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5 Atlanta events you won’t want to miss: December 12-18

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Sights of Sound by Google
Marshmello’s Happier Place, part of Google’s Sights of Sound pop-up, which is coming to Ponce City Market this weekend.

Photograph courtesy of Google

Google’s Sights of Sound
When: December 14, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; December 15-16, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Where: Ponce City Market
Cost: Free
Details: Google is coming to town with an interactive photo pop-up meant to show off its new Pixel 3 phone. The free event, which has already visited San Francisco, Los Angeles, Austin, and Miami, hands you a Pixel 3 when you walk in. Using the phone as a guide, you can use it to take photos of and interact with the pop-up’s four rooms, which themed after musicians Ella Mai, Future, J Balvin, and Marshmello. You’ll also get a T-shirt and can enter a contest for a chance to win a phone.

Power 96.1’s Jingle Ball
When:
 December 14, 7:30 p.m.
Where: State Farm Arena
Cost: $32-$140+
Details: This national iHeartRadio-sponsored tour, which has already hit New York City, Washington DC, and Chicago, is making its stop in Atlanta. And the lineup is a pure dance party: Shawn Mendes, Calvin Harris, G-Eazy, Marshmello, Bazzi, Alessia Cara, and more.

Netherworld Haunted Holiday
When: December 15, 6:30-9 p.m.
Where: 2076 West Park Place Boulevard, Stone Mountain
Cost: $26 online, $28 at door if tickets remain
Details: Grab onto a rope and don’t let go. Only 6 people will enter at a time to walk through a special engagement at the world-famous haunted house for traditional and Christmas-themed scares.

Monday Night Brewing’s Christmas in Space
When: December 17, 7 p.m.
Where: Monday Night Garage
Cost: $30 general admission, $25 per person for group of 4+ tickets, $10 designated driver
Details: Monday Night is taking Christmas out of this world. Head to the West End Garage in your best space-slash-holiday outfit to sip on specialty Space Lettuce IPAs, participate in costume contests, and enjoy live music. You’ll also leave with a Santa glass with art by local artist A.J. DeWitt.

13th annual Mighty Mo and More at the Fox Theatre
When: December 17, 7 p.m.
Where: Fox Theatre
Cost: Free
Details: Along with celebrating the Fox Theatre’s 89-year-old Mighty Mo organ, there will also be a screening of Elf, everyone’s favorite Christmas movie featuring Will Ferrell. American Theatre Organ Society’s president Ken Double will play Mighty Mo and soul artist Cody Matlock will perform before the screening. Tickets are free, but participants are encouraged to donate new socks for Project Live Love’s Three-Oh-We-Go! program.

What Atlanta United fans had to say about their team bringing home the MLS Cup

Atlanta United victory parade downtownTwenty-three years. That’s how long it’s been since a professional Atlanta sports team was even able to hold a championship parade. In 1995, when the Atlanta Braves won the World Series, Bill Clinton was in the second year of his presidency, Windows 95 and Toy Story were released, eBay got off the ground, and the average cost of a gallon of gas was $1.11.

Now, the Atlanta sports curse has finally been lifted. In just their second season, Atlanta United defeated the Portland Timbers 2-0 at home on Saturday to take home the MLS Cup—50 years after the city’s very first professional soccer team, the Atlanta Chiefs, won a North American Soccer League championship. (That championship, like United’s, was also won in the Chiefs’ second year as a team.) Just before the victory parade began on Monday morning, we stepped outside our downtown office (conveniently located at the start of the parade route) to speak to United fans about what the championship means to them and to the city:

Atlanta United championship parade
Cris Wight

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Cris Wight
“Since 1995 when the Braves last won, it’s great that the city has something to come together for and that we have a professional sports team we can all get behind. It kind of brightens up the holiday spirit.”

Atlanta United championship parade
Terrance Thorn

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Terrance Thorn
“It’s great, it’s wonderful. We actually need stuff like this. It brings people together, especially now. It’s holiday season—couldn’t ask for a better time to get a championship. You see it, right here, it’s evident. It’s Monday, people are supposed to be at work—they’re out celebrating. We’re enjoying it. We need it.”

Atlanta United championship parade
From left: Aubrey, Jennifer, Eva, Cheryl, and Corey Peake

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Corey, Cheryl, Eva, Aubrey, and Jennifer Peake
“It’s been a long time coming for the City of Atlanta. Everybody knows the agonizing defeats that we’ve had in the past. The city’s really bought into Atlanta United—the whole culture. It’s exciting to get to witness this and to have the young ones be able to witness it as well.” —Corey Peake

Atlanta United championship parade
From left: Darin and Lily Glass, Max and Zack Strayer

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Darin and Lily Glass; Max and Zack Strayer
“It’s amazing. Being a Falcons fan forever, to have this in the city is amazing. Let’s hope this breaks the Atlanta curse! Rising tides bring up all ships.” —Darin Glass

