10 can't-miss Atlanta festivals in September

Best things to do Labor Day weekend in Atlanta Join book lovers in downtown Decatur for the AJC Decatur Book Festival. Aug. 31-Sept. 2. Give back and meet some celebrities during LudaDay Weekend. Aug. 31-Sept. 2. Show your pride at one of the largest Black Gay Pride events in the U.S. during Atlanta Black Pride Weekend. Aug. 29-Sept. 4. Get in college football mode during the Chick-fil-A College Football Kickoff games. Sept. 1 and Sept. 4. Go up, up and away at the nostalgic Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festi

Bid adieu to the hot, summer months and open your arms to sweater weather and flavors of fall.

The month of September is full of festivals to keep you happy − with everything from hot air balloons to parades taking over Atlanta's streets.

»RELATED: Your complete guide to fall festivals in and around Atlanta and North Georgia

Mark your calendars and get ready to have fun with these 10 festivals:

AJC Decatur Book Festival. Various times. Aug. 31-Sept. 2. Free admission. Downtown Decatur Square. 101 E Court Square, Decatur. www.decaturbookfestival.com.

At the AJC Decatur Book Festival, there's something in store for every bookworm. After all, it is the largest independent book festival in the country and one of the five largest overall. Attendees can expect to mingle with their favorite authors, discover new ones, purchase books and encourage children to develop a love for reading in a festive environment.

Taste of Soul. Various times. Sept. 1-2. Free admission. Atlanta's West Downtown. 10 Northside Drive & N. MLK Jr. Drive, Atlanta. www.tasteofsoulatlanta.com.

In the heart of the nation's Soul Food capital, Taste of Soul offers delicious Southern food, lively music, a 5K, art and so much more. The two-day experience is free, but if you want to make the most of it you should purchase VIP section seats for the best view and seats at the festival. This year's festival is headlined by Kelly Price & PJ Morton.

Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival. Various times. Aug. 31-Sept. 3. Prices vary. Callaway Gardens. 17800 US-27, Pine Mountain. www.callawaygardens.com.

Bid a picture-perfect farewell to summer in a dreamy, magical way. Start the festival off with the Friday Night Balloon Glow, where colorful balloons will illuminate the sky. The rest of the weekend will entail delicious food and drink, family-friendly activities, live music, a classic car show, spectacular scenery and who knows, maybe you'll take a tethered ride yourself.

Pure Heat Community Festival. Noon to 8 p.m. Sept. 2. Free admission. Piedmont Park. 1071 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta. www.pureheatcommunityfestival.com.

Look no further if you're seeking a fun, informative, outdoor festival to celebrate Atlanta's Pride Weekend. At Pure Heat Community Festival learn about HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, human rights and outreach. Attendees can partake in the vendor's marketplace, a health and wellness expo, a hair show and enjoy live performances while gaining a better understanding within our community of people from all walks of life.

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 19:  Musical artist Post Malone performs onstage during the 143rd Preakness Stakes on May 19, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The Stronach Group)
BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 19: Musical artist Post Malone performs onstage during the 143rd Preakness Stakes on May 19, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The Stronach Group)

Credit: Paul Morigi

Credit: Paul Morigi

Music Midtown. Noon-11 p.m. Sept. 15, Noon-10 p.m. Sept. 16. 2-day general admission $155. Piedmont Park. 1071 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta. www.musicmidtown.com.

Mark your calendars for this two-day event because when it rolls around − and it is, quickly −you won't want to catch a case of the FOMO's. In the two days, you'll be able to experience a diverse lineup of over 30 artists across four stages.

There will be performances from Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone, Kacey Musgraves, Foster the People, Janelle Monae, Thirty Seconds to Mars and so many others. Check out the full lineup here. In addition to the stellar lineup, there will be cash bars (tip your bartenders), scenic city views and some of Atlanta's favorite local bites.

Explore»RELATED: Music Midtown 2018 lineup includes Kendrick Lamar, Imagine Dragons, Post Malone and Fall Out Boy

North Georgia State Fair. Various times. Sept. 20-30. Prices vary. Jim R. Miller Park. 2245 Callaway Rd., Marietta. www.northgeorgiastatefair.com.

The 2018 Superior Plumbing North Georgia State Fair is back this September and better than ever. Over the course of 11 days, there will be fantastically fun ridesfree concerts, a beauty pageant, all the funnel cake you can eat and games galore.

Imagine Music Festival. Sept. 21-23. Prices vary. Atlanta Motor Speedway. 1500 Tara Place, Hampton. www.imaginefestival.com.

Not everyone can agree on house music, but it's taken the world by storm and has arrived in Georgia in the shape of a three day camping-music festival. With the purchase of your ticket you'll have access to the thumping lineup and to the lost city of Imaginarium, which includes: ancient mystery sharing, ceremony, practical applications of earth based concepts, circus acts, a gigantic splash pool, transformational workshops and so much more.

Old Fourth Ward Fall Fest. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sept. 22. Free admission. Fourth Ward Skate Park. 830 Willoughby Way, Atlanta. www.oldfourthwardfallfest.com.

The 4th Annual Old Fourth Ward Fall Festival is a free, family friendly park celebration that takes place in the meadow at the Old Fourth Ward Skate Park on the Atlanta BeltLine's Eastside Trail. The festival's free admission includes access to live music, tasty food trucks, beer tasting, DIY lantern making, a local business marketplace, a Kid-Zone and most importantly, is Atlanta's best viewing spot for the Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade.

East Atlanta Strut. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 22. Free admission. East Atlanta Village, Flat Shoals and Glenwood Avenues, Atlanta. www.eastatlantastrut.com.

If you spend too much time at Ponce City Market or are tired of Atlanta's more popular neighborhoods, now's your chance to explore East Atlanta. The EAV Strut is a free, one-day extravaganza that showcases what the in-town neighborhood has to offer. See why East Atlanta is the best place to eat, drink, shop and explore. There will be live local music, an adult game area, a street market, and the famous Strut parade.

Children made a mad dash for the stage and the free candy there when "Mellotron" singer Melissa Mason tossed a bowl of candy from the stage for them.
Children made a mad dash for the stage and the free candy there when "Mellotron" singer Melissa Mason tossed a bowl of candy from the stage for them.

Credit: Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

Credit: Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

Candler Park Fall Fest. 11 a.m.-Late Sept. 29, 11 a.m.-Late Sept. 30. Free admission. Candler Park and Mclendon Ave, NE., Atlanta. fallfest.candlerpark.org.

Just when fall is starting to show it's warm, beautiful colors, one of Atlanta's most popular fall festivals will return. The Candler Park Fall Festival features two full days of music, over 200 artists/vendors, a 5K & Fun Run, Tour of Homes and some of Atlanta's best food trucks.