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Posted: August 29, 2013 8:30 p.m.

Calendar filled with Labor Day events

Labor Day weekend has long been considered summer’s last blast.

And fortunately for those in the metro Atlanta area, there’s plenty to do this holiday weekend that doesn’t require a long drive.

Just take along some fortitude to fight the crowds.

Here are some options:

In Atlanta

If all you want to do is have some fun, check out the free Sheryl Crow performance, the 2013 Kickoff Concert presented by 680 The Fan, Saturday at the north end of Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta.

Concert gates will open at noon, and the concert will conclude promptly at 4:30 p.m. to give those with tickets for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game time to proceed to the Georgia Dome in time for THE game between reigning national champion Alabama and Virginia Tech. The game is sold out.

At Dragon Con, you can find your inner geek along with thousands of others who believe in truth, justice and the American way.

The annual pop culture extravaganza will take place in downtown Atlanta today through Labor Day. So, get that Wonder Woman or Jack Sparrow costume out of the closet and join the party.

There will be plenty of guest geeks, vendors, film festivals and charity events to enjoy.

Sprint Cup

Race fans will head to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Advocare 500, one of the 10 races in the chase for the Sprint Cup, at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 1.

For ticket information, visit atlantamotorspeeday.com.

Art in the Park at Marietta Square, taking place from Aug. 31–Sept. 2, will feature a large artist market, a children’s area, the famous painted pots and more.

You can see stars of the non-Sheryl Crow or Dragon Con variety, i.e. the ones that populate the heavens, at a Backyard Campout at Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.

The event will feature night hikes, games, a marshmallow roast and more.

Advance registration is required at chattnaturecenter.org or 770-992-2055, ext. 237.

The cost is $45 for general public families and $35 for CNC member families.

Booked for weekend

More than 300 bestselling authors will be featured at the AJC Decatur Book Festival Aug. 30–Sept. 1 in downtown Decatur on the square.

The festival is the nation’s largest independent book festival.

Stone Mountain Park will celebrate Everyday Heroes at its Labor Day Festival Aug. 31–Sept. 2. There will be special fireworks extravaganzas each night. For details, call 770-498-5690.

Big & Rich

The Atlanta Braves Summer Concert Series will have its finale after the Sept. 1 game against the Marlins at Turner Field. The concert will feature Big & Rich, with special guest Cowboy Troy.

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