Atlanta United championship parade
Rahmand Woodard and Linda McCann

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Rahmand Woodard and Linda McCann
“They didn’t think soccer was going to take off here in the South, and it did—it’s great.” —Linda McCann

Atlanta United championship parade
Blythe and Libby Grace, Harding and Oriana Weidman, May Ambler, and Sophia Arnold

Photograph by Caroline C. Kilgore

Blythe and Libby Grace, Harding and Oriana Weidman, May Ambler, Sophia Arnold
“The kids have been watching it, the neighborhood has been watching it—Atlanta United has been such a fantastic experience for everybody in our community.” —Brian Fisher (not pictured)

11 questions for Manchester Orchestra frontman Andy Hull

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Manchester Orchestra
From left: drummer Tim Very, lead guitarist Robert McDowell, lead singer Andy Hull, bassist Andy Prince

Photograph courtesy of Chromatic PR

It might have taken a dozen years, but Andy Hull can finally say he’s made it as an Atlanta musician.

As the frontman for Manchester Orchestra, an indie rock band based in Atlanta, this is the first time he’ll be performing as the lead act at the Fox Theatre. On November 21, Manchester Orchestra will perform at the Stuffing, an annual concert in Atlanta that’s held just before the Thanksgiving, which will kick off their month-long tour with The Front Bottoms. The concert series has slowly grown in size, starting in 2010 at Center Stage, selling out the Tabernacle last year, and now moving to the Fox Theatre.

Similarly, Manchester Orchestra has slowly but surely grown in size since their first album was released in 2007—playing at major music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, and Coachella and appearing on late night shows for Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman, and Conan O’Brien.

Hull also fronts two other bands, Right Away, Great Captain!, a solo project that chronicles a fictional story of 17th century sailor who discovers his wife having an affair with his brother, and Bad Books, an indie rock band with folk rock artist Kevin Devine and other members of Manchester Orchestra. (You can see Bad Books perform at Shaky Knees Music Festival next year.)

We talked to Hull about new music, his newest project Brother Bird, his newborn son, and life in Atlanta.

You have a new project, Brother Bird. How did that come about?
Caroline Swan is an incredible singer/songwriter who I actually found out about in 2001. Somebody sent me a link of her covering a Manchester [Orchestra] song on YouTube when she was like 16 years old. So I had our manager reach out, and I sent her a quick email like, “Hey, you’re amazing, if you ever need any help, let me know, because your voice is just undeniably great.” I’ve kept in touch with her and all that time I’ve been mentoring her. She’s exploded as this songwriting force that we’re stoked to be a part of. Next year we’re going to get in the studio and create the debut LP for it. The five song collection will be finished by the time that we start the tour at the Stuffing.

Tell me about your other projects, Bad Books, Right Away Great Captain—any updates?
Bad Books is finished with a record pretty much, it’s like 90 percent done. We’re going to try and focus on it at the beginning of next year before we go to mixing. I think it’s as far as we can take it, so we might bring it to some other people that we respect and see if they think anything should be added or taken away. And then hopefully we’re going to score a movie next year. The prime focus will be a new Manchester [Orchestra] record and figuring out what that means and how it’s going to be. An impossible year and a half of our lives.

Your last album, Black Mile to the Surface, was centered on family, as you’d just had a daughter at the time. In March, you had a newborn son, River. Will there be a continued family theme?
I’ve written [River] a couple of really cool songs. I’ve finished one of them with some guys in Nashville a few months ago that I might release this year. I wrote it the night before he was born. He was a C-section baby, so I literally knew he was going to be there in 10 hours and I wrote a song called, “This Is It.” I played it for him the next day, hot off the press.

What was his review?
He just shit everywhere. Which is pretty much all they do, so I took it as a positive.

What’s the back story to the Stuffing?
It’s really funny because it was a decision made nine years ago that still happens every year. It just kept getting steadily bigger and we had bigger bands coming in. This year we’re taking it to the Fox, which is a dream come true as an Atlanta kid. Last year we sold out the Tabernacle, which was a really awesome thing to do on year eight. We’re just thrilled with the lineup this year and the fact we get to play in this historic room I’ve been going to since I was a kid. It’s amazing.

You’ve slowly moved up in stage size with the Stuffing—Center Stage, Tabernacle last year, and Fox Theatre this year. Where do you go up from here?
I don’t know [laughs], I’m happy here. Our whole career has been that way—just slow and steady, nothing you can feel in the moment, but you look up and it’s like “Oh yeah, this is still going well.”

Do you notice a difference playing in Atlanta in comparison to other cities?
It’s pretty consistently the best market I would say. Especially the Stuffings every year are just pretty high energy because I think people are stoked that we’re from here and it’s support for the city as well. When we first started out in Atlanta, we had to go tour elsewhere in order to get anybody to pay attention. So 13, 14 years later—it’s really gratifying.

Tell me about your daily life in Atlanta. What are your favorite restaurants?
I don’t have any. I really don’t go out. And I know that sounds like a lie, but I just don’t. I’ve been gone almost every weekend for the last two years, so when I’m home, I’m just sort of in dad zone. I just like it quiet, and it’s just very chill.

