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Joe Reisigl

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5 Atlanta events you won’t want to miss: October 3-9

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AC3 Festival AtlantaA3C Festival
Where: Georgia Freight Depot
When: October 3-7
Price: $70+
Details: Wu-Tang Clan, Lil Wayne, Talib Kweli—and those are just a few of the headliners. The 14-year-old A3C Festival is continuing to expand itself as a hip-hop music festival and social justice conference, with speakers including Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Rembert Browne, Killer Mike, and Jermaine Durpi. Along with panels and events, the conference is partnering with Georgia State University to help new artists get started with free headshots, websites, and album mastering. If you want a detailed look at the festival’s future, check out our Q&A with its executive director Mike Walbert.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Where: Atlanta Symphony Hall
When: October 5-7
Price: $80-$130+
Details: The only thing better than watching Harry Potter is watching it on a 40-foot screen while the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra plays John Williams’s magical score right in front of you. Get a live taste of the wizarding world’s second installment—and do so quick, as tickets are selling out.

ATL CluckFest
Where: Candler Park
When: October 6, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Price: $15-$35
Details: It’s exactly what you would expect: Atlanta’s favorite fried chicken, all in one place. Self-titled as Atlanta’s first fried chicken festival, the event is bringing together more than 25 restaurants so attendees can choose which has the city’s best fried chicken.

Oktoberfest in the Park

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest
Where: The Promenade at Piedmont Park
When: October 5, 6 p.m.-midnight
Price: $20-$40
Details: It’s October, which means Oktoberfests are back in full force. Grab some friends and enjoy all you can drink beer at Piedmont Park to raise money for the Piedmont Park Conservancy while listening to live music and participating in games for people (and dogs as well!)

Sweet Auburn Music Fest
Where: 320 Irwin Street
When: October 6-7
Price: Free
Details: The historic streets of Sweet Auburn are turning into a fall festival where an estimated 80,000 people are expected to attend. R&B, hip-hop, and gospel bands will perform and the Atlanta Falcons will be participating as well—former players and cheerleaders will attend to give away game tickets.

5 Atlanta events you won’t want to miss: September 19-25

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BeltLine Lantern Parade
BeltLine Lantern Parade

Photograph courtesy of Atlanta Trails

Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade
When: September 22, 7 p.m.
Where: Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail
Cost: Free
Details: Atlanta’s beloved BeltLine Lantern Parade is back for a seventh year. More than 70,000 people participated last year to watch as the night lit up with thousands of illuminated inflatables, signs, and lanterns while bands lined the trail.

Imagine Music Festival
When: September 21-23
Where: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Cost: $139-$519
Details: Atlanta’s electronic dance music festival is bringing major headliners, including Armin Van Buuren, Bassnectar, Kaskade, RL Grime, and more. The festival comes with more than just music: participate in workshops for arts such as aerial yoga, watch circus acts, jump in the splash pool, or spend a few nights at designated camping grounds.

Kathy Griffin’s Laugh Your Head Off World Tour
When: September 21, 8 p.m.
Where: Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
Cost: $45-$75
Details: Kathy Griffin has been a controversial figure ever since a photo of her holding a fake severed head of President Donald Trump emerged online last year. Now, the comedian is discussing that controversy head-on in a two-hour show where she’ll talk about pop culture, Trump, and the photo that set off a media storm.

Spin the District
When: September 21-23
Where: East Point, Hapeville, College Park
Cost: Free
Details: Cyclists are taking over southwest Atlanta. The Atlanta airport district is turning city streets into a biker’s paradise as dozens of races will be held each day for any level of rider—East Point on Friday, Hapeville on Saturday, and College Park on Sunday. The event isn’t only for racers; spectators can join seminars, watch BMX freestyle, shop arts vendors, listen to live music, and even attend pub crawl.

Anime Weekend Atlanta
When: September 20-23
Where: Renaissance Waverly and Cobb Galleria Center
Cost: $10-$250
Details: Claiming to be the largest anime convention on the East Coast, cosplayers and geeks are coming together to celebrate everything anime and Japanese culture. Voice actors such as Micah Solusod, Matilda Smedius, and Kira Buckland will be at the event, which will also include plenty of video games, tabletop games, and a large library of almost any manga you can think of.

Hurricane Florence evacuees: Atlanta says welcome with free offers and discounts

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Hurricane Florence
Hurricane Florence has hit the East Coast, leaving cities in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia under mandatory evacuation.

Photograph by NOAA via Getty Images

Hurricane Florence has been churning for weeks and slowly slammed into North Carolina Friday morning. At the time of publication, 1.7 million people are under mandatory evacuation, more than 500,000 homes and businesses are without power, and more than 1,000 flights have been canceled. But just like when Hurricane Irma barreled into Florida this time last year, Atlanta is displaying its Southern hospitality by welcoming evacuees with open arms. Enjoy your stay in Georgia’s capital with these discounts and free deals:

Discounted Aladdin tickets at Fox Theatre
The Disney-movie-turned-Broadway-musical is in Atlanta until September 23. Get tickets for just $30.
Valid: Through September 23
Qualifications: A valid South Carolina, North Carolina, or Virginia ID .Buy tickets at the Fox Theatre two hours before your chosen show. Maximum of four tickets allowed per family.

