18 things to do during Labor Day weekend in Atlanta 2019

It's one of the biggest weekends for Atlanta events. Here's what to do.

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What to do on Labor Day Weekend in Atlanta
Embrace your inner super hero at Dragon Con.

Photograph courtesy Dragon Con Photography (c) 2019 Dragon Con, Inc

Dragon Con
Where: Downtown Atlanta (specifically: Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Sheraton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree Plaza, AmericasMart, and 200 Peachtree)
When: August 29 through September 2
Cost:
$140 for a 5-day pass; $35-$120 for various day and multi-day passes
Details:
The five-day celebration of all things pop culture is back in full-force with panels, dance parties, gaming, workshops, and plenty of amazing cosplay. Among this year’s celebrity guests are George Takei and William Shatner (Star Trek), David Tennant (Doctor Who), Zachary Levi (Chuck), Rose McIver (iZombie), and Robert Englund (Nightmare on Elm Street). 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
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
When: August 31, 3:30 p.m.
Cost:
 $67+
Details:
Three cheers for the return of college football: watch the Duke face off against No. 2 Alabama at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

MEAC-SWAC Challenge
Where: Georgia State Stadium
When: September 1, 3 p.m.
Cost:
$10–$125
Details:
In this annual HBCU showdown at Georgia State Stadium, the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats will take on the Jackson State Tigers. The game also serves as a Battle of the Bands for the Marching Wildcats and Sonic Boom of the South, so don’t miss halftime.

What to do on Labor Day Weekend in Atlanta
Freddie Freeman

Photograph by Logan Riely/Getty Images

Atlanta Braves
Where: SunTrust Park
When: August 30 through September 2
Cost:
$16+
Details:
The Braves play all weekend long, first against the White Sox on Friday through Sunday and against the Blue Jays on Monday. Friday night features fireworks and a Freddie Freeman Funko Pop figurine giveaway, while Sunday includes a post-game concert from EDM artist Steve Aoki and Blooper backpack clip giveaway for kids.

Black Gay Pride Weekend
Where: Various locations
When: August 28 through September 2
Cost:
 Varies
Details:
Self-dubbed the largest black gay pride celebration in the world, thousands are expected to come to Atlanta for parties, poetry slams, workshops, comedy shows, the Community Festival in Piedmont Park, and even a booze cruise on Lake Lanier.

AJC Decatur Book Festival

Photograph by TW Meyer

Decatur Book Festival
Where: Downtown Decatur
When: August 30 through September 1
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. Among this years guests: A sold-out reading from Justice Sonia Sotomayor of her children’s book; AJC journalist Jim Auchmutey, local authors Anissa Gray, Joshilyn Jackson, Jessica Handler, Patti Callahan Henry, and Susan Rebecca White; historical fiction author Philippa Gregory; Stacey Abrams; Real Queer America author Samantha Allen; and New York Times Magazine writer and Still Processing podcast host Jenna Wortham.

Taste of Soul Atlanta
Where: 10 Northside Drive
When: August 30 through September 2
Cost:
Free; some events require additional ticket
Details:
Headlined by K Camp and Chante Moore, this fest features plenty of soul and Southern food and live music. The weekend also includes a 5K race, brunch concert, wine tasting, and art exhibition.

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

Photograph courtesy of Callaway Gardens

Hot Air Balloon Festival
Where: Callaway Gardens
When: August 30 through September 1
Cost:
Three-day: Adult: $69.95, Child: $49.95; Two-day: Adult: $49.95, Child: $39.95; Single-day: Adult: $21.95–$29.95, Child: $11.95–$19.95
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 photography class, and more.

Flashback Festival
Where: Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre
When: August 31 through September 1
Cost:
$41+
Details:
Kiss 104.1 hosted the first part of this retro R&B festival on Memorial Day Weekend. Now it’s returning for part two, with performances from American Idol star Ruben Studdard, The Whispers, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Midnight Star, Cameo, and Glenn Jones.

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 medal, and yes, it is a Peachtree Road Race qualifier.

Labor Day Pig Out
Where: Avalon (Palmer Plaza)
When: September 1, 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

Photograph courtesy of House in the Park

House in the Park
Where: Grant Park
When: September 1, 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 30 though September 1
Cost:
Varies
Details:
This annual event’s lineup, all of which benefit the Ludacris Foundation, includes celebrity golf and bowling tournaments; a celebrity basketball game; and a takeover of the Westside TopGolf.

Marietta Art in the Park
Where: Marietta Square
When: August 31 through September 2
Cost:
 Free
Details:
Back for its 33rd 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: Southeast Athletic Complex in Lithonia
When: September 1, noon–10 p.m.
Cost:
$25 in advance; $35 at gate
Details:
For its 14th year, this annual celebration of Caribbean food is moving to a new location in Lithonia. Expect food tastings, Reggae and dancehall music, activities for kids, dominos, and a chef cook-off.

Noshfest
Where: Temple Kol Emeth
When: September 1–2
Cost:
 Free
Details:
The event is a celebration of Jewish culture, but food is the focus with a bagel-eating contest and plenty of food vendors, where you’ll find potato knish, corn beef on rye, chopped liver, and falafel, among other eats. Also expect live music and craft vendors.

WRFG Labor Day Blues Barbecue
Where: Park Tavern
When: September 2, noon–8 p.m.
Cost:
$18 in advance, $25 at door
Details: 
Spend Labor Day at this Piedmont Park restaurant listening to blues music from Selwyn Birchwood, Lil Joe Burton and the Atlanta Horns, Larry Griffith, and more. Barbecue and drinks will be available for purchase.

29Rooms Atlanta
29Rooms, as seen during a recent stop in Chicago

Photograph by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for IMG/Refinery 29

29Rooms
Where: The Works (1235 Chattahoochee Avenue)
When: August 29 through September 8
Cost:
$29+
Details:
The latest Instagrammable experience, this one from lifestyle website Refinery29, comes to Atlanta with photo-worthy and often thought-provoking art installations, including two from local artists.

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