Are you interested at all in Atlanta sports?
Yes, I am. I just feel bad for the children. Any time we get close [a victory], I just want to go, “Oh you poor thing, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” [laughs]. [Atlanta teams] consistently just rip my heart out. I’m cold and lifeless towards our sports now, but they still suck me in. We’ll get it back one day—it hasn’t been as long as some cities. And whenever it happens, it’s going to be huge. If I had to choose a team I wish was the best, it would be the Hawks because I’m a really big NBA fan. We’re going to get through it. I think Trae [Young] will be pretty great.

Manchester OrchestraHas having a second child made as much of an impact as the first child? How’s family life at the moment?
Yeah it has, in the coolest way. I said to my wife the other night, “Can you imagine us not having him?” It seems impossible. Seems like it was impossible for him, because we didn’t know how we were going to love somebody else as much, but now it seems equally impossible if he wasn’t here. I’m just loving it, it’s the happiest part of my life. Just trying to do a good job and provide for him. I’m excited for next year being more of a year of creativity and working where I can be closer to home, doing stuff at the studio but still able to come back home.

Any other tours expected beyond this one?
Not a thing. This is the last tour for a while, so it’s sort of like, put your head down, go kick ass, come home, and feel proud of what we’ve accomplished. And start it all over again.

Atlanta bought an Overwatch eSports team. Here’s why you should care.

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eSports Overwatch League
The London Spitfire won the championship in Overwatch League’s first season.

Photograph courtesy of Overwatch League

It was pure pandemonium in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Confetti sprinkled through the sky, a roar ran through a crowd of thousands, and a team of six, the London Spitfire, all took their hands off their keyboards and mice to embrace each other in celebration of their victory while their opponents, the Philadelphia Fusion, hung their heads in defeat.

The venue was sold out, with more than 20,000 tickets sold, while live TV and online streams from Disney XD, ABC, Twitch.tv, and, most notably, ESPN, brought in an additional 860,000 viewers per minute from around the globe.

All of this just to watch 12 millennials compete professionally in a video game called Overwatch. With ESPN airing the game during primetime television (7 p.m. on a Friday), the July 27-28 event was huge for showcasing the rise of eSports.

Atlanta is going all-in on the phenomenon. The city will soon have its own Overwatch League team, the first eSports team to officially represent Atlanta. The team was purchased in July by consulting firm Province, Inc. and Atlanta-headquartered Cox Enterprises. The two companies created a joint venture, Atlanta Esports Ventures, which is assembling the team, named the Atlanta Reign.

eSports Overwatch League
The official logo of Atlanta’s Overwatch League team, Atlanta Reign.

Photograph courtesy of Atlanta Reign

Cool, you might say, but who cares about watching other people play video games? While many are still unaware of what eSports is or don’t take it seriously, the industry is more than YouTube personalities and Twitch streamers making millions of dollars a year for screaming at monitors and guzzling energy drinks—it’s a force to be reckoned with.

With more than $500 million dollars coming in from advertising and sponsorships this year, a projected $1 billion revenue in 2019, and a staggering 38 percent year-to-year revenue growth, eSports is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. And there’s a reason why: businesses want to appeal to young people.

“[Esports] is outpacing any other sport—traditional or not—by a wide margin,” says Paul Hamilton, president and CEO of Atlanta Esports Ventures. “You’re seeing a huge number of eyes in a demographic that, traditionally, has been hard to reach.”

eSports Overwatch League
Paul Hamilton, president and CEO of Atlanta Esports Ventures, went to the Overwatch League Grand Finals at Barclays Center. “I’m a total sports nut, and the energy in that room was as loud and energized as any championship in any sport I’d ever been to,” he says.

Photograph courtesy of Cox Enterprises

However, eSports has had problems in its players lacking professionalism, making sponsors hesitant to invest in a league with improper behavior, or one with a lack of structure that makes it difficult for for casual viewers to follow along with their favorite games. That’s where Overwatch League comes in.

By copying the format of professional sports leagues, Overwatch League is the first eSports league that seems to be doing everything right. It franchises teams by city—from Los Angeles to London to Seoul to Shanghai—which increases local interest by giving fans a home team to rally around. It organizes games similar to the NBA and NHL with a preseason, regular season, all-star break, and playoffs, creating a format that’s easy to comprehend. It keeps the production value of its brand and events top-notch, with codes of conduct for its players and coaches (which it is enforcing), energetic announcers, enthusiastic fans, and primetime TV spots. And the league gets sponsorships and offers large sums of money to winning teams—$3.5 million was the prize pool in 2018.

What’s most important: Overwatch League is turning eSports into a financially viable option for businesses to invest.