Free pop from King of Pops
Get a free ice pop from the Atlanta staple that’s all about “good vibes only.”
Where: Cart on the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail near Krog Street Market (700 Irwin Street)
Valid: September 15-16
Qualifications: A valid South Carolina, North Carolina, or Virginia ID

Free admission to the High Museum
The Midtown museum currently features an Outliers and American Vanguard Art exhibit, and plenty of incredible paintings and creations.
Qualifications: A valid South Carolina, North Carolina, or Virginia ID

Free Atlanta Braves tickets
In partnership with American Red Cross, you can get free tickets to the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday games between the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals. This also comes with discounted pricing for food and drink in the park and free access to Hope & Will’s Sandlot, a kid-friendly area in SunTrust Park that includes a zipline, rock climbing wall, and carnival games.
Valid: September 14-16
Qualifications: A valid North Carolina, South Carolina, or Georgia ID for those in coast zip codes under mandatory evacuation.

Discount on Legoland Discovery Center
Take the kids to the ultimate Lego experience and get 50 percent off admission.
Qualifications: A valid ID from evacuated areas. Tickets must be bought at gate.

Discount at 5Church Atlanta
Get 10 percent off your bill at this Midtown rooftop bar.
Valid: Through September 15
Qualifications: A valid North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia ID

Free kids meal at Babalu Tapas & Tacos
Kids eat free with an adult entree purchase at this Latin restaurant in Midtown.
Valid: Through September 16
Qualifications: A valid coastal Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia ID. Offer is valid for up to two kids per paying adult and is only for items from the kids menu.

Discount at Center for Puppetry Arts
Get 25 percent off all-inclusive admission to this world-class museum and playhouse, which currently playing The Tortoise, the Hare & Other Aesop’s Fables.
Qualifications: A valid North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia ID. Must be purchase at door.

Discount at Children’s Museum of Atlanta
Bring the kids to walk through this museum of hands-on exploration get $3 off general admission tickets.
Valid: Through September 18
Qualifications: A valid North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia ID. Must be purchased at door. Limited eight tickets per purchase.

Discount at College Football Hall of Fame
Experience Atlanta’s shrine that honors college football’s greats and get 20 percent off admission tickets.
Valid:
Through September 16
Qualifications: A valid North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia ID; must be purchased at box office

Free kids meal at Cinco Mexican Restaurants
Boasting “Mexican food with an attitude,” kids eat free with adult purchase of an entree.
Valid: Through September 19
Qualifications: A valid ID from an evacuated area.

Discount at Corner Bakery Cafe in Lenox Square
With sandwiches, soups, and salads, you can get $3 off a $10 purchase at Corner Bakery.
Valid: Through October 30
Qualifications: A valid ID from an evacuated area.

Discount at Dapper Doughnut in Lenox Square
Wake up and get a refreshing breakfast with 25 percent off doughnuts and coffee.
Valid: Through October 7
Qualifications: A valid ID from an evacuated area.

Free appetizer or dessert at Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse in Phipps Plaza
Get a free appetizer or dessert with a purchase of dinner at this Buckhead steakhouse.
Qualifications: A valid ID from an evacuated area.

Discount at Earl of Sandwich in Phipps Plaza
Get 10 percent off hot sandwiches, wraps, salads, pizzas, and more.
Qualifications: A valid ID from an evacuated area.

Discount at Hobnob Neighborhood Tavern
Get 20 percent off food (excludes alcohol) at this Sandy Springs tavern.
Where: Midtown and Brookhaven locations
Valid: Through September 16
Qualifications: A valid ID from coastal Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, or other evacuated area.

Free appetizer at Johnny’s Hideaway
Get a free appetizer with any purchase at this Buckhead nightclub.
Valid: Through September 16
Qualifications: A valid ID from coastal Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia.

Free kids meal at Livingston Restaurant + Bar
Get a free kids meal with the purchase of an adult entree at this Midtown Southern restaurant.
Valid: Through September 16
Qualifications: A valid ID from coastal Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia.

Free 8-ounce pour at Monday Night Brewing
Get a free 8-ounce pour of any year-round or seasonal beer at one of Atlanta’s most popular craft brewers.
Valid: Through September 17
Qualifications: A valid ID from an evacuated area.

Discount at Time to Escape
Test your wit and try to escape the room. Get a 50 percent discount with code “hurr50” when booking online or when purchasing at the door.
Valid: Through September 20
Qualifications: A valid ID from coastal Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia.

Free tickets to Village Theater
Get free tickets to laugh all night at a Village Theater improv show. This does not include any Atlanta Improv League Shows, Shi*Faced Shakespeare or Sketch work shows.
Valid: Through September 21
Qualifications: A valid ID from Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia I.D. Can only redeemed at the box office

Free kids meal at Willy’s Mexicana Grill
Get a free kids combo with the purchase of an adult entree at this Mexican chain.
Valid: Through September 16
Qualifications: A valid ID from coastal Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia. Limit two kids combos per one adult entree

Discount at Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar in Lenox Square
Get 15 percent off any food order (excludes alcohol).
Qualifications: A valid ID from North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia

Buy one, get one at Fernbank Museum of Natural History
See giant dinosaurs and walk through 75 acres of nature with this buy one full-price ticket, get one free offer.
Valid: Through September 16
Qualifications: A valid ID from coastal Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia

Free tickets to Kennesaw State Football game
Get a free ticket to Kennesaw State’s home opener as they take on the Alabama State Hornets.
Valid: September 15
Qualifications: A valid ID from North Carolina or South Carolina. Must be bought at ticket office

Free kids meal at Atkins Park Restaurant and Bar in Virginia Highland
Get a free kids meal with the purchase of an adult entree at this historic tavern.
Valid: Through September 16
Qualifications: A valid ID from coastal Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, or another evacuated area. Limit one free kids meal per adult entree

