The leaves are turning vibrant colors, the temperature is cooling and the festival season in Atlanta is heating up. From music to Halloween fun, festivals are breaking out all over Atlanta.
Out on Film, through Oct. 6
Out on Film showcases 50 films and videos, plus short films by and about the LGBT community at three in-town locations.
Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, Oct. 2-5
The Atlanta Black Theatre Festival is known as “40 plays in four days” and offers a platform of world-class, Afro-centric theater all under one roof. The festival presents a curated selection of plays that share heartwarming stories. In addition to the plays, enjoy shopping, dining, parties and a gallery exhibit.
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Pumpkin Festival, select dates through Nov. 3
Enjoy all the fun at Stone Mountain Park, then stay for the Pumpkin Festival with pie eating contests and carnival games. Stroll through classic storybook tales that come to life with 40 imagined scenes featuring massive carved pumpkin displays, glowing lights, rolling fog and not-so-spooky, glow-in-the-dark adventures. Don’t miss Jack’s GIANT Glowing Pumpkin tree, the Lightning Bug Flashlight Tour and the party parade.
Atlanta Parent’s Family Festival, Oct. 5
This annual festival features more than 50 family-friendly activities, live entertainment including performers, storytelling and music, as well as food and interactive exhibits. Children love the craft booths, huge toddler play area, mobile petting farm, interactive sports games, inflatable playground, pony rides and continuous storytelling. The festival, held at the Mercer University Atlanta campus, benefits Easter Seals of North Georgia.
Atlanta Hip Hop Day Festival, Oct. 5 and 6
Join hip-hop fans for two days of nonstop music on two stages, b-boy and b-girl exhibits, emcee battles, turntablism, food and graffiti artists. Woodruff Park.
Fall Festival in Candler Park, Oct. 5 and 6
The Candler Park Fall Fest is everything you want in a fall festival: music, 5K and fun runs, tour of homes, kids games, food, artist market featuring more than 200 booths and fun. Kidlandia provides entertainment for festival-going children and their grown-ups with a carnival-like atmosphere that includes rides, live shows, roving entertainers and sweet treats.
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A3C Festival & Conference, Oct. 8-13
A3C Festival presents a series of concerts and experiences celebrating hip-hop icons and showcasing the most exciting artists of tomorrow. In addition, there are food trucks and live art. Among the performers are Pink Sweat$; Megan Thee Stallion, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, and E-40 & Friends.
Oktoberfest Atlanta, Oct. 11 and 12
Oktoberfest Atlanta features beer (first one is free), along with German food, live music and games. Among the performers are Ty Reynolds Band, Bob Planner and LynnMarie & The Nashville Polka Guys.
Atlanta Pride Festival, Oct. 11-13
Atlanta Pride is one of the country’s largest Pride festivals and it includes three marches (Trans March, Dyke March and Bi & Pan March) as well as the overall parade, which takes place on Oct. 13 at noon starting at the Civic Center MARTA States and moving to Piedmont Park.
Oakhurst Porchfest, Oct. 12
The Oakhurst Porchfest is a grassroots community music day where front porches becomes stages, yards become venues and goodwill rules the day. It is an afternoon of walking around and listening to music that is literally played on front porches. More than 200 acts are spread across 200 porches over about a mile radius.
AFROPUNK, Oct. 12 and 13
AFROPUNK is an all-ages multicultural festival with plenty of live music, artwork, crafts market, battle of the bands and food trucks. Among the acts are FKA Twigs, Anderson .Paak, Brittany Howard and Gallant.
Fall Festival on Ponce, Oct. 12 and 13
The Fall Festival on Ponce attracts more than 20,000 visitors who enjoy more than 125 displays of fine arts and crafts, folk art, a children’s area, gourmet food trucks and acoustic music.
ELEVATE: Cultural Capital, the city's annual public art festival, provokes a dynamic conversation around notions of community, access, memory, and development through visual art, performances and cultural events in the historic Pittsburgh neighborhood. Hosted by the City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs. Oct. 14-19.
Walker Stalker Con, Oct. 18-20
Walker Stalker is a general zombie and horror convention, although the Georgia-filmed "The Walking Dead” is the focus. The convention features panel discussions and vendors and includes guest appearances by Norman Reedux, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Michael Rooker, Samantha Morton, Thora Birch and Seth Gilliam.
