Clusterfest 2017

A roundup of the annual events taking over the city this Labor Day weekend

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Photo credit: Maura Friedman/CL File
CHECKING IN: Keep an eye out for the unexpected at Dragon Con this Labor Day weekend.

Atlanta Black Pride
When it first took place in 1996, it was hard to fathom that Atlanta Black Gay Pride would become the largest black gay pride celebration in the world. Since its first informal house party 21 years ago, Atlanta Black Pride has grown into a citywide event that includes everything from block parties to community empowerment seminars. Despite our current political climate, the event's 21st anniversary promises to be as liberating and celebratory as ever. Free-$400. Wed.-Tues., Aug. 30-Sept. 5. Various locations. www.atlantaprideweekend.com. Fernanda Cunha

Dragon Con
Walking down the streets of Downtown Atlanta alongside Daenerys Targaryen or a Stormtrooper during Labor Day weekend has become more and more common as Dragon Con continues to grow. First organized in 1987, the multi-genre convention has become one of the largest in the Southeast, bringing big names like Carrie Fisher and Patrick Stewart to the city throughout the years. This year, Dragon Con's guests include the original Captain Kirk, William Shatner, the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, and Napoleon Dynamite himself, Jon Heder. $140-$160. Fri-Mon., Sept. 1-4. Hyatt Regency Atlanta, 265 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-577-1234. www.dragoncon.org. FC

AJC Decatur Book Festival
The city of Decatur hosts a weekend full of author events, speakers and books galore as part of the largest independent book festival in the country. Book-lovers, bibliophiles and writers will flood the city to take part in three days of festivities, food, author signings and more books than you've ever seen in your life. Free. Times vary. Fri.-Sun., Sept. 1-3. Decatur Square, 400 Church St., Decatur. www.decaturbookfestival.com. Elizabeth Wolfe

Atlanta Weekender
Centered in the Edgewood nightlife district, the Atlanta Weekender attracts more than 10,000 people each year to the Labor Day weekend music festival featuring soul, Afrobeat, house and more. House in the Park is the weekend's headlining event, featuring the sounds of festival organizers Ramon Rawsoul, Kai Alce, DJ Kemit and Salah Ananse. House in the Park was created with the intention of following through with a vision of house music as a unifying movement of music, transcending race, ethnicity, age and lifestyle to bring its listeners together. The weekend's events also include Lovesexy: a Prince Tribute Party, Afrique Electrique, the House in the Park Afterparty and a Recovery Day Party. $40-$75. Event times vary. Thurs.-Mon., Aug. 31-Sept. 4. Edgewood Avenue. www.atlantaweekender.com. EW

Atlanta Caribbean Jerk Festival
If the rest of the lineup of Labor Day weekend events is looking a bit drab to you, an afternoon of flavor-packed foods and pulsating music at the Atlanta Caribbean Jerk Festival is likely just what you need. One of the largest Caribbean-themed food festivals in the country, the event is studded with live performances of reggae, dancehall and soca music by artists such as Inner Circle and Barrington Levy. In addition to the plethora of food vendors and classic games, there will also be a cook-off competition to crown the next Atlanta Jerk Fest Champion Chef. $20-$30. Noon-10 p.m. Sun., Sept. 3. Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Parkway. www.atlantajerkfestival.com. EW

Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games
One of the very first events held in the shiny new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the 2017 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games mark the official start of college football season. In two highly anticipated ACC vs. SEC games, Florida State and Alabama will compete in what will be the Crimson Tide's fifth appearance in the Kickoff Game. Then, Georgia Tech and Tennessee will go head-to-head to see which of the teams will go home with the Old Leather Helmet Trophy. $80-$205. 8 p.m. Sat., Sept. 2, and Mon., Sept. 9. Mercedes-Benz Stadium, 1414 Andrew Young Blvd. N.W. www.mercedesbenzstadium.com. EW