Highland Games, Fall-O-Ween and More: 15 things to do in metro Atlanta this weekend

The History of Halloween.The origins of Halloween are believed to dateback to the ancient Celtic celebration of Samhain. .Samhain marked the transition from the growingseason into winter and was widely celebrated withanimal costumes, bonfires and superstitious tales. .After the Romans conquered theCelts in 43 AD, Samhain evolved intothe Nov. 1 religious holiday of All Hallows.Because of this, Oct. 31 wasmarked as All Hallow’s Eve, whichis also known as Halloween.From there, Puritan immigrants arrivedin America and brought the varioustraditions of the holiday with them. .All Hallow’s Eve became a time to host “play parties” in celebration of the harvest, many of which included costumes and scary stories.In the 1800s, Irish immigrants arrivedin America and introduced the traditionof tricking people on the holiday. .The concept of treats was reinforced later onin the 1930s, in order to control the “tricks” andcreate a more family-oriented form of celebration. .Candy companies began to fully capitalizeon Halloween in the 1950s, inventing the candywe know and love even to this day.

Looking for something fun to do this weekend in metro Atlanta? Get your kilt on (if you have one) and head to Stone Mountain’s Highland Games, a celebration of Scottish culture and traditions. Or embrace your inner artist at Brookhaven’s Blackburn Park as you Paint the Park with inspiration from its fall colors.

Check out the following 15 things to do in metro Atlanta this weekend:

Intown Atlanta

Taste of Soul

Noon-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 and Sunday, Oct. 16. Free admission. Across from Mercedes-Benz Stadium, 10 Northside Drive and N. MLK Jr. Drive, Atlanta.

Bring a chair and enjoy live music, art and kids’ events and sample Soul and Southern food and a glass from urban winemakers.

PNC Atlanta 10 Miler & 5K

Start at Atlantic Station and run through Buckhead in the PNC Atlanta 10 Miler & 5K.

Credit: From atlantatrackclub.org

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Credit: From atlantatrackclub.org

7:15 a.m. 10 mile start, 7:45 a.m. 5K start. 10 Miler $80 through Oct. 15, $90 on event day. 5K $50 through Oct. 15, $55 on event day. Sunday, Oct. 16. Atlantic Station, 13800 Atlanta Drive NW, Atlanta. 404-231-9064.

Start at Atlantic Station and then walk or run through Buckhead before finishing up back at Atlantic Station. Some retailers and restaurants are offering discounts and specials on race weekend.

Mike Salazar

8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16. $50-$90. Center Stage Atlanta, 1374 West Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-885-1365.

Mike Salazar has risen to the top among Hispanic comedians and will perform a comedy show consisting of good humor, mimicry and songs.


Pop-In For Family Fun

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. Free. Marietta History Center, 1 Depot St., Marietta. 770-794-5710.

Bring the kids for fun crafts and activities related to ghosts and ghouls. The Cobb Book Mobile will also be there, along with Rosalind and Maggie Bunn, authors of “All Aboard, Georgia!” They’ll be signing books from 2 p.m.-4 p.m.


Put on your best costume and head to Swift-Cantrell Park in Kennesaw on Saturday for costume contests, music, a movie and more.

Credit: From kennesaw-ga.gov

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Credit: From kennesaw-ga.gov

3 p.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. Free admission. Swift-Cantrell Park, 3140 Old 41 Highway, Kennesaw. 770-422-9714.

Start the afternoon with a candy trail, costume contests, scavenger hunts, a craft activity, field games and music, and wrap up the fun by watching “Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island” after sundown. Bring a blanket or low-back chair to watch the movie.

Memorial Field Walk

11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 16. Free. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, 900 Kennesaw Mountain Drive, Kennesaw. 770-427-4686 ext. 0.

Go on a ranger-led walk that will take you to several crucial points of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. You’ll see rebel earthworks and hear accounts of the men who took part in the attack.


Stone Mountain Highland Games

The annual Stone Mountain Highland Games returns this weekend with piping and drumming, Scottish athletics and more.

Credit: Jonathan Phillips/Special/AJC

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Credit: Jonathan Phillips/Special/AJC

Saturday, Oct. 15 and Sunday, Oct. 16. Adults $25, Kids 12 and under are free, $20 daily parking pass, $40 annual. Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. 770-521-0228.

Join in the fun at the annual Stone Mountain Highland Games with Scottish athletics, piping and drumming competitions, harping and fiddling, dance, food, drinks and vendors.

Spirits for Spruill

4 p.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. $45, all inclusive. Spruill Gallery, 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Atlanta. 770-394-4019.

See the unveiling of AMPLIFY, Spruill’s newest public art installation and enjoy spirits, food and music.

Paint the Park

1 p.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16. Free. Blackburn Park, 3493 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Brookhaven.

No matter what your age or skill level, you’re invited to use the changing fall colors of Blackburn Park as your inspiration to paint. Limited art supplies will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, and you can also bring your own supplies. Awards will be given in various age groups, and winners will be featured in the city of Brookhaven’s Paint the Park calendar.

North Fulton

FitLife Expo

Noon-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16. Free. Alpharetta City Center, 2001 Commerce St., Alpharetta.

Shop health and wellness vendors, score some giveaways, take free fitness classes, listen to music and more.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

Watch a performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Brooke Street Park in Alpharetta.

Credit: From the event’s Facebook page

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Credit: From the event’s Facebook page

8 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14. Free. Brooke Street Park, 2 Park Plaza, Alpharetta. 678-297-6000.

Watch a performance of Shakespeare’s most popular comedy, which is set in an enchanted forest and features fairies, sparring lovers and a group of amateur actors putting on their own play within a play.

All For One 100 Bicycle Ride

7:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. $90, which includes a T-shirt and lunch. North Point Community Church, 4350 North Point Parkway, Alpharetta.

Choose a 29-, 64- or 100-mile bike route to raise money for the Van Purser Foundation, a non-profit organization that helps cyclists in times of need.


Paint Gwinnett Pink 5K Walk/Run

Walk or run in the Paint Gwinnett Pink 5K to help local cancer survivors and to raise breast cancer awareness.

Credit: From paintgwinnettpink.com

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Credit: From paintgwinnettpink.com

7 a.m-8:55 a.m. registration, 7 a.m.-8 a.m. vendor shopping, 7:40 a.m. opening ceremony, 8:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. live music, 8:15 a.m. survivor ceremony, 9 a.m. race starts, 11 a.m. food service, 12:30 p.m. closing ceremony. Saturday, Oct. 15. $35. Coolray Field, 2500 Buford Drive, Lawrenceville.

Walk or run in the Paint Gwinnett Pink 5K to help benefit local cancer survivors and Northside Hospital Gwinnett Breast Centers.

CULTURA: Fiesta Latina

5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14. Free admission. Lawrenceville Lawn, 210 Luckie St., Lawrenceville. 770-963-2414.

Celebrate Lawrenceville’s diverse community at CULTURA, a Latin heritage festival. The event includes live music, food and work from local artisans.

Sports on the Screen: UGA v. Vanderbilt

3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. Free. Town Green, 5140 Town Center Blvd., Peachtree Corners. 678-691-1200.

Bring chairs, blankets, coolers and small tables if you’d like and watch the undefeated Georgia Bulldogs take on Vanderbilt in a matchup between SEC East teams. You can also pick up food from a Town Green restaurant and bring it with you.