( 📷 Shawn Robertson, AtlantaPhotos.com)
Taste of Atlanta, Oct. 18-20
Sample the best of Atlanta’s top restaurants. Enjoy beer and wine tastings, celebrity chef demos, parties, a concert by Yacht Rock Revenue and VIP tastings.
Stone Mountain Highland Games, Oct. 18-20
Stone Mountain Park comes alive with the sound of bagpipes and fiddles during this popular festival.
Haunted Halloween, Oct. 19
Haunted Halloween features haunted historic houses, spooky trails, games, Halloween movies, a DJ dance, food vendors and a cash bar at Atlanta History Center.
Little 5 Points Halloween Festival and Parade, Oct. 19
The L5P festival has been named one of the best Halloween festivals in the country thanks to its fun attitude and eclectic participants. L5P is one of Atlanta’s “alternative” neighborhoods that rocks several independent one-of-a-kind stores, an old-fashioned pharmacy and piercing and tattoo parlors as well as a diverse number of restaurants. In addition to the parade there is an artist market plus lots of food concessions and music.
Decatur Craft Beer Festival, Oct. 19
Raise a glass and enjoy an afternoon of beer tasting and music on the square in downtown Decatur. Each general admission ticket includes a special tasting glass and unlimited sips from more than 80 breweries. Enjoy live music, too.
Brookhaven Arts Festival, Oct. 19 and 20
This two-day festival features a juried show of art from more than 120 artists from around the country, a classic car show, children's art section, live music, food and beverages. The Classic Car show is Oct. 20 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Atlanta Concours d’Elegance, Oct. 19 and 20
The Concours d’Elegance is a showcase for vintage and modern-day vehicles from some of the rarest collections in the nation. In addition there is a Magnificent Seven Competition, a Lifestyle Merchants Market and Icon Cars of the Stars showcasing celebrity automobiles.
Pumpkin-Carving Contest, Oct. 24
Join in the fun as local chefs and designers go pumpkin-to-pumpkin as they square off and put their pumpkin carving prowess to the test. Participants have 25 minutes to carve their magic. Atlanta Botanical Garden
Fright Night, Oct. 25
This 21+ Halloween party at Fernbank Museum of Natural History features a costume contest, new exhibit tours and sales of beer, cocktails and small plates.
Calloween, Oct. 25
Callanwolde Fine Arts Center is transformed for its fifth annual Halloween Spooky Celebration with trick-or-treating, games, surprise performance by the Callanwolde dance company, food trucks, live band, fun movie screenings and a DJ Willy Wow-led all ages dance party and costume party.
Midtown Halloween Block Party, Oct. 25
A big Halloween party takes over Midtown with a $1,000 costume contest, as well as admission to more than 20 establishments, complimentary shots and food and drink specials.
VIVA Tequila Festival, Oct. 26
The Viva Tequila Festival is as much about food and the Mexican culture as it is about tequila. The festival is dedicated to teaching the history and artistry of tequila and features delicious tastes from Atlanta’s best local restaurants. Participating restaurants pair their signature small plates with sips of the world’s finest boutique tequilas. 21 and over.
Halloween in the Highlands, Oct. 26
Party in one of Atlanta’s historic neighborhoods with admission to more than 10 Virginia-Highland establishments as well as complimentary shots and food and drink specials. Among the participating bars and restaurants are Dark Horse Tavern, Neighbor’s Pub, Tiki Iniki and Truva.
Atlanta World Kite Festival and Expo, Oct. 26
Bring a kite (or buy one at the festival) and fly it as you enjoy music, food, arts & crafts, fact painters and bounce houses.
Whiskies of the World, Oct. 26
Don't miss one of the largest whiskey tasting events in the country with more than 250 distilled spirits from around the globe. Expect whiskey tastings, whiskey and food pairings, and whiskey and cigar pairings.
Day of the Dead Festival, Oct. 27
See traditional Mexican dancing while eating authentic Mexican foods and visiting a display of ornate altars honoring lost family and friends. It all happens at Atlanta History Center.
Boo at the Zoo, Oct. 19, 20, 26 and 27
Enjoy Halloween fun zoo-style with sights, characters and adventures at Zoo Boo Town with more than 1,000 animals from around the world.
Journalist Mary Welch writes business and lifestyle stories for local and national publications.