ATLANTA — It's about to be a busy Labor Day weekend in Atlanta.
A slew of major events are expected to draw huge crowds, setting off concerns that the jam-packed weekend calendar could exacerbate the current COVID surge putting a major strain on Georgia hospitals.
Event organizers say they have put in place mitigation plans, though, and the shows appear ready to go on in Atlanta.
Here's what you need to know about the weekend's major happenings:
- Atlanta Black Pride: Events celebrating Atlanta's Black LGBTQ community have already been going on all week set up by a variety of organizing groups, with things set to start to ramp up for the weekend. On Saturday the Trans Life Awards will be held at the Marriott Suites Midtown starting at 3 p.m., and on Sunday the big Pure Heat Community Festival will be at Piedmont Park. That event runs from noon to 8 p.m., and will feature Da Brat and Jesseca Dupart as special guest honorees. Other events are going on around town all weekend.
- Dragon Con: Atlanta's beloved annual festival for fans of sci-fi, fantasy, gaming, cosplay and more is back after being canceled last year due to the pandemic. The big parade is happening Saturday, though this year it is being scaled back and closed to the public, with paradegoers limited to convention badge-holders who are vaccinated or have provided a negative COVID test ahead of the weekend.
- College football: The Chick-fil-A kickoff game will see a tide of Alabama fans roll into town (puns all intended). Bama takes on the Miami Hurricanes Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and then Louisville and Ole Miss will play Monday at 8 p.m. In between, you can expect the bars to pack out for watch parties as UGA plays their season opener against Clemson in Charlotte on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
- Atlanta Jazz Festival: One of the city's premier music and cultural fests - which is a free event - starts on Sunday at Piedmont Park and will have performances and events running through Monday evening. For a full list of performances, see here. Other events associated with the festival can be found here.
- Golf: The TOUR Championship event is going on at East Lake Golf Club all weekend, with fans back after last year's event was closed to the public.