Explore Atlanta

What's Happening in Atlanta this Labor Day Weekend

The simple answer is: a lot.

From free festivities to the start of college football season to changes in legislation, here's what you need to know. 

College Football Hall of Fame
(©College Football Hall of Fame)

Get Ready for Game Day

While the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fila-A Fan Experience has been gearing up with events since the end of the August, the world-class attraction in the heart of Downtown Atlanta continues its celebration of the start of college football season with a packed schedule during Labor Day weekend. 

Go the full 10 yards with a ticket to Atlanta's "All In" Championship Luncheon, led by members of ESPN's "College GameDay" and ABC's "Saturday Night Football" from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm on Sept. 1. Priced at $100 per person, attendees will learn what to expect this January when Atlanta hosts the College Football Playoff National Championship in addition to an exciting look at the new state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium

The day's festivities continue at the Hall with authors Phil Savage and Ray Glier for a book signing of “4th and Goal Every Day: Alabama’s Relentless Pursuit of Perfection” from 2 to 4 pm and a comedy show from lifelong Alabama fan and YouTube sensation Jermaine “Funny Maine” Johnson at 7 pm.

The new stadium is anticipating sell-out crowds for the two Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games; Alabama will face Florida State on Saturday, Sept. 2 followed by a Georgia Tech- Tennessee match-up on Monday, Sept. 4, to officially open up the first weekend of college football. Of course, the Hall takes tailgating as seriously as the game itself. Presented by The Home Depot, visiting fans from Alabama and Florida State can stop by the Hall from 9 am to 6 pm on Sept. 2 for contests, giveaways, food and a cash bar in anticipation of 8 pm kick off. 

Wild Heaven Beer
(©Wild Heaven Beer)

Raise a Glass at a Georgia Brewery

On Sept. 1, Senate Bill 85 goes into effect, marking a huge shift in laws for breweries and distilleries in the state of Georgia. The result is more hours of operation and the ability to sell by the pint directly to customers rather than the previous ticketed touring model—and a cause for celebration. Beer lovers have their options, as many breweries are hosting their own parties.

From 4 to 8 pm, the Arches Brewing team is tapping a handful of specialty limited release beers for the "End of Prohibition" in addition to enjoying artisanal sausage sandwiches and sides from Choripan Sausage Co. and live music at their Hapeville facility.

Second Self Beer Co. in Midtown is getting a head start on the next chapter of craft beer. Stop by Aug. 31 for the final day of Tours and Tasting before "Brewery Independence," and stay until the clock strikes midnight for a free pint.

The Avondale Estates-based Wild Heaven Beer has been waiting for this change for a long time, but believe that "L8>NVR." From 4 pm to 11 pm, expect live painting by Chris Makes Art, food from South of Heaven BBQ, live music, a limited beer menu and maybe a canned one-off. Entry is free, and all ages and dogs are welcome.

Book Festival in Decatur, Georgia
The country's largest independent book festival is held in Decatur during Labor Day weekend, beginning with the keynote event Friday evening. (©Tom Meyer)

Mix and Mingle with Bestselling Authors

The Decatur Book Festival is the largest independent book festival in the country and one of the five largest overall. Now in its 12th year,  join world-class authors from a wide-range of genres and crowds of festival-goers around the historic downtown Decatur square to enjoy book signings, author readings, panel discussions, an interactive children's area, live music, parades, cooking demonstrations, poetry slams, writing workshops and more.

The festival begins with a conversation of journalists including National Public Radio host Brooke Gladstone for the DBF Keynote event at 8 pm on Friday, Sept. 1, at Emory University’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Kevin Riley, editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, will moderate. 

Dragon Con parade
(©Dragon Con Photography)

Dress Like Your Favorite Superhero

In case you're wondering, "What's with all the costumes around town?" let us fill you in. Dragon Con, a celebration of literature, comics, film, television, art, music and gaming, has exploded since the first con in 1987. With an anticipated 82,000 attendees, the high quality cosplay and costuming distinguishes this convention for many. We have your rundown for the 2017 con.