“It helps [Cox Enterprises] align with a new demographic,” says Dallas Clement, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Cox Enterprises. “Young folks who are enormously enthusiastic about eSports and gaming will possibly think of Cox as a place to come and work.”

eSports Overwatch League

“Within the next two to three years, Atlanta will probably be the hub of eSports,” says Mustafa Aijaz, chief operating officer of SoaR Gaming, a gaming organization that’s housed in metro Atlanta because of its booming eSports potential.

The number of gaming companies and opportunities in Atlanta is astounding. Thanks to the same entertainment tax credits that apply to the film industry, hundreds of gaming companies have moved to the metro Atlanta area, including video game developer Hi-Rez Studios; Scuf Gaming, which creates custom game controllers and accessories; and KontrolFreek, which creates thumb grips for gaming controllers. In 2016, Turner Broadcasting opened ELEAGUE, which broadcasts competitive eSports on TBS on Fridays at 11 p.m. In August, the Atlanta Hawks announced they would be purchasing a franchise named Hawks Talon Gaming Club to join the NBA’s eSports league, the NBA 2K League. Georgia State University has joined the National Association of Collegiate Esports and the Georgia Esports League, where it’s providing scholarships and assembling a team to play League of Legends and Smite competitions. SCAD posted a job position for an eSports head coach to supervise its Overwatch and League of Legends teams. Every day, gamers go to bars like Battle & Brew or Joystick Gamebar and every year they pack the Georgia World Congress Center for expo and competition DreamHack. Even Atlanta’s culture icons are getting into gaming: Lil Yachty played the world’s most popular game at the moment, Fortnite, with Ninja, the game’s most popular player, to create a video that garnered 11 million views on YouTube. And Waka Flocka has performed at DreamHack and competed in a FIFA 18 tournament for this summer’s MLS All-Star Game.

With the world’s largest airport in its back pocket and the perfect geographical location to be a center point for gamers in the Southeast, Aijaz thinks Atlanta is the third largest area for eSports, behind California and Texas.

eSports Overwatch League“There are so many opportunities in Atlanta, it’s only going to get bigger and bigger,” he says. “Starting with this Overwatch League, I’m only waiting to see what’s to come.”

“Esports is just something that needs to be culturally accepted, and time will be the only thing that will allow that,” says Michael “Makz” Maknojia, SoaR’s founder and CEO. “Being on top of these things first rather than waiting is huge, and it’s good that Atlanta got into it now.”

5 Atlanta events you won’t want to miss: November 14-20

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Migos Drake Concert
Migos perform during a stop on the Aubrey and the Three Migos Tour with Drake in New York.

Photograph by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Drake and Migos
When: November 16-18
Where: State Farm Arena
Cost: $143+
Details: Originally only two shows of the Aubrey and the Three Migos Tour were scheduled in Atlanta, but a third show was added Sunday due to overwhelming ticket demand. So if you don’t already have a ticket, you’ll probably want to grab one ASAP.

DreamHack
When: November 16-18
Where: Georgia World Congress Center
Cost: $30-$200
Details: Its tagline—”everything gaming under one roof”—pretty accurately reflects DreamHack. Watch professional eSports teams compete in Smite, Paladins, Halo, and Brawlhalla tournaments for a nearly $2 million prize pool, casually play PC, console, mobile, or card games against other attendees, participate in cosplay competitions, drop in on workshops and panels to get better at your favorite games and learn about the future of eSports, or watch live EDM and hip-hop concerts.

Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirrors High Museum of Art Atlanta
The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away

Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, born 1929), Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013, wood, metal, mirrors, plastic, acrylic, rubber, LEDs, and water. Courtesy of David Zwirner, New York. © Yayoi Kusama. Courtesy of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Infinity Mirrors
When: November 18 through February 17, 2019
Where: High Museum of Art
Cost: $29, only 100 first-come-first-serve tickets will be sold at the door each day
Details: Get ready, Atlanta. Your Instagram feed is about to blow up with these photos. Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama uses mirrors to create six magical rooms filled with thousands of LEDs, glass pumpkins, and more. The exhibit will also include films, paintings, and sculptures from Kusama’s more than 60-year career.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
When: Through December 30
Where: Center for Puppetry Arts
Cost: $15-$35
Details: Is it too early for Christmas? Yes. But if you don’t mind joining in on the holiday cheer a little early, you can save a little on performances of this faithful puppet adaptation of the Rankin/Bass’s beloved holiday TV classic—tickets for this weekends’ shows are $25, compared to $35 the weekend before Christmas.

Indie Craft Experience Holiday Shopping Spectacular
When: November 17-18
Where: Georgia Freight Depot
Cost: $5 cash at door
Details: One thing it is not too early for, however, is getting your Christmas shopping done. This popular sale features more than 170 local craft vendors—jewelry, prints, candles, vintage clothing, food, and a lot more. You’re pretty much guaranteed to find a unique gift.

5 Atlanta events you won’t want to miss: November 7-13

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Travis Scott
Rapper Travis Scott performs onstage at the Maxim Super Bowl Party on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas.

Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Maxim

Travis Scott
When: November 13, 7:30 p.m.
Where: State Farm Arena
Cost: $40-$129+
Details: Travis Scott is coming to the newly renovated State Farm Arena to promote his new album, ASTROWORLD, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200.

Butcher & Brew Fest
When: November 10, 2 p.m.
Where: 9 South Main Street, Alpharetta
Cost: $40
Details: Alpharetta is celebrating the best of craft beer, with 23 big-name breweries from Atlanta and around the country coming together. Sip on brews while munching on food from chef Andy Long, playing giant Jenga or cornhole, and enjoying live music. And all of this to benefit the Atlanta Humane Society.

Translation

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre’s “Translation”
When: November 9-11
Where: Westside Cultural Arts Center
Cost: $35
Details: Born in Atlanta, Troy Schumacher, a soloist and choreographer with New York City Ballet, is returning home for the first time to premier “Translation.” Choreographed by Schumacher, the work has brightly lit backdrops, turning dancers into silhouettes, making the audience must focus on the dancer’s movements.

The Nutcracker
When: November 9-11
Where: Infinite Energy Arena
Cost: $18-$28
Details: Halloween is over. You know what that means: it’s Thanksgiving Christmas time! Presented by the North Atlanta Dance Theatre, this classic ballet featuring on-stage snowfall is preparing Atlanta for the holiday season.

San Holo
When: November 8, 8 p.m.
Where: Buckhead Theatre
Cost: $30-$57+
Details: A play on words for the galaxy’s favorite smuggler, Star Wars’s Han Solo, this popular EDM artist is touring his newest record, album1, with supporting electronic/dance acts Baynk, Taska Black, and the Nicholas.

5 Atlanta events you won’t want to miss: October 31-November 6

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Cabbagetown's Chomp & StompCabbagetown Chomp & Stomp
When: November 3, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: Cabbagetown
Cost: $10; additional $6 for beer tokens or $8 for liquor tockens
Details: Chili. Need we say more? Upwards of 70 teams, including 25 local restaurants, are whipping up tasty creations to win the Chili Cook Off. Participate in the 5K before you start eating and once you’re full, browse through the artist market while listening to live music—all to benefit Cabbagetown’s parks, green spaces, and community center.

Native American Festival and Pow Wow
When: November 1-4
Where: Stone Mountain Park
Cost: Stone Mountain admission, $31.95
Details: Bring the kids along to Stone Mountain to experience the self-dubbed largest Native American gathering in Georgia. Learn how to create a bow, start a fire, make pottery, participate in dance and drum competitions, or buy a Christmas gift at the artist market.

Downtown Daffodil Dash 5K
When: November 4
Where: Woodruff Park
Cost: $25-$30
Details: Run through downtown Atlanta and tour some of the most historic neighborhoods in support of the Downtown Daffodil Project, which has a mission to plant 1.5 million daffodils around the world to remember the number of children who died during the Holocaust.

80th annual Cotton States Cat Show
When: November 3 and 4
Where: Infinite Energy Center
Cost: $8 for adults, $6 for children or seniors
Details: Now in its 80th year, the Cotton States Cat Show celebrates everything about cats. With more than 300 cats entering in multiple competitions—including best of breed, best of color, best of gender, and best overall—judged by eight judges. If cute cats participating in competitions makes your heart melt, watch out: there will also be rescue cats up for adoption. Also make sure you stay for the dozens of vendors at the event.

MJCCA Book Festival
When: Through November 18
Where: Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta
Cost: $180 for series; prices vary for individual events
Details: After 26 years, the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta Book Festival is back from a 27th with a star-studded lineup of panel discussions, book signings, and author meet-and-greets—including former Senator Joe Lieberman, Sally Field, Mike Luckovich, Liane Moriarty, Peter Sagal, and more.

5 Atlanta events you won’t want to miss: October 24-30

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Sunday Supper South
Sunday Supper South 2017 at Ponce City Market

Photograph courtesy of Blue Hominy Public Relations

Sunday Supper South
When: October 28, 6-11 p.m.
Where: Ponce City Market
Cost: $275
Details: With a hefty price comes a hefty amount of talent. Hosted by Bacchanalia’s Anne Quatrano and W.H. Stiles Fish Camp, this dinner will feature dishes from more than a dozen Southeastern chefs, including Rodney Scott from Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Charleston, Meherwan Irani from Chai Pani, Ford Fry from The Optimist, and Dorothy Copenhaver from Star Provisions. Money raised will benefit James Beard Foundation’s Impact Programs, which helps create more sustainable food systems.

The Walking Dead Daryl
Norman Reedus is among the celebs who will be at this weekend’s Walker Stalker Con.

Photograph by Gene Page/AMC

Walker Stalker Con
When: October 26-28
Where: Georgia World Congress Center
Cost: $30-$105
Details: The Walking Dead is going through some major changes this year, with only two more episodes left for its main protagonist Rick Grimes before actor Andrew Lincoln exits the show. But this annual convention for all things Dead carries on as usual with plenty of celebrities (most of the current cast will be in attendance, along with a huge list of former cast members), vendors, trick-or-treating for kids, and more.