Discount at Aurora Theatre
Get 50 percent off tickets to Aurora Theatre’s play, The Two Kids That Blow Sh*t Up, about two best friends who meet when their parents have an affair.
Valid: Through September 19
Qualifications: A valid ID from South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, or Tennessee. Limit one offer per guest. Must be purchased at box office

Free doughnut at Doughnut Dollies
Get a free doughnut with any purchase at this Marietta shop.
Valid: Through September 20
Qualifications: A valid ID From an evacuated area

Discount at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games
Florence evacuees get 20 percent off at both the Roswell and Marietta locations of this entertainment center, which has go karts, a ropes course, bowling, an arcade, and more.
Qualifications: Valid ID from an evacuated area

Free kids meal at Atlanta Bread
Get a free kids meal with any entree purchase at the fast-casual bakery chain. Limit one kids meal per entree.
Valid: Through September 16
Qualifications: Valid driver’s license from Georgia coast, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia

Discount at Zoo Atlanta
Say hey to the panda twins, tigers, gorillas, and more with 50 percent off adult and child tickets.
Valid: September 12-20, only valid at front gate, can’t be combined with other offers
Qualifications: Valid ID from North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia

Savings at Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza
A free savings passport is available at the guest services desk at each of these Buckhead shopping malls.
Qualifications: Valid driver’s license from Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia

Discount at Red Sky Tapas & Bar
The Marietta location is offering 15 percent off entrees.
Valid: Through September 20
Qualifications: Valid ID from coastal Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia

Free kids meal at Atkins Park Restaurant and Bar
Kids eat free at the Virginia-Highland location with purchase of adult entree, limit one kids meal per entree.
Valid: Through September 16
Qualifications: Valid ID from coastal Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, or other evacuated area

Savings at The Hub at Peachtree Center
Florence evacuees can pick up a free coupon savings book ($50 value) at guest services at this downtown food court attached to the Peachtree Center MARTA station.
Qualifications: Valid driver’s license from North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia

Discount at Beni’s Cubano
Evacuees get 20 percent off at this East Cobb Cuban joint.
Valid: September 12-16
Qualifications: Valid ID from an evacuated area

Discount at The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill
Evacuees can take 20 percent off at both the Buckhead and Roswell locations of this seafood restaurant
Valid: September 12-16
Qualifications: Valid ID from an evacuated location

Discount at Chido + Padre’s
Florence evacuees can take 20 percent off at this new Buckhead Mexican restaurant.
Valid: September 12-16
Qualifications: Valid ID from an evacuated location

Discount at CycleBar Buckhead
Evacuees can purchase four classes for $25, but only in-studio.
Qualifications: Valid ID from North Carolina or South Carolina ID

Discount at The Federal
Evacuees can take 10 percent off during lunch, brunch, or dinner at this Midtown steakhouse.
Valid: September 14-18
Qualifications: Valid ID from South Carolina, North Carolina, or Virginia

Discount at Gypsy Kitchen
Take 20 percent off at this tapas restaurant at the Shops Buckhead Atlanta.
Valid: September 12-16
Qualifications: Valid ID from an evacuated area

Discount at Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails
Receive 20 percent off at this Southern restaurant in Milton.
Valid: September 12-16
Qualifications: Valid ID from an evacuated area

Discount at Mezcalitos Cantina
Not only can evacuees take 15 percent off of bill (excluding alcohol), but kids can order off the kids’ menu for free with the purchase of an adult entree.
Valid: Through September 22
Qualifications: Valid ID from an evacuated area

Discount at Papi’s Cuban and Caribbean Grill
Evacuees get 50 percent off the bill (excluding alcohol) at this Cuban restaurant, which has six metro locations.
Valid: Through September 16
Qualifications: Valid ID from coastal Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, or other evacuated areas

Discount at Princi Italia
Evacuees can receive 15 percent off food at this Midtown Italian restaurant.
Valid: Through September 20
Qualifications: Valid ID from South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, or any coastal town in Georgia

Discount at Ray’s Restaurants
Evacuees can mention “#AtlantaKindness” and receive 15 percent off at Ray’s in the City downtown, Ray’s on the River near Cumberland, and Ray’s at Killer Creek in Alpharetta.
Valid: Through September 16
Qualifications: Valid ID from from an evacuated area

Discount at Rise Pies
Take 10 percent off at this Lenox Square Mall pizza spot; can’t be used with other offers.
Qualifications: Valid South Carolina or North Carolina ID

Discount at Smith Gilbert Gardens
Evacuees can receive half-price admission at this Kennesaw garden.
Valid: Through September 22
Qualifications: Valid ID from from an evacuated area

Discount at Sotolero Comida Mexicana
Take 15 percent off the bill (excluding alcohol), and kids can order a free meal from the kids’ menu with the purchase of an adult entree.
Valid: Through September 22
Qualifications: Valid ID from from an evacuated area

Discount at The Southern Gentleman
Evacuees can receive 20 percent off at this Southern restaurant at the Shops Buckhead Atlanta.
Valid: Through September 16
Qualifications: Valid ID from from an evacuated area

Discount at Tin Lizzy’s Cantina
Evacuees can receive 20 percent off at all Atlanta locations of this taco spot.
Valid: Through September 16
Qualifications: Valid ID from from an evacuated area

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

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Music Midtown 2018 lineup
Kendrick Lamar performs at the Grammy Awards earlier this year.

