City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Weekend best bets: Aug. 31-Sept. 3

63073679Nichelle Nichols, best known for her portrayal of Lieutenant Uhura on the original “Star Trek,” is one of the many actors, musicians, authors, artists and celebrities on hand for this year’s Dragon-Con. Photo: Getty Images

Festival: The AJC Decatur Book Festival kicks off Friday night with a sold-out keynote address from Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. poet laureate and Decatur resident Natasha Trethewey. Events continue Sept. 1 and 2 in venues all around Decatur.

Festival: Atlanta’s biggest pop culture celebration, Dragon-Con takes place in several hotels and other venues around downtown Aug. 31-Sept. 3. The parade, always a highlight, begins at 10 a.m. Saturday on Peachtree Street.

Music: Celebrating the beginning of college football season, the Downtown Touchdown Concert will have performances by Phillip Phillips, Lonestar and Cody Webb starting at 5 p.m. Aug. 31. Smash Mouth, Sister Hazel, Heidi Newfield and the Lost Trailers will play beginning at 2 p.m. Sept. 1. The free event happens in Centennial Olympic Park.

Festival: Pioneer Days offers carnival rides and games, arts and crafts, live entertainment, fireworks and much more at Sam Smith Park in Cartersville Aug. 31-Sept. 3.

Stage: The Renaissance Project presents Thornton Wilder’s tale of small town life “Our Town” Aug. 31-Sept. 15.

Fair: Fayette County Fair continues through Sept. 3 at the Kiwanis Fairground in Fayetteville.

Stage: Born into a Hasidic family in post-World War II Brooklyn, Asher Lev’s artistic genius threatens to estrange him from his parents and his observant Jewish community in Theatrical Outfit’s “My Name is Asher Lev.” It continues through Sept. 16 at the Balzer Theater at Herren’s. Take a look at our review of the show.

Stage: In the Polk Street Players’ fantasy farce “Dream Lover,” a “football widow” dreams up a Latin lover. The show continues through Sept. 8 at St. James Episcopal Church in Marietta.

Stage: Actor’s Express presents the musical version of “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” The show continues through Oct. 7 at the King Plow Arts Center. Check out our review of the production.

Stage: The Atlanta Shakespeare Company offers an updated take on “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).” It continues through Sept. 2 at the New American Shakespeare Tavern.

Stage: Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville offers a fresh take on “Sweet Charity,” the classic musical best known for the songs “Big Spender” and “If My Friends Could See Me Now.” It runs through Sept. 2.

Stage: Revisit a slew of childhood favorites with the Center for Puppetry Arts’ take on “The Tortoise, the Hare and other Aesop’s Fables.” It continues through Sept. 9.

Music: Celebrate Freedom Atlanta brings a full day of contemporary Christian music to Jim R. Miller Park in Marietta. The line-up includes Amy Grant, Switchfoot, Jeremy Camp, Jars of Clay, Kutless, Hawk Nelson, Jason Castro and many more. The event begins at 8 a.m. and continues through 11 p.m. Sept. 1.

Festival: Celebrate fine arts from all over the country as well as those from local artists in Marietta at the26th annual Art in the Park, which happens in Glover Park Sept. 1-3.

Music: Lynyrd Skynyrd performs after the Braves game (which begins at 4 p.m. Sept. 1) at Turner Field. The concert is free (general admission seating) with game ticket. Separate passes for field access are $25.

Festival: Carnival rides,  live entertainment, food and work by a long list of artists and craftspeople are all part of the 42nd annual Powers Festival, which happens Sept. 1-3 at Powers Pavilion in Newnan.

Festival: You’ll find more than 150 arts and crafts vendors, 30 food vendors,  live entertainment and a large kids zone at the Love the Lake Festival in Acworth. The fest begins with a parade at 10 a.m. Sept. 1 and continues until 6 p.m. at Cauble Park on Lake Acworth. The fest will also be open noon-6 p.m. Sept. 2.

Festival: If you’re looking to have a few tasty adult beverages this weekend, you might want to check out the Speakeasy Cocktail Festival at the Georgia World Congress Center Sept. 1-2.

Festival: Nibble and Noshfest offers Jewish food and fun and includes live music and comedy, arts and crafts vendors and more. It happens 11 a.m. Sept. 2 and3 at Temple Kol Emeth in Marietta.

Festival: Things will probably get spicy at the Atlanta Caribbean Jerk Festival, which takes place at  Panthersville Stadium in Decatur noon-10 p.m. Sept. 2.

Festival: The Drive Invasion celebrates movies and music, this year the movies are “Big Trouble in Little China,” “Blade Runner” and “Blacula.” The music lineup includes the Black Lips, the Subsonics and Webb Wilder. Gates opens at 10 a.m. Sept. 2 at the Starlight Drive-In on Moreland Avenue. The music starts at noon and the movies begin at 9 p.m.

Music, festival: The WRFG Labor Day Blues Barbecue is a fundraiser for the community radio station. This year’s event pays tribute to local blues musician Chicago Joe Jones and includes Claudette King (daughter of B.B. King), Stoney Brooks and more. The music starts at 1 p.m. Sept. 3 at Park Tavern.

For more music happenings, check out our Live Music Picks on the Atlanta Music Scene blog. This is just a selective list of events happening around town, so if there’s something going on this weekend that you’re excited about and you don’t see it here, please feel free to share the info in the comments. Follow me on Twitter at@ajchottix and @ajcatlevents for info on tickets going on sale and more upcoming events.

5 comments Add your comment


August 30th, 2012
1:20 pm

There were three omissions that I could think of , so for those who are interested. Atlanta Black Gay Pride ( One MusicFest at The Masquerade and Old Fourth Ward Park ( and House in the Park ( )

Mister Pants

August 30th, 2012
2:08 pm

I will be wearing my old football pants.

Shane Harrison

August 30th, 2012
3:33 pm

Thanks for adding those Doctor Q. The One MusicFest is actually in our Live Music Picks, which is now linked at the bottom of the post.


August 31st, 2012
9:53 am

Not a NASCAR fan but I know the traffic nightmare it creates so be aware that even though it is taking place at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, South of Atlanta, traffic will be impacted over the weekend because of the races.

Daniel Prechtel

September 3rd, 2012
1:59 pm

Join Dan Prechtel and friends on the Silver Comet Trail this weekend as we ride for the new “Share the Ride” bike exchange. Let’s get those worn out bikes with the flat tires out of the basement or garage today, and into the hands of a new user tomorrow!