One Last Taste of Summer: August is full of arts, crafts, music and fun

Just because school is back in session – or about to be – doesn’t mean summer is over. There are still plenty of fun events all month long and into the Labor Day weekend. From arts and crafts to book and fantasy festivals, check out this list of things to do in August.

Cool Dads Rock Soap Box Derby

Cool Dads Rock Soap Box Derby
Cool Dads Rock will host the 5th Annual Soapbox Derby Festival on Aug. 5  at Historic Fourth Ward Park in Atlanta from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The race starts at 12:30 p.m. and is free to attend. Families from the metro and surrounding areas will compete in a variety of categories, including fastest car, most creative car, and many more.  Along with the racing, the park will be full of vendors, music, family fun activities and soapbox cars. For more information, visit cooldadsrock.com.

Decatur BBQ Blues & Bluegrass Festival
The annual festival returns to Oakhurst Village on Aug. 12 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event will feature a diverse lineup of blues and bluegrass artists including Porch Bottom Boys, Donna Hopkins Band, Grizzly Goat, Beverly Guitar Watkins, Greg Humphrey’s Electric Trio, Vista String Band, The Georgia Flood and Farewell Angelina. Tickets are now on sale for $15. For more information, visit decaturbbqfestival.com.

Piedmont Park Summer Arts & Crafts Festival
This year’s festival is Aug. 19-20 and will feature more than 200 painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metalwork, glass blowers, jewelers and crafters. There will also be artist demonstrations, kids area, live music and food trucks. Admission to the festival is free. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more details, visit piedmontparkartsfestival.com.

Grant Park Summer Shade Festival

The Gant Park Summer Shade Festival
This year’s event is Aug. 26-27 and kicks off on Saturday morning with the Adams Realtors 5K Run for the Park. There will be two artist markets, live music and a kids’ zone featuring games and activities. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Visit summershadefestival.org for more details and full schedule of events.

AJC Decatur Book Festival
Hundreds of authors will descend on Decatur over Labor Day weekend for three days of readings, signings and interactions with readers. New York Times editor Carolyn Ryan and Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery will headline a panel of journalists discussing the importance of journalism during the keynote event on Sept. 1. Henry Winkler (yes, The Fonz from “Happy Days”) will also be a featured guest, singing his latest children’s book. For a full line-up of events and authors, visit decaturbookfestival.com.

Lena Headey from Game of Thrones will be a special guest at Dragon Con.

Dragon Con
Sci-fi, fantasy and gaming fans will descend on Downtown over Labor Day weekend to meet up with actors, authors, artists and more. Some of this year’s special guests include Lena Headey from “Game of Thrones,” comic book legend Stan Lee and Captain Kirk himself, Williams Shatner. Most of the cast of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” will be on hand, as will many “Doctor Who” favorites including Matt Smith, Alex Kingston, Karen Gillian, Billie Piper and John Barrowman. The annual parade of costumed characters down Peachtree Street will be held on Sept. 2 at 10 a.m. For a detailed schedule and to register, visit dragoncon.org.

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