Photograph by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS

Music Midtown
When: September 15-16
Where: Piedmont Park
Cost: $155+
Details: Music Midtown outdid itself this year. Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone, Fall Out Boy, Imagine Dragons, Khalid, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Gucci Mane—the impressive list keeps going. It’s hard not to know and love half of the bands on the lineup, but in case you need a taste of each artist, you can listen to our roundup.

AladdinAladdin
When: Through September 23
Where: Fox Theatre
Cost: $30-$115+
Details: The Disney-movie-turned-Broadway-musical is coming to Atlanta for two weeks. Young thief Aladdin discovers a magic lamp containing a magical Genie who grants him three wishes. Aladdin wishes to be a wealthy prince to impress princess Jasmine, but plans go awry when the evil Jafar steals the lamp.

Brooklyn Brewery Beer Mansion
When: September 14, 8 p.m.-2 a.m.
Where: 787 Windsor
Cost: $30 ($35 at door)
Details: The New York-based craft brewery is visiting Atlanta and bringing a party with it. Along with Brooklyn Brewery’s beers (you get a free one upon entry) comes offerings from Wild Heaven Brewery and a lineup of eclectic music, featuring DIIV, Deep State, and Athens-based Kishi Bashi among others. The night will also have local food vendors, local artists, and a bunch of arcade games from Joystick Gamebar.

Taste of Smyrna
When: September 15, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Where: 200 Village Green Circle
Cost: Free entry, $0.50-$4 samples
Details: Munch your way through Smyrna restaurants while enjoying live music from the morning to night. Feel free to bring the kids—there will be plenty to keep the little ones busy, including a rock wall, inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and more.

Mercedes-Benz Stadium 5K
When: September 15, 7:30 a.m.
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Cost: $40 for 5K, $20 for one mile, $15 for 50 meter dash
Details: To raise awareness about drunk driving, the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, and Atlanta Track Club have teamed up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to host a 5K that ends at the 50-yard line in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. All of the proceeds will be donated to Mothers Against Drunk Driving Georgia.

18 things to do during Labor Day weekend in Atlanta

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Dragon ConDragon Con
Where: Downtown Atlanta (specifically: Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Sheraton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree Plaza, and AmericasMart)
When: August 30 through September 3
Cost:
$160 for a membership through 8/28, $10-$140 at the door for various day and multi-day passes
Details:
 The mother of all nerdy events in Atlanta, this annual celebration of all things pop culture will unleash 80,000 fans upon downtown. A pass will get you access to hundreds of panels, workshops, and dance parties; among this year’s celebrity guests are Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Karen Gillian (Doctor Who), Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), and Evangeline Lilly (Ant-Man and the Wasp). If you just want to see the spectacular costumes, the parade will be held on Peachtree Street at 10 a.m. Saturday (arrive early; it gets packed), or just grab a bite to eat anywhere near the host hotels.

Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game: Washington Huskies vs. Auburn Tigers
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
When: September 1, 3:30 p.m.
Cost:
 $100-$250
Details:
 College. Football. Is. Back. Kicking off the 2018 season, the Pac-12 takes on the SEC as the No. 6 Washington Huskies face off against No. 9 Auburn Tigers.

MEAC-SWAC Challenge
Where: Georgia State Stadium
When: September 2, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Cost:
 $15-$125
Details:
 And don’t forget HBCU football. SWAC’s Prairie View A&M Panthers and MEAC’s North Carolina Central University Eagles will duke it out at Georgia State Stadium. Can’t make the event? It’ll also be televised at noon on ESPN2.

Black Gay Pride Weekend
Where: Locations vary
When: August 29 through September 4
Cost:
 Varies
Details:
 Self-dubbed the largest black gay pride celebration in the world, thousands are expected to come to Atlanta for club parties, poetry slams, comedy shows, the Pure Heat Community Festival in Piedmont Park, and even a booze cruise on Lake Lanier.

AJC Decatur Book FestivalDecatur Book Festival
Where: Downtown Decatur
When: September 1-2
Cost:
 Free
Details:
 The largest independent book festival in the U.S. is back in Decatur with hundreds of acclaimed authors coming together to attend panel discussions, book signings, and writing workshops. Along with the live music, book readings, and panels with titles ranging from “Publishing a Book? Avoid These Top 10 Mistakes!” to “The Military Science of Star Wars,” this festival is every bookworm’s dream.

Taste of Soul Atlanta
Where: 10 Northside Drive
When: August 30 through September 2
Cost:
 $30-$40
Details:
 Just weeks after the passing of Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul, Atlanta is coming together to celebrate all things soul: music and food included. Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton and Grammy-nominated R&B soul singer Kelly Price headline the festival’s two-day lineup, which you should be sure to go to with an empty stomach—ribs, fried chicken, and mac and cheese dishes will be available to satisfy anyone looking for soul food. The event will also include a 5K, artTOSA, a free art exhibit at Westside Arts Center, and vinTOSA, a wine tasting at Westside Arts Center.

Callaway Gardens Hot Air Balloon Festival
Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival at the Callaway Gardens

Photograph courtesy of Callaway Gardens

Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival
Where: Callaway Gardens
When: August 31 through September 2
Cost:
Friday: Adult: $24.95, Child: $14.95; Saturday-Sunday: Adult: $34.95, Child: $24.95 (slightly cheaper if you order in advance online)
Details:
Spend the weekend riding and gazing upon colorful hot air balloons while hanging out on the beach at Robin Lake. This annual festival also features a classic car show, disc dogs, live music, a birds of prey show, and more.

