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Labor Day weekend madness in Atlanta: What you need to know

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Annual “Clusterfest” is back, y’all—with a vengeance!

The DragonCon parade in downtown Atlanta.
Coming Saturday.
ExploreGeorgia.org

Say so long to summer (unofficially), and hello to Atlanta’s famed “Clusterfest.”

Come Labor Day weekend, Atlanta perennially morphs into the epicenter of weird, and with a college football game of historic proportions juxtaposed with expected, record crowds at Dragon Con, this year promises to be as lively as ever. Especially downtown.

For the uninitiated, Atlanta’s glorious Clusterfest is about legions of Cosplay freaks commingling with Roll-Tide football drunkards and Black Gay Pride enthusiasts while more studious, literate readers of books overtake other regions of the ITP universe.

Large-scale festivals and more intimate themed gatherings are popping off across the metro, but here’s the key info for intown happenings:

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DRAGON CON 2017

On Friday morning, they start arriving in earnest. And they’ll be partying through Monday. Some 82,000 costumed revelers are expected to descend upon the Big Peach, and special guests this year include, um, John Cusack.

Parade: This famous march of Storm Troopers, Wookies, and Wonder Women begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the intersection of Peachtree Street and Linden Avenue (near Emory University Hospital Midtown, basically). Crowds are generally thicker the farther south the route travels.

Keep in mind the parade’s Peachtree Street route is convenient to three MARTA stations: North Avenue, Civic Center, and Peachtree Center. Avoid driving in the area until after noon.

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BLACK GAY PRIDE:

Through Tuesday, the annual Black Gay Pride hurrah (aka Atlanta Pride Wknd) is expect to see crowds of 30,000 congregate in both Midtown and downtown. It’s one of the largest such events in the world. The 411 is here.

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BOOK FEST:

More than 75,000 visitors are expected in Decatur for the three-day AJC Decatur Book Festival. The nation’s largest independent biblio gathering kicks off today. Henry Winkler will be in the house this year.

Center of the football universe, come Saturday evening.
Curbed Atlanta

EPIC GRIDIRON CLASH:

What’s been billed as the biggest opening game in college football history happens at the sparkly new Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 8 p.m. Saturday. The sold-out contest will mark the jaw-dropping arena’s first taste of national spotlight.

Then, at 8 p.m. Monday, Georgia Tech debuts its season against Tennessee, also at The Benz.

Clusterfest: a precious cultural mishmash.
Rollbamaroll

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SUNDAY RUN:

The fourth annual EAV Runfest returns to East Atlanta this year for parents and kids of all ages on Sunday. Expect road closures in EAV. Details here.

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SUNDAY DANCE:

There’s a free, daylong house-music bonanza happening in Grant Park on Sunday, too. It’s called House in the Park.

Palmers Almanac

Now let the Clusterfest shenanigans begin!

Mercedes-Benz Stadium

441 Martin Luther King Jr Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30313 Visit Website