By Howard Pousner
Some of Atlanta’s most enjoyable events happen in fall, when summer’s unrelenting sizzle finally fades and people get back their get-up-and-go. Here are some highlights.
● We who live in this leafy, humid clime usually are ready for a break from insects right about now, especially those persistent cockroaches big enough to have starred in a ’50s horror flick. But that won’t stop metro Atlantans from queuing up for Cirque du Soleil’s “Ovo,” a colorful acrobatic show set in the world of creatures we usually swat or stomp with a shoe. It opens Nov. 4 under a blue-and-yellow big top at Atlantic Station.
The New York Times gave it a mixed review in April, praising the “wow factor” of the best routines as well as the splashy sets and zany props and costumes but dismissing other aspects as “something you’ve seen before.” But “Ovo’s” recent Boston stay was extended by 18 shows, and 24 performances already have been added in Washington. 1-800-450-1480, www.cirquedusoleil.com/ovo .
● The Georgia Aquarium has such a lock-down on information about its expansion, due to open in November, that you’d think it was a nuclear reactor under wraps at the downtown attraction instead of a bottlenose dolphin exhibit.
We can say this: It’s going to be XXL. On the west side of the aquarium, the expansive, windowed building will hold 2 million gallons of water and feature a big theater hosting dolphin shows. The price-tag is expected to eclipse $110 million.
The aquarium is hoping for a boost in attendance from 2.2 million last year (the same as in 2008) to 3 million in 2011. 404-581-4000, www.georgiaaquarium .org .
● You don’t hum “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” while ambling through Stone Mountain Park’s Yellow Daisy Festival, a fall fest on steroids. But as you navigate the booths of 425 crafters, dodging the thick crowds (200,000, typically, over four days), it sure looks a lot like Christmas shopping is getting done.
If you like pottery, fabric works, painting, jewelry, sculpture, dolls, photography, fine arts, traditional crafts and a whole lot of merch you don’t usually find at a crafts fair, “the Rock” is the place to be Sept. 9-12. 770-498-5690, www.stonemoutainpark .com .
● When was it, exactly, that Halloween stopped being a holiday for small fry and was taken hostage by roaming packs of sugar-stoked teens and sometimes even more addled adults? Roswell’s Chattahoochee Nature Center takes back the holiday with Halloween Hikes, night-time family-friendly strolls through its well-lit woods Oct. 22-23 and 29-30. Kids get to meet woodland critters and enjoy arts and crafts, games, face painting, music and a bonfire. 770-992-2055, Ext. 236, www. chattnaturecenter.org .
● The Great Locomotive Chase, which occurred in 1862 after a band of Union spies stole the General locomotive from a Confederate camp in Kennesaw, is one of the Civil War’s more fascinating chapters. In fact, it’s dramatized in Atlanta playwright Phillip DePoy’s new play “Stealing Dixie,” at Marietta’s Theatre in the Square through Sept. 12. 770-422-8369, www. theatreinthesquare.com .
Kennesaw’s Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, which has the historic train on permanent exhibit, chugs deeper into the story Sept. 11 with the Great Locomotive Chase, Battle of Tunnel Hill Bus Tour and Civil War Reenactment. The day-long sojourn follows the route of the Union raiders and their Confederate pursuers toward Chattanooga and includes stops in the northwest Georgia towns of Kingston, Adairsville and Ringgold. Registration required by Sept. 3; 770-427-2117, Ext. 3058, www.southernmuseum .org .