Big Peach Sizzler 10K/5K
Where: Races begin in Chamblee and end in Buckhead
When: September 3
Cost:
5K: $45, 10K: $55
Details:
This popular race raises money for cystic fibrosis research, kicking off at the Brookhaven (5K) and Chamblee (10K) MARTA stations and ending at the Buckhead Station shopping center. Finishers get a T-shirt and a snazzy medal, and yes, it is a Peachtree Road Race qualifier.

Holy Smoke 5K
Where: Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, Marietta
When: September 3, 9 a.m.
Cost:
$25 (price increases after 9/1)
Details:
This Marietta race, which raises money for Predisan Health Ministries in Honduras, features an after-party with barbecue, an antique car show, a silent auction, and live music.

First Responders Labor Day 5K/10K/15K
Where:
AMC Theatre, Cobb Place Lane, Kennesaw
When:
September 3, 8 a.m.
Cost:
5K: $30, 10K: $35, 15K: $40
Details:
If you’re a first responder (police, fire, EMT), you can run this Kennesaw race for free. Participants get a tech T-shirt (women can get a racerback tank), and proceeds benefit the Gold Shield Foundation.

Labor Day Pig Out
Where: Avalon (Palmer Plaza)
When: September 2, 5-8 p.m.
Cost:
Adults: $40; Kids: $20
Details:
Avalon’s Oak Steakhouse and Colletta are serving up an all-you-can-eat barbecue spread of brisket, pulled pork, chicken, mac and cheese, potato salad, cornbread, and more. The event is kid-friendly, with face-painting, a photo booth, and lawn games.

House in the Park

House in the Park
Where: Grant Park
When: September 2, 12-8 p.m.
Cost:
$10
Details:
The all-day dance party, held near the rec center at Grant Park, will feature four DJs: Salah Ananse, DJ Kemit, Kai Alce, and Ramon Rawsoul. There will also be a cash bar, along with food and merch vendors.

LudaDay Weekend
Where: Varies
When: August 31 though September 2
Cost:
Varies
Details:
This annual event’s lineup, all of which benefit Ludacris’s foundation, includes celebrity golf and bowling tournaments; a celebrity basketball game; LudaFamDay, a free community festival with food, vendors, music, and a kids zone; and a takeover of the Westside TopGolf.

2018 National Puppet Slam
Where: Center for Puppetry Arts
When: August 31 and September 1, 8 p.m.; September 2, 5 p.m.
Cost:
$20 ($15 for museum members)
Details:
 The concept is similar to a poetry slam, but puppets are the stars of the show, which features a variety of short sketches across genres and puppetry types. A ticket includes museum admission, so arrive early to check out the new The Dark Crystal special exhibit, which opens August 31. (Also, this is an 18 and older event, so leave the kiddos at home.)

Marietta Art in the Park
Where: Marietta Square
When: September 1-3
Cost:
 Free, $15 for Chalk Spot
Details:
 Back for its 32nd year, more than 175 artists from around the country are descending on Marietta Square to display their acrylic paintings, drawings, glass, pottery, sculptures, watercolor, wood carving, jewelry, and photography. Along with the pros, kids will also be able to show off their drawing talents at Chalk Spot.

Atlanta Caribbean Jerk Festival
Where: Georgia International Horse Park
When: September 2, noon-10 p.m.
Cost:
 $25-40
Details:
Spare the napkins—you’re gonna want to lick your fingers after every meal here. Back for a 13th year, chefs are coming together to flaunt their version of the tasty Jamaican cooking technique while reggae and rap artists take the stage for live music. Who’s Atlanta’s top jerk chef? Amateur and experienced chefs will also face off in a competition to claim the title.

Noshfest
Where: Temple Kol Emeth
When: September 2-3
Cost:
 Free
Details:
Brisket, matzo ball soup, latkes, kugel, corned beef, potato knish—Noshfest is all about celebrating Jewish culture throughout the two-day festival. The event is about Jewish culture, but food is the focus here with a bagel eating contest, food vendors, and a brisket brunswick stew cooking demonstration by chef Wilson Gourley with the General Muir.

Cirque du Solei: Corteo
Where: Infinite Energy Arena, Duluth
When: August 29 through September 2
Cost:
$54+
Details:
The plot of this performance: A clown imagines his own funeral as a festival of the acrobats and musicians you’d expect at a Cirque show. This production claims to be more theatrical than other Cirque shows, with hand-painted curtains inspired by the Eiffel Tower.

5 Atlanta events you won’t want to miss: August 22-28

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BeyonceBeyoncé and Jay-Z
When: August 25 and 26
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Cost: $50-$300+
Details: Jay-Z, BeyoncĂ©, DJ Khaled, and Chloe x Halle. That’s one heck of an all-star lineup. As part of their On the Run II tour, the artists are spending two evenings at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, meaning you have double the chance to check out this star-studded group before they take off for Orlando.

Grant Park Summer Shade Festival

Grant Park Summer Shade Festival
When: August 25 and 26
Where: Grant Park
Cost: Free, $30 for 5K
Details: It’s back for a 16th year. Combining two days (and two stages) of live music, food trucks, art vendors, craft beer, a kids’ zone, and a 5K Run for the Park—this Grant Park festival has a little bit of everything to enjoy a late summer weekend with the family. Although the event is free, the 5K costs $30, which will support the Grant Park Conservancy.

