Before the daylight hours grow short and temperatures start to drop, lots of folks are eager to take advantage of summer’s last holiday. There’s a lot going on Labor Day weekend here in DeKalb County. Here’s a sampling:
AJC Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical
The crown jewel of the weekend’s events will be the highly successful AJC Decatur Book Festival Presented by DeKalb Medical as it kicks off its fifth annual celebration with keynote speaker and National Book Award winner Jonathan Franzen. Franzen in August became the first author to grace the cover of TIME magazine since Stephen King in 2000.
The largest independent book festival in the country and the fourth largest overall, AJC DBF in 2009 drew more than 300 authors and tens of thousands of festivalgoers crowded the historic downtown Decatur Square. Again this year, there will be book signings, author readings, panel discussions, an interactive children’s area, live music, parades, cooking demonstrations, poetry slams, writing workshops and more. For more information, visit www.ajcdecaturbookfestival.com.
Avondale Estates annual Labor Day Race
Avondale Estates will hold its 32nd annual Labor Day Race on Monday, Sept. 6. On-site registration is at 7:30 a.m. The 1-mile race starts at 8:30 a.m. The main race–the 5K–starts at 9 a.m. Walkers and runners of all ages and athletic levels are invited to participate in this annual event. For more information, visit www.avondaleestates.org/laborday.html
Labor Day weekend at Stone Mountain Park
This Labor Day weekend, Stone Mountain Park honors the American spirit through a three-day celebration Sept. 4-6, highlighted by free concerts and extended fireworks shows. The Last Blast of Summer concert kicks off the weekend on Saturday, Sept. 4. The extended fireworks display will be seen Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights after the park’s Lasershow Spectacular.
The Last Blast of Summer features Tucker native Jerrod Niemann, who recently released a new single Lover, Lover. The event, which starts at 5 p.m., also includes performances by Eden’s Edge. Chris Janson and Jaron and the Long Road to Love.
The Atlanta Caribbean Jerk Festival
The fifth annual Atlanta Caribbean Jerk Festival and Family Fun Day (ACJF) will take place on Sunday, Sept. 5, at the Panthersville Stadium in Decatur, noon - 11 p.m. Hosted by Glen Simmonds Events, Carib Event Partners and MCMG Inc., the festival centers on the preparation and cooking of jerk-seasoned foods. The ACJF attracts thousands of attendees every year who experience samples of Caribbean culture and cuisine.
“Last year the Atlanta Caribbean Jerk Festival attracted more than 6,000 people and it was voted the best place in Georgia for Caribbean nationals and friends to meet and connect,” Glen Simmonds, president of Glen Simmonds Events, explained. “This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever with jerk preparation demonstrations, spoken word, live reggae and calypso bands and, of course, the crowning of Atlanta’s Top Jerk Chef.”
Admission is $10 for adults and children younger than 12 are admitted for free. Panthersville Stadium is located at 2817 Clifton Springs Road, Decatur. Parking is plentiful and free. Part of the proceeds will benefit the Atlanta Montego Bay Sister Cities Foundation, a nonprofit organization that conducts two health missions to the Caribbean each year.
Columbia Drive UMC Pre-Labor Day Cook-off
Columbia Drive United Methodist Church is holding a Pre-Labor Day Cook-off Competition and Marketplace from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4. In addition to the cook-off competition (see the church Web site for details), there will be vendors, prize drawings, free health screenings, a children’s play area, horseback rides and more. Columbia Drive United Methodist Church is located at 2067 Columbia Drive, Decatur, across from Columbia High School. For more information, call (404) 284-4151 or visit http://cdumc.org.