Dragon Con

 We’ve rounded up five festivals that simply must be on your “to-do” calendar for September.

Dragon Con: William Shatner and Walter Koenig from the original “Star Trek” are on the guest list – along with 400 actors, authors, and designers – for the sci-fi, fantasy, and cosplay extravaganza Sept. 1-5 at various Downtown hotels. The parade is Sept. 3 at 10 a.m. See details at dragoncon.org.

Elevate Atlanta: A series of free art installations, block parties, music, and dance performances will be part of this year’s Elevate, Sept. 16 – Oct. 9, which has a theme of “Open Spaces.” See the full schedule at elevateatlart.com.

Out on Film: The 35th annual LGBTQ+ movie fest runs Sept. 22 – Oct. 2 with nearly 150 films from around the world on the itinerary. The festival opens with “Bros” – the first romantic comedy about two gay men from a major studio – and closes with the dark comedy “Chrissy Judy” about two drag queens looking for their big break. See the lineup at outonfilm.org.

East Atlanta Strut: The annual parade and street festival in East Atlanta Village is on Sept. 24 from noon to 6 p.m. with activities for motorheads, pet lovers, and more. Get the details at eastatlantastrut.com.

Decatur Book Festival: Book lovers will converge on Downtown on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 for a keynote by photojournalist Pete Souza discussing his book “The West Wing & Beyond: What I Saw Inside the Presidency” on Friday night, followed by a day of authors – fiction, poetry, non-fiction, cooking, kid lit – reading and signing their work. Full schedule at decaturbookfestival.com.

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.