German Bierfest
When: August 25, 2 p.m.
Where: Woodruff Park
Cost: $35, $10 for designated drivers
Details: Cheers! With more than 40 authentic German beers and enough German food to fill any stomach, German Bierfest is back for its 15th year. This year’s beer selection includes German-styled beers from local brewers, including Arches Brewing and Wrecking Bar Brewpub. Bring a few friends and play outdoor games like tug of war, sack races, or Corn Hole while enjoying live music.

Walk, Wag, n’ Run 5K and Fun Run
When: August 25, 7:30 a.m.
Where: Lenox Park
Cost: $35 for 5K, $15 for 1K Fun Run
Details: This 5K and 1K Fun Run raises money for Ahimsa House, a nonprofit that helps people and pets who are victims of domestic violence escape together. So, of course, your furry friends are welcome to both runs (and the top three dogs will receive an award as well!). Also to note: the 5K is an AJC Peachtree Road Race qualifier, so competitive runners, get on your marks.

Fox Theatre

Grease and Moana sing-alongs at Fox Theatre
When: August 23 and 25
Where: Fox Theatre
Cost: $15
Details: Atlanta, get your vocal chords warmed up. Watch Grease (August 23) and Moana (August 25) on the big screen while you sing every lyric with thousands of others in the theater. Dressing up may not be required, but, like singing along, it may as well be. As a bonus movie: Black Panther, which was filmed in Atlanta (not Wakanda) will also be showing on August 25.

B’s Cracklin’, J.R. Crickets, Old Lady Gang: The new Philips Arena will offer Atlanta dining favorites

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Philips Arena new restaurants
Skirt Steak Carne Asada Flat Bread from Zac Brown’s Social Club

Photograph courtesy of Philips Arena

It’s no secret that the past Atlanta Hawks season was a rough one—it ended with the team tied for the third-worst record in the NBA. With a new head coach and a young roster of new players, a lot of things will be different this year for Hawks fans—including the new Philips Arena, which is undergoing a $192.5 million renovation that is expected to be completed this fall.

And even if some fans are cautious about championship hopes, one thing fans will most definitely look forward to is good food.

Working with executive chef Joe Schafer, formerly of Bacchanalia and King + Duke, Philips Arena is introducing several local favorites to its dining options. It’s a trend among Atlanta’s new sports stadiums: SunTrust Park launched last year with the Terrapin/Fox Bros B-B-Q Taproom and Hugh Acheson’s First & Third sausage shack, and Mercedes-Benz Stadium continued the trend with Farm Burger, Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand, Kevin Gillespie’s Gamechanger, and, again, Fox Bros Bar-B-Q.

“We said to Joe, we want you to curate and pick restaurants that are true to Atlanta, that fans would love,” said Hawks CEO Steve Koonin at a media preview event Wednesday night.

On Wednesday, they did just that, announcing many local favorites including Old Lady Gang, J.R. Crickets, B’s Cracklin’ Barbecue, and Gio’s Little Italia will be joining the arena’s list of local eats. They join national dessert chain Rita’s Italian Ice and the already-announced Zac Brown’s Social Club, which will bring the Grammy Award-winning musician’s Southern-style food in front of Hawks fans.

Philips Arena new restaurants
J.R. Crickets

Photograph courtesy of Philips Arena

J.R. Crickets, of course, is best known for its acclaimed Lemon Pepper Wet wings, B’s Cracklin’ for smoking Atlanta’s best barbecue, and Old Lady Gang for its Real Housewives of Atlanta connection—Xscape singer Kandi Burruss owns this Southern restaurant in Castleberry Hill. Gio’s Little Italia, from Giovanni di Palma, will bring dishes from all of the eateries in di Palma’s Home Park restaurant hub of the same name—Antico, Gio’s Chicken Italiano & Maccheroni, Caffe Antico, and Bar Amalfi, according to the arena’s website.

Philips Arena new restaurants

Philips Arena new restaurants
Zac Brown’s Social Club

Photograph courtesy of Philips Arena

“This is just the first list that we’re going to announce,” Koonin said. “Going to Philips Arena early and eating at [the arena], enjoying these great restaurants at very attractive prices for our fans is going to make our unique arena even more special for the folks in Atlanta.”

Ice Cube’s BIG3 brings retired NBA players back to “old-school” basketball—and it’s coming to Atlanta

BIG3
Ghost Baller’s Mike Bibby drives on Killer 3s’ Alan Anderson.

Photograph courtesy of BIG3/Getty Images

Rapper Ice Cube wanted a way to bring retired NBA veterans back onto a competitive stage in front of fans. So last year, he founded the BIG3, a professional 3-on-3 league that’s starting to pick up notoriety among basketball fans. Now in its second season, BIG3 is coming to Atlanta for the first time on Friday at Infinite Energy Center.

But don’t expect these players to take it easy now that they’re off the NBA court.

“It’s a lot more physical,” says Mike Bibby of the Ghost Ballers, a 14 year NBA veteran who played four seasons as starting point guard with the Atlanta Hawks. “That’s what Ice Cube and them want to do—bring it back to old school basketball, play physical, hand check, and have a little bit rougher play than the NBA today.”

Every player in the league is a recently retired NBA vet, with many big names filling the eight teams’ rosters: Chauncey Billups, Jermaine O’Neal, Amar’e Stoudemire, Nate Robinson, Corey Maggette, Ricky Davis, Carlos Boozer, Baron Davis, and Rashard Lewis, to name a few. Even coaching staffs are star-studded with former WNBA coach Nancy Lieberman and Hall of Famer Julius “Dr. J” Erving.