Atlanta World Kite Festival
When: October 27, 1-6 p.m.
Where: Piedmont Park
Cost: Free
Details: With this weather, it’s a perfect time for a walk in the park—while watching dozens of creative kites fill up the sky. With kite-making contests, live music, food trucks, face painting, and photo booths, this one’s perfect for the family.

Race for Rest 5K
When: October 27, 9 a.m.
Where: Monday Night Brewing Garage
Cost: $35
Details: Starting and ending at Monday Night Brewing’s Garage, this Peachtree Road Race qualifier benefits Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta, which gives free furniture to people coming out of homelessness, domestic violence, or who have HIV/AIDS. After the 5K, there will be food, live music from Sweet Auburn String Band, and a “bed race” where teams dressed in costumes will push beds on wheels through a parking lot. If you’re 21 or older, you’ll get a free beer and a bloody Mary shooter from ASW Distillery, in case you needed another reason to attend.

Fox Theatre Ghost Tours
When: October 25-31
Where: Fox Theatre
Cost: $35
Details: Take a tour through the Fox Theatre while learning about the theater’s 89 years of ghost sightings, unexplainable events, and haunted history. This year focuses on stories from Mr. and Mrs. William Fox, who the theater is named after, while characters from their past join the tour.

Fox Theatre’s Ghost Tours sounds fun, but what about other Halloween events? We didn’t forget. We have your spooky roundup here.

5 Atlanta events you won’t want to miss: October 17-23

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Brookhaven Arts Festival
Brookhaven Arts Festival

Photograph by PB Photography

Brookhaven Arts Festival
When: October 20 and 21
Where: Apple Valley Road in Brookhaven
Cost: Free
Details: Now that the temperatures have finally cooled down, explore this outdoor juried art show that features more than 140 artists in mixed media, jewelry, sculpture, photography, and more. There will also be live music, food, children’s activities, and a classic car show on Sunday.

School of Rock
School of Rock

Photograph courtesy of Broadway in Atlanta

School of Rock
When: October 17-21
Where: Fox Theatre
Cost: $41-$116
Details: If you were a fan of the 2003 Jack Black comedy about a wannabe rocker who poses as a substitute at an elite prep school to earn some cash and ends up recruiting his class to be his new band, you’ll enjoy this musical interpretation with new tunes by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Glenn Slater. The mostly kid cast is charming, and lead actor Merritt David Janes brings plenty of Jack Black swagger to his role.

Taste of Atlanta
Taste of Atlanta

Photograph courtesy of Taste of Atlanta

Taste of Atlanta
When: October 19-21
Where: Historic Fourth Ward Park
Cost: $25-$190
Details: Seventeen years and counting, it’s one of Atlanta’s most popular food and drink festivals. More than 90 Atlanta restaurants are coming together to hand out samples of their most crave-worthy dishes. Come for the food and drink, stay for the live cooking demonstrations, classes, and live music.

Decatur Craft Beer Festival
When: October 20, 12-5 p.m.
Where: Decatur Square
Cost: $50-$100
Details: Celebrating its 20th anniversary, get unlimited drinks from more than 80 breweries from around the country along with live music and a DJ in between sets.

Shakespeare on Draught presents Titus Andronicus
When: October 22, 8 p.m.
Where: Orpheus Brewing
Cost: Free
Details: This boozy interpretation of the grim Shakespearean tale comes just in time for Halloween. The crew warns that there will be a lot of fake blood, so wear clothes you don’t mind ruining if you sit in the front.

Bonus event: Atlanta magazine’s Best Burger Battle
When: October 20, 1-5 p.m.
Where: Lenox Square
Cost: $50 (keep an eye on our social media for discounts!)
Details: The best burgers in Atlanta are all coming together for our third annual Best Burger Battle. More than two dozen restaurants will be dishing out samples of their burgers while you’ll also be served bourbon, beer, and live music. Last year, There Brookhaven won Atlanta’s best burger—who will be crowned this year?

These are some cool events, but what about Halloween? We didn’t forget. We have your spooky roundup here.

26 things to do for Halloween in metro Atlanta

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Things to do Halloween events Atlanta
Zoo Atlanta’s Boo at the Zoo

Photograph courtesy of Zoo Atlanta

Family-friendly

Boo at the Zoo
When: October 20, 21, 27, 28, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Zoo Atlanta
Cost: $17 to $23
Details: One of Atlanta’s favorite family-friendly Halloween events is back for another year. All costumes are welcome to Zoo Atlanta as it hosts a costume parade, carnival games, crafts, a “Monster Mash Disco” with a live DJ, pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, and special characters—including plenty of Star Wars characters—roaming the zoo.

