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Kiersten Willis

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14 things to do during Labor Day weekend in Atlanta

Arts & Culture
Dragon Con
9/4-7
Fantasy and sci-fi geeks take over downtown Atlanta each year at Dragon Con. And the multimedia pop culture convention isn’t just for gamers—it also celebrates art, comics, music, and film.

AJC Decatur Book Festival
9/4-5
The 10th annual festival has book signings, readings, and lectures by more than 600 authors, including keynote speakers Erica Jong and Roxane Gay.

Art in the Park
9/5-7
A Marietta tradition since the mid 1980s, this free event features a chalk art display, artist’s market, and a children’s art alley.

Black Gay Pride
9/2-7
Expect dancing, karaoke, block parties, film screenings, poetry slams, and more at this weeklong event.

For the whole family
Fireworks at Stone Mountain
9/4-6
Stone Mountain Park puts on a special laser-and-fireworks show dedicated to “everyday working heroes” every night of the weekend.

Georgia Aquarium
9/5-7
The world’s largest aquarium is open during special hours for Labor Day weekend, so you can watch sea creatures swim by until 11:00 p.m.

Sky High Balloon Festival
9/4-6
Hop in the basket for a ride (or check out the evening “balloon glow”) at Callaway Gardens.

Music
The Atlanta Weekender
9/3-6
Lovers of soul, house, and Afrobeat music flock to this 4th annual DJ festival in the Old Fourth Ward.

House in the Park
9/6
Head to the Grant Park pavilions for this free dance party with live DJs.

Sports & active
Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game
9/5
The Auburn Tigers face the Louisville Cardinals at the Georgia Dome.

Big Peach Sizzler 10K
9/7
This year’s race is dedicated to raising awareness about cystic fibrosis. Be sure to pace yourself—there’s a party at the end.

Dining & drinking
Midtown Restaurant Week
9/5-13
Find special dining deals at spots like Bantam and Biddy, Bellwoods Social House, Cooks and Soldiers, Community Smith, The Pig and the Pearl, Ecco, and more.

Caribbean Jerk Festival and Family Fun Day
9/6
Come for the mouth-watering food, stay for the music acts (including 1990s hit reggae performer Maxi Priest).

Beer and Whiskey Fest
9/6
The charity event benefiting the PATH Foundation features premium booze and live tunes.

12 Atlanta festivals in August to send off summer

Family-friendly Fests
Gwinnett Center International Film Festival
8/1­-8/2
Screenings range from feature films to student creations. A panel about style in music videos will offer insight into the medium that defined the MTV generation.
Details

Piedmont Park Arts Festival
8/15-8/16
250 creative individuals will be featured, including painters, sculptors, glass blowers, and jewelers. In addition to taking home some artsy treasures, festival goers can also enjoy live acoustic music and festival food. (Some of it is even healthy!)
Details

Grant Park Summer Shade Festival
8/29-8/30
Kicking off with the Adams Realtors 5K Run for the Park, this festival is truly an outdoor lovers event. Take your bike and park it for free with the Atlanta Bike Coalition’s bike valet before enjoying the live music, artist market, and kids zone.
Details

Cultural Events
Atlanta Caribbean Cultural Festival
8/22
The sixth annual Atlanta Caribbean Cultural Festival features a lot of the usual festival flair—food, music, children’s activities, even free medical screenings. It’s all at Clayton County International Park.
Details

Festival Peachtree Latino
8/23
The largest multicultural event in the Southeast is back for its 15th year. In addition to live performances and exhibitor stations, the food pavilion features more than 25 different tastes from around the globe.
Details

Musical Grooves
Jazz on the Lawn
8/7
If you missed it back in June or July, this is your last chance to catch Atlanta’s greatest jazz musicians at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. Gwen Hughes will perform a set beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Details

Flashback Festival
8/8
Slick Rick, Sheila E, and Chaka Khan are a few of the featured artist at KISS 104.1’s 20th anniversary show. Gates at Aaron’s Amphitheatre open at 10 a.m., but the tunes from the 1970s, 80s, and 90s don’t start pumping until 6 p.m. Chaka!
Details

Imagine Music Festival
8/29-8/30
Historic Fourth Ward Park and Masquerade Music Park host this electronic music festival. There couldn’t be a better place for Datsik, Dada Life, Ying Yang Twins (remember them?), and Lil’ Jon to set up shop.
Details

Tasty Treats and Brews
Dawsonville Music & Beer Festival
8/21
Head to Dawsonville for cold brews and live music all through the night. Breweries include Shock Top, Yuengling, and Alpharetta’s Jekyll Brewing. Local acts like Reluctant Saints and Back N Black make it a party.
Details

Miss Mary’s Ice Cream Crankin’
8/30
More than 100 varieties of the sweet treat will be available, and true ice cream lovers can face off in eating contests at Historic Roswell Square. At only $6 per person and benefiting the Drake House, this fest is a great way to end the summer season.
Details

Atlanta Meatball Festival
8/30
Vote for the city’s “mightiest meatball” combos in Sandy Springs at the Belle Isle Square parking area. This year’s event benefits Second Helpings Atlanta.
Details

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