BIG3 keeps things interesting with different rules that lend to faster, more intense games. With professional basketball’s first four-point shot, the 3-on-3 games are played up to 50 points where a team must win by two. Although there is no game clock, there is a 14-second shot clock to ensure there are no slow possessions. And fouls, although they exist, aren’t going to be called quite as easily as the NBA.

“It’s backyard basketball,” says Josh Childress of the Ball Hogs, an eight-year NBA vet who played four seasons with the Hawks. “It’s the exact opposite [of the NBA]. It’s about as physical as it gets. We take pride in allowing the players to play—sometimes almost too much. We’re getting after it.”

BIG3
Ball Hogs’ Josh Childress backs down Killer 3s’ Alan Anderson.

Photograph courtesy of BIG3/Getty Images

Although many players are in their late 30s or early 40s, the competitive drive hasn’t waned in the slightest—with ESPN highlight-worthy blocks, dunks, and buzzer-beaters every game.

“It’s competitive basketball,” Bibby says. “We still have that drive in us—people don’t like to lose. We go out there and sometimes we act how we would in a regular game. It’s the same thing to us and we take it very seriously.”

With the league starting days after the NBA crowns its champions in the finals and finishing just before the NBA preseason starts, it gives fans a way to watch professional basketball year-round. And fans are buying into it: only in its second season, the league has been filling stadiums across the country and recently landed a three-year Adidas sponsorship.

Friday’s Atlanta match-ups mark the final day of the BIG3 regular season before the top four teams face in the playoffs.

Where to watch
Killer 3s and 3’s Company will face off at 7 p.m. on Facebook Live. The night’s other three matchups will be live on FS1 starting 8 p.m.

To watch the live action at Infinite Energy Center, you can buy tickets, starting at $17, here.

The city of South Fulton passed a new marijuana ordinance. Here’s what you need to know.

South Fulton marijuana law

Five months after the city of Atlanta reduced the penalty for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana, the 10-month-old city of South Fulton taking similar action. In a 5-2 vote Tuesday, the city council agreed to lighten the punishment for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana to a maximum of a $150 fine with no jail time—making the punishment for pot possession more akin to a traffic citation. Half of the fine will go to alcohol and drug rehabilitation and prevention programs, according to Mayor Pro Tem Mark Baker, who sponsored the bill.

The law isn’t official just yet. South Fulton’s mayor, Bill Edwards, still has 10 days from March 20 to sign or veto the bill. According to Baker, the mayor is in favor of signing it, although Edwards wants to increase the fine to more than $150.

To be clear: this law isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card. Possessing any amount of weed is still illegal. In fact, this isn’t “decriminalizing” marijuana because possessing less than an ounce can still land you behind bars. When the city of Atlanta passed its law, we outlined the different scenarios of what could happen under the legislation, all of which apply to the South Fulton ordinance. A quick summary:

  • Regardless of South Fulton’s new law, Georgia law still supersedes the city legislation. Georgia law punishes possession of any amount of marijuana with six months in jail or a fine of up to $1,000. It is the arresting officer’s discretion to choose which to enforce, although the final punishment will fall on a judge.
  • The new law only affects the city of South Fulton. Get caught in College Park? You’re looking at Georgia law. Cross into Union City? Same deal.

South Fulton City Council members have made their intentions clear: This isn’t an endorsement of weed.

“For me, the purpose is criminal justice reform, period,” Baker said. “It has nothing to do with marijuana usage or trying to legalize marijuana.”

The legislation also helps lessen the penalty for a law that has disproportionately affected people of color. A study by Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall, who authored the Atlanta legislation passed in October, revealed that more than 90 percent of people (810 out of 834) arrested in 2016 for possessing less than one ounce of marijuana in the city of Atlanta were black. More than 50 percent of Atlanta’s population is black in comparison to South Fulton’s nearly 90 percent black population.

“I just want to be on the right side of history,” Baker said.

After Clarkston and Atlanta, this makes South Fulton the third city in metro Atlanta to reduce the penalty for possessing a small amount of pot.

Atlanta: Here’s how to celebrate UGA in the College Football Championship if you can’t go to the game

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University of Georgia National Championship
Nick Chubb #27 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs for a 50 yard touchdown during the third quarter in the 2018 College Football Playoff Semifinal Game against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 2018.

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

On Monday night, the Georgia Bulldogs have a shot at defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide to win the College Football Playoff National Championship. It’s been 38 years since the last time the Dawgs were declared national champions, and UGA fans are salivating at the thought of not only kicking Alabama’s butt, but kicking it essentially at home in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

But the cheapest tickets on StubHub for Monday’s game (as of press time) will set you back about $1,300. (And for those who really want to splurge, there’s a 26-person suite that’s currently running for $106,700.) If you’re not able to get in the stadium doors, here are a few other ways to spend the championship weekend and watch the game.

Official game events
College Football Playoff Fan Central
When: January 6-8
Where: Georgia World Congress Center
Cost: $8 in advance, $10 at door, free for kids under 12
Details: Running all weekend long just next door to the stadium, this official event features plenty of games, pep rallies, live band performances, autograph opportunities, and football-themed exhibits.

Extra Yard 5K
When: January 7, 8 a.m.
Where: International Plaza
Cost: $35 through January 5, $45 on race day
Details: Here’s one way to get into Monday’s game, if you happen to possess super speed: The top overall male and female finishers of this 5K will get two tickets to the championship. For everyone else, registering for this race earns you two tickets to above-mentioned Playoff Fan Central, a shirt, a medal, and an entry to win tickets to the championship game. Proceeds go to Extra Yard for Teachers.