Haunted Hall of Fame
When: October 27 and 28
Where: College Football Hall of Fame
Cost: $18-$22, free for kids aged 3-12 in costume
Details: Make sure your tiny football fans are decked out in their Halloween costume finery to get free access to this downtown attraction. In addition to the museum’s fare, there will also be trick-or-treating, face painting, and more.

Pumpkin Patch/Haunted House at Yule Forest
When:
Through October 31
Where:
3565 North Highway 155, Stockbridge
Cost:
Pumpkin Patch: $10; Fear the Woods: Adults: $19-$33, Kids: $16-$26
Details:
It’s admittedly a bit of a hike to Stockbridge, but this farm offers the best of both worlds. By day, visit for a kid-friendly pumpkin patch experience complete with a hay ride, petting zoo, country store, and more. By night, Fear the Woods promises to terrify you with a haunted house, haunted farm tour, and laser tag.

Haunted Halloween at Atlanta History Center
When: October 19, 6:30-9:30p.m.
Where: Atlanta History Center
Cost: Adults: $20; Kids: $10
Details: This evening event boasts fun for plenty of different ages. Younger kids will enjoy sing-alongs, a haunted refrigerator box maze, a reptile meet-and-greet, and plenty of games. Older kids will appreciate the zombie escape at Smith Farm, and everyone can enjoy the Swan House, which will be transformed into a Hogwarts-esque school of wizardry.

Festivals and parades

Little 5 Points Halloween Parade
When: October 20, 4 p.m.
Where: Little 5 Points
Cost: Free
Details: If you’re looking for a giant Halloween parade, this is definitely your best bet. More than 35,000 people are expected to visit Little 5 Points to check out the artist market, food vendors, live music on two stages, and, of course, the 2-hour parade. Arrive early, especially if you want a prime parade spot.

Pumpkin Festival at Stone Mountain
When: Through October 28
Where: Stone Mountain Park
Cost: $30-$35
Details: Stone Mountain is transforming from day to night. When it’s light out, kids will be able to enjoy pie eating contests, dance parties, and storytellings. Come night, the park will be lit up with lights, glowing pumpkins, flashlight tours, glow-in-the-dark mini golf, and parades.

Owl-O-Ween Hot Air Balloon Festival
When:
October 19-20
Where:
Kennesaw State Sports + Entertainment Park
Cost:
Adults: $19 (VIP: $79); Kids: $9 (VIP: $49)
Details:
The activities are endless at this two-day suburban festival, including magic shows, live music, aerial arts, fire shows, DJs, costume contests, a kids zone, and, of course, hot air balloons.

Ghost tours

Lawrenceville Ghost Tours
When: Through October 31
Where: Aurora Theatre
Cost: Adults: $12-$15; Kids: $9-$12
Details: Take a 90-minute walk around historic Lawrenceville while the guides regale you with tales of paranormal activity. But perhaps most cool, this year the group is offering a Spanish-speaking tour—Equentro Fantasmal de Lawrenceville—on October 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Roswell Ghost Tour
When: Daily in October
Where: Roswell Town Square
Cost: Adults: $15; Kids: $10 (Cash only)
Details: This easy-going, two and a half hour tour in downtown Roswell tells the stories of who’s haunting the historic homes and buildings and even takes you inside an old cemetery.

Haunted houses

Netherworld Haunted House
When: Through November 4
Where: 2076 West Park Place Boulevard, Stone Mountain
Cost: $23-$55
Details: Netherworld is one of the best haunted houses in the country for a reason. For 20 years it has had incredible attention to creepy details on their costumes, a facility filled with horrors, and even a museum of movie props and monsters. Now, it’s in a new facility in Stone Mountain featuring three escape rooms and two new haunted attractions.

Haunted Pink Trap House 2 Chainz Newnan
The Haunted Pink Trap House is open through Halloween.

Photograph courtesy of ATLPics

Haunted Pink Trap House
When: Through November 11
Where: 13 Stories Haunted House, Newnan
Cost: $22-$78
Details: This three-stage iteration of 2 Chainz’s famous Pink Trap House takes you through a literal haunted trap house. The second stage has you taking down zombies with fake assault weapons, and stage three blindfolds you as you try to escape the cops. Check out our full story on the experience here.

Containment Haunted House
When:
Select days through November 3
Where:
1320 Blairs Bridge Road, Lithia Springs
Cost: $22-$25
Details:
This haunted house located not far from Six Flags Over Georgia, so if the roller coasters weren’t enough to spook you, keep going down I-20 to scream at this recommended 13 and up nightmare fest.

Folklore Haunted House
When:
Select nights through November 3
Where:
5389 North Main Street, Acworth
Cost:
$28-$45
Details:
Three different spooky scenarios await at this Acworth attraction—”The Manor” is a decrepit, ruined house; “Tremulous” features Egyptian mummies; and “Chromophobia” is a Mardi Gras-themed “3-D” scare.

