from Severe Weather Team 2

Races, games and racy costumes — and a little rain — highlight Labor day weekend

As big event weekends go, they don’t get much bigger or more action-packed than this Labor Day weekend — with the Dragon Con festival and parade, NASCAR races, and baseball and football games vying for attention.

But expect traffic to be big too. On Friday afternoon, downtown Atlanta was already jammed in all directions.

The fun and games started Thursday night when the Falcons lost to the Jaguars at the Georgia Dome, while the Braves celebrated a win over Cleveland at Turner Field.

The four-day Dragon Con fantasy and science fiction convention got underway Friday at several downtown hotels.

Also Friday, Georgia State University plays Samford at 7 p.m. at the Georgia Dome, and the Braves host Miami at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday will likely be the busiest day of the weekend, starting at 10 a.m., when the DragonCon parade winds its way through downtown.

The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, pitting Alabama against Virginia Tech, kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Georgia Dome. Prior to the game, Sheryl Crow headlines the free Chick-fil-A Kickoff Concert from noon to 4 p.m. at Centennial Olympic Park.

Also on Saturday the Braves play Miami again at 7 p.m. at Turner Field, and Georgia Tech plays Elon at noon at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

On Sunday, the Braves wrap up their series with Miami with a 5 p.m. game at Turner Field.

Monday’s events include the Action Dash 5K, which begins at 8 a.m. at Piedmont Park, the Atlanta Dream-Los Angeles Sparks game at 6 p.m. at Philips Arena and the Braves-Mets game, which begins at 1 p.m. at Turner Field.

Other events this weekend include a full slate of NASCAR races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the AJC Decatur Book Festival Saturday and Sunday and the Atlanta Black Gay Pride Festival, which began Wednesday and continues through Tuesday at several Midtown hotels.

After a nice stretch of dry days, rain will creep back into metro Atlanta’s forecast, just in time for the weekend.

Channel 2 meteorologist Karen Minton said the chance of rain will increase from 10 percent Thursday to 30 percent Friday, 40 percent Saturday and 60 percent Sunday and on Labor Day.

Weekend highs will be in the 80s, with lows in the 70s, Minton said.

At least there won’t be the usual traffic-clogging road construction to worry about. The state Department of Transportation has lane closures beginning at noon Friday and continuing through 5 a.m. Tuesday.

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