Homecoming 2017: A look at metro Atlanta traffic, weather

Homecoming 2017: A look at metro Atlanta traffic, weather

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Clark Atlanta University Facebook/For the AJC
Clark Atlanta University cheerleaders pose during last year's homecoming.
  • Story Highlights
  • The Atlanta University Center, Georgia State, Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State have homecoming events Saturday.
  • Football and other activities will affect traffic.
  • Will the weather be favorable for tailgates and outdoor homecoming activities?

Throw a football in almost any direction this weekend, and it will probably land at a homecoming event.

Thousands of college graduates are making their annual pilgrimages back to metro Atlanta for football, tailgating, parties and nostalgia.

And that could make the metro area’s always challenging traffic even worse. 

So here’s a quick view of some top homecoming events, and ways to cope with the bottlenecks as well as the weather.

SATURDAY’S KEY HOMECOMING ACTIVITIES

Atlanta University Center: Parade, 9 a.m.

Clark Atlanta: Football, 2 p.m. vs. Albany State.

Georgia State: Tailgate, 11:30 a.m.; Football, 2 p.m. vs. Troy.

Georgia Tech:  Parade, 9 a.m.; Football, 7:30 p.m. vs. Wake Forest.

Kennesaw State: Parade, 3:30 p.m.; Football, 7 p.m. vs. Gardner-Webb.

Morehouse: Football, 2 p.m. vs. Benedict College.

Georgia State, Georgia Tech

Last year's Georgia State University homecoming court winners smile for the camera. Georgia State University's Facebook/For the AJC

Georgia State will be hosting the first homecoming game in its new stadium, the former Turner Field. And it’s worth noting that Troy, the Panthers’ opponent, spoiled the homecoming game for LSU earlier this year.

Georgia Tech alums, who are used to homecomings at Bobby Dodd Stadium, will be turning out for the key Atlantic Coast Conference game with Wake Forest.

“The city of Atlanta will see a myriad of homecoming parades and tailgates lasting throughout the day on Saturday,” said Ashley Frasca, traffic reporter for News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB. “Georgia State’s events are concentrated around their stadium, so side streets around the old Turner Field will be slower than normal.

“The Ramblin’ Reck Parade for Georgia Tech is Saturday morning at 9 a.m. This will be along Fowler Street, but large events at Tech always tend to back up exits off of I-75/85, especially 10th and 14th streets and North Avenue. To avoid delays associated with events leading up to a 7:30 p.m. kickoff, use Peachtree Street or Northside Drive into downtown.”

Atlanta University Center

Morehouse College's band at last year's homecoming. Morehouse College's Facebook/For the AJC

Joining the mix will be the Atlanta University Center, home to Clark Atlanta University as well as Morehouse and Spelman.

“Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse have celebrated homecoming events all week,” Frasca said. “The Atlanta University Center’s homecoming parade steps off 9 a.m. on Saturday. 

“Folks will be lined up along the parade route: Westview Drive, Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Student Movement Boulevard (Fair Street) and Brown Street. As a result, some congestion may spill over onto Northside Drive and Lowery Boulevard.”

Kennesaw State

Kennesaw State running back Chasten Bennett is forced out of bounds by Gardner-Webb corner back Ivan Toomer during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Kennesaw, Ga. Kennesaw State won 12-7. (Photo/John Amis)

Expect issues outside the perimeter as well, Frasca said.

“The Town Center mall area is infamously jammed on weekends and will be more so this weekend,” she said. “Kennesaw State University’s homecoming parade steps off around 3:30 on Saturday and may catch some drivers unaware.

“Roads affected will be Big Shanty Road, George Busbee Parkway and Busbee Drive. Try to use Chastain Meadows Parkway or Barrett Lakes Boulevard instead.”

What about the weather?

Mostly sunny for your Friday morning

It looks good for Saturday, according to Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz.

Highs are expected to stay in the 70s, with lows in the 50s, Nitz said. There’s no rain in the Saturday forecast.

Weather and Traffic