Three years ago, the Atlanta Braves gave new meaning to taking the dog for a walk in the park when they hosted the first Bark in the Park. The event allows fans and their furry friends to enjoy a home game with special amenities not offered to the rest of the spectators. It's become so popular that there are two each year the first one of the season this weekend.
As the Braves take on the Houston Astros in the last of a three-game series, dogs whose owners pre-registered will get to sit in a designated section at Turner Field where Wag-A-Lot doggie daycare will provide doggie pools, water misters, veterinary services and other pet pampering.
Bark in the Park tickets get admission for one human and one canine, as long as the dog is up to date on its vaccinations, with proceeds going to the Atlanta Braves Foundation. Up to six additional human tickets can be purchased with each combo ticket. Bark in the Park ticket holders get their own special entrance to the park.
Bark in the Park. Sun., May 3. 1:30 p.m. $12-$25 (registration ends April 30). Turner Field, 755 Hank Aaron Drive. 404-577-9100. www.braves.com/bark.
GOkickball The recreational kickball league's spring season is at its halfway point, with teams vying for a chance to play in the city championship game at Atlanta Silverbacks Park. But registration for the summer league begins April 30. If you haven't played kickball since elementary school, you can check out a game for free to see if you want to sign up.
Times and locations vary. $54 for season registration. Summer registration closes June 9. Summer season is June 18-Aug. 10. 404-799-8480. www.gokickball.com/atlanta.
The Mitty The annual racing event features a variety of historic sports cars on display and in action on the winding Road Atlanta track. The three-day event includes practice runs and qualifying races on Friday and Saturday, and featured races on Saturday and Sunday. There will also be motorcycle races, pre-race ceremonies and post-race parties.
Fri., May 1, 7 a.m.; Sat., May 2, 7:30 a.m.; Sun., May 3. 8 a.m. $5-$50. Road Atlanta, 5300 Winder Highway, Braselton. 770-967-6143. www.roadatlanta.com.
Shepherd Center Derby Day For those who can't make the trip to this weekend's Kentucky Derby, this local celebration broadcasts the race on two big screens. Admission includes barbecue, beverages, live music and a shuttle from Buckhead to the Douglasville farm. Proceeds from the event benefit the Shepherd Center's Therapeutic Recreation Program.
Sat., May 2. 2 p.m.-10 p.m. $60-$70. Foxhall Farm, 8000 Capps Ferry Road, Douglasville. 404-350-7302. www.derbyday.com.
2009 Season Opener Dixie Speedway begins its 40th anniversary season this weekend with a full racing program on the dirt track. Cars from each division will rev their engines for a night of racing action. And Dixie will be offering discounted grandstand admission all season as part of the anniversary celebration.
Sat., May 2. 7:30 p.m. (gates open at 5 p.m.). $10-$22. Dixie Speedway, 150 Dixie Drive, Woodstock. 706-926-5315. www.dixiespeedway.com.
(Photo courtesy Road Atlanta)
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