Calling all foodies and tastemakers! Get your tickets to this four-day premiere event.  

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Sunday Tasting Tents
Credit: Raftermen/Atlanta Food & Wine Festival

Thousands will flock to Midtown Atlanta on Thursday, June 1 for the seventh annual Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. It's one big party and a delicious Southern experience you won't want to miss.

Atlanta's most prestigious culinary event is the brainchild of organizers, Elizabeth Feichter and Dominique Love. Since 2010, the entrepreneurial duo have sought out the top chefs, cookbook authors, sommeliers, pitmasters, and mixologists of the region—from Texas to Washington, D.C.—to showcase their talents in the vibrant, bustling capital of Georgia. Spanning four days and three nights, the festival pays homage to the culturally rich traditions that define the South.

And as you might imagine, when more than 150 chefs and classic, top shelf cocktails are involved, word travels pretty fast. So get your individual tickets and VIP three-day passes here before the sale ends on May 31. Prices for the weekend of tastings, classes, and demos starts at $50. But those prominent activities are just a mere sampling of what you can expect at this year's event. If you need more convincing to eat, drink, and be merry in June, here are six reasons why you should add the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival to your summer destination calendar.

1. You can enroll in a seminar devoted to Southern sandwiches.

The sandwich series returns for the second time, only this year the emphasis is on breakfast. Anticipate more humble, unassuming varieties that you can find at an average diner, bistro, or Mama's kitchen. Not only will you learn about the South's most popular breakfast sandwiches, but you'll also get to nosh on a few favorites. The tasting seminar will be held on Saturday, June 3, at Loews Atlanta Hotel from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

2. You can savor the flavor all weekend long in tasting tents.

Festival-goers will get to feast to their heart's content because of the all-you-can-eat layout in the tents. Think of it as the country's greatest and most upscale food court. Created to take your taste buds on a journey through the South, you'll indulge in satisfying bites and beverages from the region's best chefs and artisans, while also celebrating some international influences and their impact on our cuisine. The tasting tents will be located in a designated area at Piedmont Park.

3. You can learn from experts.

The Learning Experiences are carefully curated, promising in-depth seminars, cooking and cocktail demonstrations, labs, grilling classes, pairing sessions, and panel discussions. Over the years, these have included everything from biscuit-making and barbecue to bourbon and country hams. Owing in part to the festival's rising popularity, the classes are already filling up, so get your tickets soon!

4. You can celebrate like a true connoisseur.

In addition to enjoying a daily breakfast and food service during class intermissions in the Connoisseur Lounge, guests will also be treated to an intimate, immersive dinner with award-winning chefs. You'll have the chance to be brought right into the kitchen, thanks to this up-close and personal dining experience.

Sid and Jenny Atlanta Food and Wine Festival
Credit: Photo: Jenny Bonchak/Slingshot Coffee Co.

5. You have to be there to see who takes home the Entrepreneurs Award.

This year, Southern Living is proud to recognize some fresh talent in the food industry. In partnership with Craft Catalyst, LLC, and the Food & Wine Festival, our very own Editor-in-Chief Sid Evans will be in attendance to present one lucky finalist with the Southern Food & Drink Entrepreneurs Award. The recipient will be chosen from a group of five of the best food and beverage business owners who have been in operation less than five years, and the winner will also receive a bonus sweet deal—coverage on SouthernLiving.com and in the magazine.

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6. You can meet homegrown Southern talent.

There will be some big names in the festival lineup, but you'll also get to meet culinary enthusiasts who are redefining Southern food. The chefs, presenters, and council represent the vast diversity of the South, hailing from more than 13 southeastern states.