25 Atlanta festivals to see this September

Welcome fall with arts, music, and food festivals
Courtesy of Callaway Gardens
Courtesy of Callaway Gardens

Dragon Con is only just the beginning of Atlanta’s September festivals. Find a fest for when you’re going through cosplay withdrawal, whether you love independent film or soul food.

Art Events
Art in the Park

Fiber artists, glass blowers, and jewelry makers come to the 30th year of this Marietta Square art festival. Kids can draw in the chalk spot.

Yellow Daisy Festival
More than 400 crafters from the across the country will arrive at Stone Mountain Park to sell their work.

Fall Folklife Festival
This Atlanta History Center event honors Georgia traditions, from smokehouse cooking to basket weaving. Make your own cornhusk doll, watch a potter turn ceramics on a kick-wheel, and listen to folk music at the Smith Family Farm.

Active Adventures
Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival
The skies above Callaway Gardens will glow with dozens of hot air balloons. Take a tethered balloon ride, or keep things grounded with beach activities, a 5K, and live music.

Atlanta Streets Alive
Take your bike, skateboard, or roller-skates to Highland and Boulevard for this car-free afternoon.

Culture Club
AJC Decatur Book Festival
More than 300 writers take over Decatur Square for the 11th year of this literary fête. Hear National Book Award–winning author Jacqueline Woodson read, watch pop-up Serenbe Playhouse performances, and honor the late Pat Conroy at a keynote by his family and friends.

Dragon Con
Gillian Anderson, Daredevil‘s Charlie Cox, and William Shatner are just a few of the dozens of celebrity panelists at this year’s geek gathering. Or just attend Saturday’s parade, where hundreds of cosplayers show off their elaborate costumes.

Hear inspirational talks on biodiversity, city building, and art for this year’s theme of “Together” at the Rialto.

Music meet-ups
House in the Park
Gather in Grant Park for this house and soul music dance party.

ONE Musicfest
From old school hip-hop like Goodie Mob and Ice Cube to Atlanta favorites like Killer Mike and Big Boi, catch 15 acts at Lakewood Amphitheatre.

Dream Music Fest
Listen to country, jazz, and R&B at this Riverdale concert, including local blues artist Diane Durrett and R&B singer Algebra Blessett.

Music Midtown
36 bands will play this year’s Piedmont Park music festival. The Killers, Beck, and Twenty One Pilots headline, but also catch local acts like the Coathangers and the Shadowboxers.

Films fêtes
Atlanta DocuFest
This 11-year-old film festival highlights the best independent documentaries in subjects like environment, politics, art, and social issues. Keep an eye open for celebrities; last year, James Franco took home the best director award.

Georgia Latino Film Festival
This downtown festival showcases the work of Latino filmmakers; panels feature topics such as how to break into the movie industry and Latinas in film.

Neighborhood Get-Togethers
Taste of Kennesaw
More than 30 restaurants dish out Kennesaw cuisine, from Big Shanty BBQ to California Dreaming’s beer garden.

Taste of Smyrna
Sample food from Smyrna eateries and listen to acoustic sets by Scott Thompson at the Village Green. There’s also a kids zone where your tykes can burn off the snacks.

Hapeville Happy Days
Hapeville turns 125 this year. To celebrate, the city is hosting a festival with a pet parade, live music, and more than 75 vendors.

Suwanee Fest
This Suwanee street fest kicks off with a parade of superheroes. There’s also a 5K/10K run, art vendors, live music by Macy Todd, and more.

International Celebrations
Atlanta British Car Fayre
Drive up to Norcross for a jolly good time looking at hundreds British cars and motorcycles, including Rolls Royces. Or shop at the car boot sale (aka yard sale) that attendees can contribute to.

Japanese swordsmanship, dance, drumming, street style, and food come to Infinite Energy Center. Use the virtual reality photo booth to put yourself in scenic shots of Japan.

Atlanta Greek Festival
Chow down on moussaka, gyros, and souvlaki while watching traditional dance and music at this celebration of Greek culture at the Greek Orthodox Church.

Foodie Fun
Atlanta Jerk Fest

Sample jerk chicken, roti, and roasted fish at this celebration of Caribbean cuisine in Conyers. Reggae and dancehall artists like Third World and Elephant Man perform.

Munch on bagels, lox, and kosher hotdogs at this Marietta Jewish foodie festival. Really love bagels and schmear? Join the bagel-eating contest to see how many you can scarf down in five minutes.

Taste of Soul
Dig into ribs, chicken and waffles, and pies at this soul food and music celebration across from the Dome. Jazz artists like N’Dambi and Phillipia provide the soundtrack.

Cheese Fest
This Freight Depot festival celebrates all things fromage. Sample local cheeses, vote on who makes the best grilled cheese and mac and cheese dishes, and partake in cheese and liquor pairing classes.