Shows and experiences

Center for Puppetry Arts Atlanta Ghastly Dreadfuls
The Ghastly Dreadfuls

Photograph by Clay Walker

The Ghastly Dreadfuls
When:
Through October 27
Where:
Center for Puppetry Arts
Cost:
$25-$35
Details:
 The cult-favorite, Vaudevillian variety show returns for another year with plenty of puppetry, music, dancing, and folklore. Tickets include museum admission, so arrive early to party with Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the creatures of The Dark Crystal special exhibition.

Woodland Spirits at Fernbank
When:
Through November 11
Where:
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Cost:
Included with museum admission
Details:
Explore a haunted version of the WildWoods at night, which will be haunted by ghostly sculptures from Atlanta artist Laura Lewis. There are also a few additional celebrations, including the 21+ Fright Night party on October 26.

Edgar Allan Poe Experience
When:
October 17-31
Where:
The Wren’s Nest
Cost:
$45-$50
Details:
The historic house stages live interpretations of “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Red Masque of Death,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” from the mind of Serenbe Playhouse founder Brian Clowdus.

Sleepy Hollow Serenbe Things to Do Halloween Atlanta
The Sleepy Hollow Experience at Serenbe Playhouse

Photograph by Breeanne Clowdus

The Sleepy Hollow Experience
When: Through November 4
Where:
Serenbe Playhouse
Cost:
$25-$53
Details:
Speaking of Serenbe, the outdoor playhouse is staging its sleepy Headless Horseman tale. The prime Saturday night shows are already sold out, but there are plenty of others, including daytime performances for those afraid of the dark (or who just don’t see well driving at night).

ATL DEAD
When: Through November 3
Where: 3731 Main Street, College Park
Cost: $30-$35
Details: Described as “one part haunted house, one part immersive theater, and one part live action video game,” this interactive experience puts you in Atlanta during the zombie apocalypse, and armed with a Nerf gun, you have to survive long enough to find a cure.

Six Flags Fright Fest
When: Select nights through October 31
Where: Six Flags Over Georgia
Cost: Admission, $42-$70
Details: Six Flags is usually a family-friendly day off, but Fright Fest takes things up a notch. With zombies roaming the park, attractions being transformed into terror machines, and plenty of haunted attractions—from scare zones filled with ghouls to haunted houses crawling with aliens and beasts—this version of Six Flags may not be for kids under the age of 13. A tip on the Fright Fest website: “If you get lost we will eat you.”

Boos and booze

Freakshow Funhouse
When: Through October 31
Where: Joystick Gamebar
Cost: Free
Details: A Halloween pop-up bar in the back of Edgewood Avenue game bar Joystick, this take on a hall of mirrors brings a more modern-day take on “freaks”—a developer obsessed with gentrification; a girl who can’t stop duck-lipping all over Instagram; a “faceless Grindr profile.” Drink specials include a “boozy hot cider” and Jell-O shots, and there will be food from 95th Street Tacos.

SweetWater Scream
When:
October 25-31
Where:
SweetWater Brewing Company
Cost:
$30
Details:
Brian Clowdus strikes again at this unique interactive brewery tour/haunted house/theatrical performance. The haunted fisherman might spook you, but SweetWater 420 “refueling stations” should help revitalize you.

Haunted Heights at Skyline Park
When: October 27, 5-11 p.m.
Where: Skyline Park at Ponce City Market
Cost: $40 advance; $50 at door
Details: If you’re looking for a Halloween party with great views, this rooftop bash at Ponce City Market might be the ticket. Expect drinks (including sangria served in “blood bags”), food, a costume contest, and free rides on the Heege Tower and giant slide. The boardwalk games also promise to be “stocked with spooky prizes.”

Crawl-oween ATL
When:
October 26, 8 p.m.-12 a.m.
Where:
Check-in at Neighbor’s Pub
Cost:
$15-$40
Details:
Grab your best costume (there’s a $1,000 cash prize) and prepare to crawl through some of Virginia-Highland’s bars, including Neighbor’s Pub, Dark Horse Tavern, and Limerick Junction.

Halloween in the Highlands
When:
October 27, 6-11 p.m.
Where:
Check-in at Neighbor’s Pub
Cost:
$20-$30
Details:
If you’d rather party in VaHi on Saturday night, this crawl boasts more than 2,000 attendees and includes Neighbor’s, Dark Horse, Diesel, Moe’s & Joe’s, and more.

Midtown Halloween Block Party
When:
October 26, 7 p.m.
Where:
Check-in behind Foxtrot and Lava Lounge
Cost:
$20-$30
Details:
If a Friday before Halloween in Midtown sounds more exciting, this crawl features a ton of favorites including the Nook, Joe’s on Juniper, Zocalo, Henry’s, Fado Irish Pub, and more.

Buckhead Creepy Crawl
When:
October 31, 7 p.m.-2 a.m.
Where:
Check-in at Moondogs
Cost:
$15-$30
Details:
Or if you simply must go out on Halloween night, head to Buckhead for this crawl that includes Moondogs, Red Martini Bar, Hole in the Wall, Cabo Cantina, and Elbow Room.

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