Every year, Atlanta’s prowess for coming together en masse heats up as temperatures finally, mercifully begin to dip. And the city’s late summer and early fall options for doing so just keep multiplying.
Autumn officially starts September 23, and coming weeks will bring no shortage of things to do: apple-themed festivals in the mountains, pigskin hoopla, a likely Braves playoff appearance, and Atlanta United’s march toward MLS glory. But as the below list illustrates, there’s so much more happening ITP in coming weeks.
Autumnal jubilees around Atlanta continue into November and beyond, but these options should keep intowners occupied through Halloween:
September 16, 17
The latest incarnation of Music Midtown returns with a poppier focus in 2018, counting headliners such as Imagine Dragons, Fall Out Boy, Portugal. The Man, and Janelle Monae, while Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone, Gucci Mane, and others should lend a grittier hip-hop edge.
This year again will see a four-stage format, arranged around Piedmont Park in largely the same spaces as the 2017 shows. Also returning: the festival’s Saturday and Sunday scheduling. Two-day general admission tickets are $155 plus fees.
New this year: a $100 per day option to upgrade general admission tickets for access to up-close viewing areas—like VIP, without the food and booze.
Taste of Buckhead
For three hours on this Thursday evening, the Buckhead Business Association’s annual Taste of Buckhead Event! will go down with no shortage of premiere chefs at American Spirit Works (199 Armour Drive NE).
Attendees are in for tastes from Buckhead’s top restaurants, alongside samples of wine, beer, and spirits. General tickets are now $75.
September 21 to 23
Imagine Music Festival
TomorrowWorld might be no more, but EDM fans eager to get their glow-stick groove on south of Atlanta have options this year with the Imagine Music Festival.
Expect performances by the likes of Bassnectar, Griz, and Paul Oakenfold—and no shortage of camping around Atlanta Motor Speedway.
A base-level pass for three days is $279.
Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade
The Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade—one of the city’s great new traditions, and inarguably its most spellbinding—comes a little later this year, on September 22, to celebrate the South’s largest temporary art exhibition.
It started with a handful of marching lantern makers in 2010; last year, an estimated 70,000 people turned out for what’s been described as “an awe-inspiring spectacle of lights and sounds.”
September 27 to 30
Atlanta Greek Festival
One of Atlanta’s landmark cultural events will continue its four-decade run for four days in late September with the Greek Orthodox Christian community’s Atlanta Greek Festival.
Fans of perky ethnic music, souvlaki, gyros, baklava, and so much wine can rejoice.
September 29, 30
Candler Park Fall Fest
With a boast of being “Atlanta’s Best Fall Festival,” this Candler Park extravaganza returns with two full days of music (cover bands galore on Saturday), plus more than 200 artists, a 5K, tour of homes, Ferris wheel, and something called Kidlandia.
Artist markets at the Candler Park Fall Fest open at 11 a.m. each day, and music goes from noon “until late.”
September 29, 30
3rd Annual Decatur Tiny House Festival
The third incarnation of the popular Decatur Tiny House Festival will showcase more than 20 itty-bitty homes and structures, knowledgeable speakers, a kids area, and more.
Also on tap this year: container dwellings. The “global hot topic” homes are described by promoters as “one wave of the future,” and attendees “will have the chance to see what it’s like to live in a recycled home.”
Day passes are $20 in advance. Kids younger than 12 are free.
Atlanta Street Alive’s final 2018 hurrah
The Atlanta Streets Alive grand finale for 2018 with take over the city’s signature thoroughfare for four hours the afternoon of Sunday, September 30.
For this 3.1-mile “Central Route,” the car-free event should welcome tens of thousands of bicyclists, walkers, skaters, joggers, hop-scotchers, Bird riders, and anyone else who isn’t driving.
October 3 to 7
Atlanta A3C Festival
Founded in 2005, the four-day summit that is the A3C Festival and Conference goes beyond musical performances to include panels and even mixers with hip-hop industry leaders—to the point it’s been dubbed “Hip-Hop’s Family Reunion.”
On tap this year are performances by Wu-Tang Clan, Lil Wayne, and other artists, plus featured speakers Jermaine Dupri, Rza, and Goodie Mob.
