavy stuff of life. It was a good time. It got me thinking... If I could share the wisdom I have now with my 18-year-old graduating self what would that be?

1) Skip the perm.
2) Drink coffee. It is better for you than soda and you will look much cooler in the college library sipping on a cup o' joe than a Diet Rite or Tab.
3) Invent this giant blanket oufit thing called a Snuggy. You will make millions.
4) Don't ever start watching Keeping up with the Kardashians.
5) When it's time to buy a car, don't buy the Daewoo.

If I had only known! Once we have framed the diploma, eaten the party cake and imparted our wisdom on the young graduates of today, they will be ready to start the next chapter of their lives. Oh, the Places they will go! And in honor of our local graduates, let's take them out this weekend and treat them to a fun weekend event. Head over to Piedmont Park for the Atlanta Jazz Festival, a weekend long celebration of jazz musicians and history. Are you a Don Draper fan? Mad Men may have come to an end, but the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is bringing the Mad Men era music to Atlanta. Join Conductor Steven Reineke and the ASO as they take you on a nostalgic trip back to the 50s and 60s. The Decatur Arts Festival takes over the streets of downtown Decatur for a weekend of artists markets, live performances, children's activities and more. And if you want to stay closer to home, make your way to the 5th Annual Covington Car Show in downtown Covington. Classic cars and the sounds of the oldies will make for a fun afternoon for the whole family.

Atlanta Jazz Festival
Friday-Sunday, May 22-24
Cost: Free
Take advantage of one of the largest free jazz festivals in the country. The culmination of a month of arts events wraps up Memorial Day weekend with an outdoor festival featuring jazz artists from all over the world. The mission of the Atlanta Jazz Festival is to expose and entertain a diverse audience of Jazz aficionados, young Jazz enthusiasts and aspiring musicians to the rich heritage and variety of Jazz as an authentic form of American music. Come get jazzy with us and support these talented artists!

Music of the Mad Men Era
Friday-Sat, May 22-23, 8 p.m.
Cost: $25 and up
The Mad Men series may be over, but at Atlanta Symphony Hall the music lives on. Conductor Steven Reineke leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on a nostalgic trip back to the 50s and 60s, featuring vocalists Nikki Renée Daniels and Ryan Silverman singing everything from old standards by Mancini and Berlin, to music by Bacharach and Amy Winehouse. Don Draper approved!

Decatur Arts Festival
Saturday-Sunday, May 23-24
Saturday 10 a.m., Sunday 11 a.m.
Cost: Free
Art lovers listen up! Downtown Decatur comes alive on Memorial Day weekend for the annual Decatur Arts Festival. Experience the artist market, live musical performances, improvisational and stand-up comedy, children's festival and parade, literary events, dance performances and more.

5th Annual Covington Car Show
Sunday, May 17, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Cost: Free
Mustangs, Corvettes, T Birds, Oh My! Come on down to the beautiful Downtown Covington for the 5th Annual Covington Car Show. Browse the streets full of beautiful classic cars as you enjoy the sounds of the oldies. Local shops and vendors will also be available with a variety of food, drink and merchandise.