Count on Labor Day weekend in Atlanta to be hot, crowded, and colorful—in the best ways. The Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates some 160,000 people will attend this year’s diverse cocktail of events. So unless you’re enjoying an actual cocktail on a beach, you have no excuse to stay home. Our five picks:
Dragon Con More than 65,000 fans of sci-fi, fantasy, pop culture, etc.—with emphasis on the etcetera—converge downtown for a weekend of panel-hopping and cosplay. Put the kids in their Batman and Elsa costumes and head to the Saturday morning parade.
AJC Decatur Book Festival It’s too late to score a ticket to Friday’s keynote conversation between Erica Jong and Roxane Gay, but the jam-packed roster of lectures, signings, and cooking demos by 600-plus authors offers plenty to entice a literary type. All events are free.
Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival We could all use more hot air balloons in our lives. Whether you want to take a tethered ride or simply watch the brightly colored orbs glow at dusk, Callaway Gardens’ weekend-long bash—which includes a 5K race, disc-dog demo, classic car show, and more—is a perfect opportunity.
Atlanta Jerk Fest On Sunday at Decatur’s Panthersville Stadium, chefs flaunt their mastery of that singular, smoky-sweet flavor known as jerk while thousands of festivalgoers groove to the music, art, and cuisine of the Caribbean.
Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game No opening-week cupcake match here: Every year the Georgia Dome ushers in college football season with a serious showdown. Don’t have tickets to this year’s clash between Auburn and Louisville? Share in the hoopla at surrounding bars such as Taco Mac, Stats, or Park Bar.