Stormtroopers on parade at Dragon Con (Photo by Mark Dean)

The Atlanta Police Department is urging both city residents and visitors to be mindful of several major events taking place over the Labor Day weekend beginning in Downtown and Midtown that are expected to draw large crowds.

The city will play host to several major events expected to draw nearly one-half million people through Monday, including DragonCon (including the Saturday parade along Peachtree Street starting at 10 a.m.), Atlanta Black Pride, Pure Heat Community Festival at Piedmont Park and the Alabama vs. Florida State and Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Thousands of book lovers will be headed east for the annual Decatur Book Festival.

“These annual events bring us together and are an important part of what makes the City of Atlanta a unique cultural destination,” said Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields. “We hope everyone enjoys the best of what Atlanta has to offer and takes comfort in knowing APD is on the job.”

The Department urges event-goers to plan for any travel, and consider taking MARTA or carpooling. Event-goers should be mindful of their surroundings and call 911 to report any suspicious activity. APD is also encouraging people to take all valuables out of their cars or hide them from plain sight.

In anticipation of increased system usage, MARTA is increasing train frequency on Saturday, Sept. 2, and beefing up security presence at all 38 rail stations throughout the weekend.

“We anticipate an influx of weekend riders due to a holiday weekend filled with parades, festivals and sporting events,” said MARTA GM/CEO Keith Parker. “MARTA is working to meet the projected ridership demand by providing increased service to help ensure an enjoyable and convenient commute for our patrons.”

During Labor Day weekend, MARTA’s northbound and southbound line will run at approximately seven minute intervals and the eastbound and southbound lines will run in 12 minute intervals.

Last year, MARTA registered more than 283,000 rail riders during Labor Day Weekend.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.