is nearly here, and Atlanta is the perfect place to celebrate. Labor Day energy is contagious in Atlanta, and you’ll want to see every sight, devour every syllable and honor every Skywalker you see. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so let’s talk details, tips and tricks so you can enjoy this fun-filled fusion of festivals to the fullest.Dragon Con, Sept. 4-7
Dragon Con has brightened Downtown Atlanta for nearly 30 years, so you already know the streets will be filled with thousands of costumed sci-fi fans, ready to have a good time and meet cast members from their favorite shows.
AJC Decatur Book Festival, Sept. 4-6
- Various roads will be blocked to make way for the enormous (and free) parade on Saturday morning, so your best bet will be to use MARTA. The Peachtree Center Station is right in the heart of Dragon Con country. With MARTA, you won’t have to worry about transportation, parking or accidentally side-swiping an Ewok.
- Hop on the Atlanta Streetcar. If you’re looking for a place to eat, the Streetcar will take you on a 2-mile loop around downtown, exposing you to several attractions and eateries along the way.
- Remain calm and stay organized. With such a large event, it may feel a bit overwhelming, but there are many helpful volunteers around, as well as the handy Dragon Con smart phone app, that can help you manage through the maze of people, maximize your merriment and ensure you don’t miss any of the panels, events and parties.
The AJC Decatur Book Festival is the largest independent book festival in the Southeast. Held annually in downtown Decatur, it attracts more than 600 emerging and award-winning authors alone, which means actual attendees number upwards of 100,000. With the right tools, it’s surprisingly easy to navigate the multiple stages, discussions, panels, performances, music and art.
Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, Sept. 5
- Familiarize yourself with the map and itinerary beforehand. Nothing’s worse than missing the author discussion you wanted to see.
- Be prepared to network. If you are an aspiring author, editor, book seller, publisher, etc., the AJC Decatur Book Festival is the perfect place to make new connections and manifest new opportunities. Be prepared, but don’t be annoying.
Calling all college football fans! The Georgia Dome
will be rattling under the rumble of college football lovers as more than 100,000 gather to kick off college football season. Who will you cheer for: the Auburn Tigers or the Louisville Cardinals?
Black Gay Pride Week, Sept. 4-6
- Reserve your parking in advance for exclusive discounts and a guaranteed space at parking lots and garages near the dome. Or take MARTA.
- Bring your “A” game to the tail gate. With the right food and drinks, the good times will roll. The FanZone at the Georgia World Congress Center will be packed with game day fun for the whole family. You may even want to visit the nearby College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience.
- Enter the Home Depot Home Town Hero contest for a chance to win two tickets to the game.
Atlanta Black Gay Pride brings the sizzle to various city hotspots for Labor Day
weekend in Atlanta, providing massive entertainment, educational tools, support, advocacy campaigns and camaraderie for tens of thousands of LGBTQ community members from around the world.
House in the Park, Sept. 6.
- With appearances from music superstars like Chris Brown, Monica, Lil Kim, and more, this event is sure to be action packed and high-energy. Check the website often to stay on top of last-minute updates to venue and schedule, etc.
- Consider using services like Uber or Lyft for easy transport from hotspot to hotspot.
- Do a few extra crunches before this festival, because there are several body-conscious contests that you can enter for cash prizes. Cha-ching!
If you love soulful house music, then you need to check out House in the Park. This free event brings together well known DJs and hundreds of house music fans for a full day of good vibes in beautiful Grant Park.
Beth Clark is a writer and foodie who loves to roam around Atlanta, uncovering the city's quirky, glam, upscale and down-home character. Curiosity is her compass, and you'll find her writing on www.thecitydweller.me.
- Coordinate with your friends and bring a tent, chairs, grill, and some food and beverages. Proper planning will make for a highly enjoyable day.
- Arrive early as parking in the neighborhood gets pretty full. Also be sure to charge your phone batteries if you’ll be searching for friends. Cell phone reception can be a little dicey in Grant Park, so try to at least have a charged battery, a backup battery or a portable charger on you.
- Wear your dancing shoes.