27 Atlanta festivals to check out in October

Enjoy the cooler temps with craft beer, costumes, or chili
Sunday in the Park

Photograph by Khang Mai

Now that the weather is finally getting cooler (we hope), it’s the perfect time to stop by a fall festival. Whether you love cheese, films, or fun runs, there’s an event for you.

Foodie Faves
Porches & Pies
Grab a slice of both sweet and savory pies made by amateurs and professionals at this second-annual pie contest in Adair Park.

Taste of Chamblee
Munch on local Chamblee eats like Frosty Caboose and Vintage Pizzeria at this evening food fest. Georgia Shine Band, A.J. Ghent Band, and Have Gun Will Travel provide the soundtrack.

Atlanta Mac and Cheese Festival
Edgewood gets gooey as up to 30 restaurants compete for best mac and cheese. Sample entries from Empire State South, Dish Dive, and Wrecking Bar Brewpub.

Taste of Atlanta
More than 90 Atlanta-area restaurants offer up samples during the 15th year of this Tech Square food festival, which also includes a Big Green Egg demo stage and a competition to see who is the city’s best bartender.

Cool Concerts
Georgia Blues and Roots Festival

From blues guitarist Jarekus Singleton to local Caroline Aiken, hear Southern blues, root, and folk music at this Mableton festival. Also check out the blues dancing demonstration, or take a beginner harmonica workshop.

Sunday in the Park
In Victorian times, cemeteries were actually a place to hang out. Oakland Cemetery pays homage to this tradition with a Victorian costume contest, a Teddy Bear tea, and live music on the steps of mausoleums from the likes of the Amazing Spud Brothers and the Sweet Auburn String Band.

Wire & Wood Alpharetta Songwriters Festival
Learn the stories behind favorite singer-songwriters’ hits at this Alpharetta downtown event, featuring John Oates of Hall & Oates, Emily Saliers of Indigo Girls, and Kristian Bush of Sugarland.

Pet Parties
Bring your dog, cat, ferret, or even parrot—as long as it’s on a leash—to this Smyrna pet adoption and demonstration event.

All breeds are welcome at this Marietta festival, which raises money for a boxer rescue. Expect dog parks, best trick contests, and best costume awards for categories such as most creative and scariest dog.

Fall Fun
Sunflower Festival
Poke around the pumpkin patch, buy crafts from local artisans, and hear live music at this Stockbridge fall fun day.

Stone Mountain Highland Games
Put on your kilt for this Stone Mountain Park celebration of Scottish culture, including Highland dancing, caber tossing, and whisky tasting.

Exercise Events
Atlanta Rolling of the Bulls Fun Run
If you’ve ever wanted to experience Spain’s Running of the Bulls but with less danger, come to Piedmont Park to be chased by Atlanta Rollergirls in this mile-long fun run. A party at the Nook follows.

Madison Ave. Soapbox Derby
Soapbox derby cars zip down Oakhurst’s Madison Avenue in the fifth year of this neighborhood event that raises money for a community children’s charity.

Chili Challenges
Peach State Chili Cookoff
Taste chilis from the International Chili Society’s Georgia State Championship, as well as 50 other cooks’ stews, in Suwanee.

Brookhaven Chili Cook Off
More than 75 restaurants and amateurs compete in a chili and Brunswick stew battle in Brookhaven. For the extra competitive, there’s also a fried pork skin eating contest.

Beer Bacchanals
Brew Moon Fest
Sip fall ales, from Blue Moon to Leinenkugels, at this Alpharetta beer bash. Pair your pint with Pure Taqueria, Smokejack BBQ, Butcher & Brew, or one of the seven other restaurants on hand.

Marietta’s chalk art festival gets boozy this year with tastings of more than 120 craft beers, including local favorites like Red Hare Brewing Company and Monday Night Brewing. Check out the works by nationally recognized chalk artists, or even pick up a 24-pack of chalks to doodle your own masterpiece.

Great Atlanta Beer Fest
Drink a lager on home plate at this Turner Field brew party with more than 150 beers on tap and college football played on the big screen.

Decatur Craft Beer Festival
Admission to this fest gets you a glass and unlimited samples of the 80 craft beers pouring on the Square.

Cultural Celebrations
Out On Film
Through 10/6
From documentaries on gay ministers to the Sundance hit Other People, watch shorts, features, and documentaries on LGBTQ issues.

Atlanta Black Theatre Festival
This five-year-old festival showcases plays by people of color. Look out for The Boy Who Would Be King, about Martin Luther King III’s struggle with his father’s legacy.

Neighborhood Gatherings
Fall Fest in Candler Park
With a craft fair organized by ICE, a tour of homes, hot air balloon rides, food from Fox Bros. and the Fry Guy, a 5K and fun run, a covers-only music lineup on Saturday, and a locals-only lineup on Sunday, this neighborhood festival has it all.

Now in its 16th year, celebrate the quirky Pine Lake community with more than 40 artists and live music from 12-plus bands, like blues artist Larry Griffith and vintage rock from Uncle Don’s Band.

Oakhurst residents open up their front porches to indie bands for an afternoon in the second year of this festival.

Atlanta Streets Alive
Skate, bike, or just walk down Peachtree Street from downtown to Midtown at the final event of the season.

Popular Parades
Atlanta Pride
Don’t miss the annual Saturday parade in Midtown during the 46th celebration of this LBGTQ festival, the biggest in the South. The festival also features a kids zone, comedy showcase, and an exhibit from the Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Little Five Points Halloween Parade
Witches, zombies, and other cleverly costumed people march down Moreland Avenue for this Halloween favorite.