It's a new moon this week, and the darkness is supposed to make the annual Perseids Meteor Shower spectacular viewing this year. The meteor showers occur every year between mid-July and late-August as the Earth crosses the orbital path of Comet Swift-Tuttle. As the comet's debris slams into the Earth's upper atmosphere at around 130,000 miles per hour, the night time sky is lit up with shooting Perseid meteors.
They spring out of the constellation Perseus, named for the Greek hero who slew the Gorgon Medusa, and rescued the Princess Andromeda from the sea monster Cetus.
This summer, the Delta Aquarid meteor shower illuminates the sky as the Perseids rise to a peak, with 50 or more meteors visible per hour. Getting away from light pollution and into the country may be the best way to witness the celestial show. Hard Labor State Park in Rutledge is hosting a Perseids' Shooting Star party on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 13 and 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. The beach will be kept open until the early hours of the morning, and acoustic background music will accompany the viewing. Participants are encouraged to bring a blanket and snacks. Pre-registration is required. The party is free to those staying in the campground or in cottages; $5 admission and $5 parking for others. For more information, call (706) 557-3001, or visit http://gastateparks.org
The park is also staging "Paddle Under the Perseids-Meteor Kayak Tours," on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 14 and 15, and Aug. 21 and 22, at 10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Meet the ranger on the beach at Hard Labor State Park, 5 Hard Labor Creek Road, Rutledge, before the start of the tour. It's free to those staying in cottages or the campgrounds. For more information, visit http://gastateparks.org.
Other events this week include:
Country performer Gannon Adams will appear at the Summer Concert Series in Downtown Covington Square on Friday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m. Admission is free. The event is sponsored by Main Street and the Newton County Arts Association. For more information, call (770) 786-8188 or visit www.newtoncountyarts.org
Folk Fest, a folk art show and sale, will be held at the North Atlanta Trade Center, 1700 Jeurgens Court, Norcross, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 14 through 16. Friday's show from 5 to 10 p.m. is $15 and includes weekend re-admission and a folk art T-shirt. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., is $7; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is $7. For more information, visit www.slotinfolkart.com
Celebrate the Gullah and Geechee Culture at Aug. 11 through 15, 18 through 22 and 25 through 29 at the Arts Gallery, 136 South Main St., Jonesboro. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Admission is free. For more information, visit www.artsclayton.org/gallery/
The H. J. Summer Classics I and II will be held at the Charles Walker Arena, Grand Prix Stadium at the Georgia International Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy, Conyers, on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 15 and 16. There will be four rings of hunter/jumper competition, classes in the stadium and over $2,000 in prize money. The event is free and open to spectators. For more information, contact event promoter Vickie Bryans at (706) 342-3029 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.HJFoxClassics.com.
The North Georgia Live Steamers, an incorporated, nonprofit miniature outdoor railroad club, will hold public train rides on Saturday, Aug. 15 between 1 and 4:30 p.m. The cost is $2 per person. For additional information, visit www.northgeorgialivesteamers.org
A Junior Angler Fishing Rodeo will be held beginning at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 15, at Indian Springs State Park, 678 Lake Clark Road, Flovilla. Children 16 and younger can learn how to be responsible fisherman while spending time with family and friends. Bring fishing poles and tackle if possible. Bait will be provided at the park. For more information, visit http://gastateparks.org.
Bring drums or percussion instruments and chairs to the Good Life Drum Circle on Saturday, Aug. 15, at Riverfront Park, 112 Front St., Albany. The event is free. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/GoodLifeDrumCircle.
Saturday morning cartoons will be shown at the Fox Theater, 660 Peachtree St., N.E., Atlanta, as part of the Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival on Saturday, Aug. 15, at 10 a.m. Tickets are $10 in advance; $12 on the day of the show. For more information, or to buy tickets, visit the Fox Theater web sites at www.foxtheatre.org.
The Decatur BBQ, Blues and Bluegrass Festival is six hours of blues and bluegrass music, featuring a kids' area, beer and barbecue at Harmony Park, 630 East Lake Drive, Decatur, from noon until 8 p.m. Admission is $20. For more information, visit www.decaturbbqfestival.com.
Painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metal workers, glass blowers, jewelers and crafters will display their work at the Piedmont Park Arts Festival, Saturday, Aug. 15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 16, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 16. The event is free. For more information, visit www.piedmontparkartsfestival.com
Planning a wedding this year or next? Discover what's new in fashion and vendors at the Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta on Sunday, Aug. 16, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Atlanta Convention Center, 230 Spring St NW, Atlanta. Gowns can be purchased at a pop up bridal shop between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Advance tickets are $15; $20 at the door. For more information, visit www.beabride.net/bridal-extravaganza-of-atlanta
HOToberFest's Barrel Aged Ball will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 16, at the historic Georgia Freight Depot, 65 Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive, S.E., Atlanta. For the seventh year in a row, Georgians will have a chance to sample unique draft beers from local breweries as well as a pouring of a one-of-a-kind beer directly from wood aging barrels, a carefully curated selection of bottles of season, rare and collectable eers and two food items from a variety options. VIP tickets are $85. For more information, visit www.hotoberfest.net.