October 12 to 14
Atlanta Pride Festival and Parade
Mid-October in the heart of Atlanta means it’s time for Pride, and this year brings the 48th installment of one of America’s largest and oldest such gatherings.
The centerpiece Atlanta Pride Parade steps off at noon Sunday, beginning near the Civic Center MARTA Station downtown. Annual attendance is usually around 200,000 strong.
The neighborhood-organized Oakhurst Porchfest—billed as “the ultimate grassroots music festival”—is heading into its fourth year with growth in mind.
Across hundreds of porches in this leafy section of Decatur proper, the eclectic music fest saw 185 performances in 2016, which was bested by 220 last year.
In 2018, Oakhurst porches will morph into stages for an hour apiece from noon to 7 p.m. October 13. Expect more than 200 diverse, unpaid acts on just as many porches.
As always, it’s all free.
Great Atlanta Beer Festival
More than 150 beers and ciders. Four hours on a Saturday. Georgia State Stadium (formerly Turner Field). Tickets cost $40 for early birds. That’s the Great Atlanta Beer Fest. Need we say more?
Atlanta Chili Cookoff
Hankering for a warm bowl of chili as fall temps arrive? Fear not: The seventh annual Atlanta Chili Cookoff, which has dropped “Brookhaven” from its name, will overtake Brookhaven Park for four hours come mid-October.
Expect belly-warming offerings from the likes of Savi Provisions, Hobnob Neighborhood Tavern, and D.B.A. Barbecue, among many others.
October 14 to 21
The annual, temporary-art brainchild of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs that is ELEVATE is bound for Cascade this year, spanning from October 14 to 21. Specifics for 2018’s installment of the public art festival should be coming soon.
October 19 to 21
Taste of Atlanta
Historic Fourth Ward Park is in for a culinary, caloric invasion courtesy of more than 100 Atlanta restaurants during the blockbuster foodie-palooza Taste of Atlanta this year. It all starts with a Friday night kickoff party, and one highlight will surely be a cocktail crafting competition (and class) centered on bourbon.
Single-day general admission tickets are $25.
Little Five Points Halloween Parade
The most beastly, bloody, no-holds-barred Halloween extravaganza in Atlanta returns October 20. With more than 35,000 attendees expected, the Little Five Points Halloween Festival and Parade is billed as one of the top Halloween events in the country.
Expect an artists market, food vendors, and plenty of First Aid. The famed parade kicks off at 4 p.m. sharp—if you dare.
Decatur Craft Beer Festival
An afternoon of unlimited sips from 80 breweries on the Decatur Square, plus live music (with a DJ between sets), and oversized Jenga. That’s the Decatur Craft Beer Festival in a sudsy nutshell. General admission: $50.
October 20, 21
Festival on Ponce, fall edition
For the eighth year running, the fall version of Festival on Ponce will consume a pretty landscape dreamed up by Fredrick Olmsted Sr., one of America’s most revered landscape architects, with more than 125 displays of fine arts and crafts, folk pieces, and what organizers describe as “outsider art”.
Heads up: The show closes both days relatively early, at 5 p.m.
Atlantans and their pooches of all shapes and pedigrees will be encouraged on this Sunday afternoon (noon to 3 p.m.) to fill the streets of EAV for charitable, Halloween-themed Dogtoberfest.
Headquartered at the East Atlanta Village Farmers Market, this year’s event will see a pet parade, pup vendors, and pet costume contest. It’s free for humans and $5 per dog (plus another $5 to enter the costume contest).
This year’s beneficiary: The W-Underdogs, which pairs at-risk youth in Peoplestown/South Atlanta with animals in need.
October 27, 28
Maker Faire Atlanta
For the first year in 2018, the Maker Faire Atlanta will depart from Decatur and set up shop in late October in downtown’s historic Georgia Railroad Freight Depot.
The event is described as “a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do.” Engineers, scientists, crafters, and good-ol’ artists too will be on hand to showcase hobbies, experiments, and other projects. The circa-1869 venue, one of downtown’s oldest buildings, is worth the trip alone.
A call for makers is open now.