Taste of the Championship
When: 
January 7, 7 p.m.
Where:
 Georgia Aquarium
Cost: 
$250 general admission, $350 VIP
Details: 
Sample food and drink from various notable Atlanta chefs, including Ford Fry, Kevin Gillespie, Kevin Rathbun, the Fox brothers, Todd Richards, Savannah Sasser, and more. Proceeds go to Extra Yard for Teachers.

Championship Tailgate Plaza
When: 
January 6-8
Where: 
International Plaza
Cost:
 Free
Details:
Brave the chilly temps and party outside with tailgate games, a zip line, free-fall stunt jumps, and more.

AT&T Playoff Playlist
When: 
January 6-8
Where: 
Centennial Olympic Park
Cost: 
Free
Details:
The championship’s official free concert series brings some big names to Atlanta. On January 6, Jason Derulo, Charlie Puth, and Lizzo perform. January 7, The Chainsmokers, Bebe Rexha, and Spencer Ludwig take the stage, and on January 8, Darius Rucker performs a pre-game show with Brett Young. There will also be fireworks and ESPN broadcasts.

Kendrick Lamar
When: January 8 at halftime
Where: Centennial Olympic Park
Cost: Free
Details: And the crown jewel of the free concerts—Kendrick Lamar is performing the game’s halftime show on Monday night. The concert is free and non-ticketed, so you will want to get there early.

Watch parties
Sports & Social
When: 4 p.m.
Cost: Free
Details: Table reservations for the Battery’s massive sports bar (which has a colossal 30-foot TV) are already booked, but the bar will offer standing-room-only space until it reaches capacity. The metro Atlanta chapter of the UGA Alumni Association is also holding its official watch party here.

The Strand
When: January 8, 6 p.m.
Cost: Free
Details: If you want to watch the game in style in Cobb County, the Marietta Square theater is showing the game on its auditorium screen.

Stats Brewpub
When: January 8
Cost: $5 cover
Details: The downtown sports bar features 70 TVs and is a short hop over to Mercedes-Benz. You can also book a beer tap table ($750 for a party of eight) or a private suites for 10 or 15 people ($1,000 and $1,500, respectively). (Note that some of these options have already sold out.)

SweetWater Brewing Co.
When: January 8, 3 p.m.
Cost: Free
Details: Every TV in the Armour Yards brewery will be tuned to the game, and you can pick up a limited-edition Crowler and SweetWater merch in your team’s colors.

Monday Night Brewing
When: January 8, 8 p.m.
Where: West Midtown and Garage locations
Cost: Free
Details: Sip local brews and watch the game on the big screen at both of Monday Night’s locations.

My Sister’s Room
When: January 8, 6 p.m.
Cost: Free
Details: The bar will have the game on every TV and is offering $10 Miller Lite buckets, $5.99 wing baskets, and $2 tacos.

Ten ATL
When: January 8, 6 p.m.
Cost: $10 general admission
Details: Ten bucks will get you admission and free food at this East Atlanta Village bar, but they have pricier packages that include bottles of liquor and Champagne. You can also get a $10 hookah before 10 p.m.

Other bars we suggest for game-watching
Manuel’s Tavern
Taco Mac
Ormsbys
Mazzy’s Sports Bar
Park Tavern
Yard House (Atlantic Station and the Battery)

Tailgates
Championship Series Tailgate
When: January 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: College Football Hall of Fame
Cost: Free
Details: Hosted by the Home Depot and ESPN’s College Gameday, this event features a live DJ and trivia, a cash bar, tailgate games, prizes, and a scavenger hunt.

Tailgatehouse
When: January 8, 2 p.m.
Where: Between Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Elliott Street SW, just southeast of Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Cost: $75 per person
Details: This 40,000-square-foot covered, heated outdoor space includes an open bar, Williamson Bro’s BBQ, two 12 foot by 7 foot viewing screens, four additional TVs, games and live music. It’s also open until the game ends.

Tailgate Party Committee
When: January 8, 4 p.m.
Where: Gulch Parking Lot 1
Cost: $25-$50
Details: This tailgate advertises a live DJ, all-you-can-eat tailgate fare (hamburgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, etc.), all-you-can-drink beer, wine, and liquor, and TVs showing the game.

Just for kids
Free admission to Legoland Discovery Center
When:
January 6-8
Where:
Legoland Discovery Center at Phipps Plaza
Cost:
$12.50-27.95
Details:
Kids can wear their best UGA or Alabama gear to receive a free admission coupon (with the purchase of a full-price ticket). Workshops will teach youngsters how to build football-themed creations.

Street closures on January 8
Traffic is going to increase Monday afternoon as roughly 100,000 people surge into downtown for the game, and there’s currently (as of Friday afternoon) a chance of freezing rain Monday morning. Oh yeah, and President Trump is reportedly coming to the game, too. Our suggestion: Work remotely or take MARTA for everything. (Additional trains will be running for the game.)

  1. Marietta St, between Ivan Allen Jr Blvd and Centennial Olympic Park Dr
  2. Centennial Olympic Park Dr, between Portman Blvd and MLK Jr Dr
  3. Eastbound Baker St, between Luckie St and Centennial Olympic Park Dr

What else can I do while I’m in Atlanta?
This is kind of our area of expertise. A few guides to help you make the most of your weekend:

50 Best Things to Do in Atlanta

50 Best Restaurants in Atlanta

50 Best Bars in Atlanta

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