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DreamHack Gaming Festival Comes to Atlanta November 18-20

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Dreamhack Melbourne

For three days in November, DreamHack Atlanta will host an ultimate gaming weekend at Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center. Experiences include content creator/You Tuber Ludwig spending 50 hours in a glass box to raise funds for charity, game championships, cosplay competitions and live music creation.

Ludwig charity lock-in

In “The Truman Show” style, Ludwig will live in a locked glass box for 50 straight hours at DreamHack Atlanta. During this time, he will strive to raise at least $100,000 for two charities: Alveus Sanctuary and No Kid Hungry.

Throughout his lock-in, Ludwig can be expected to participate in a variety of his infamous stunts and antics. Attendees can purchase DreamHack tickets with the code “LUDWIG20” to help support his cause; 20% of the ticket sale price will be added to Ludwig’s fundraising totals. Learn more at dhk.gg/ludwig.

Expo and exhibitions

In the DreamHack Expo Hall, exhibitors will present the world’s newest hardware and software, games, gadgets, gaming gear and swag. Official partners include Monster Energy, Circle K, Intel, Juniper and United States Air Force.

Other expo highlights include Artist Alley, Cosplay Corner and Indie Playground, where visitors can get a sneak peek at new games before they hit the market.

On Friday evening, 5:30-7:30 p.m., DreamHack Atlanta will feature a live music creation experience with invited creator Justine Griffin. She will build iconic and nostalgic songs via looping from DreamHack Atlanta’s Main Stage.

Attendees will also find activities such as giveaways and contests. Note that developers, programmers, streamers, pro gamers and other celebrities also frequent the expo.

Skyscraper

The next generation of third-person shooter (TPS) Battle Royale Shooter games, Skyscraper, is set in cityscape where mobility and verticality are key to staying a step above the competition.

Attendees are invited to visit the Skyscraper space in the Expo all weekend long. There will be freeplay, giveaways and a chance to sign up for The Beta (taking place after DreamHack Atlanta).

On Saturday and Sunday, the Skyscraper stage will feature broadcasted tournaments. Details to be announced.

Competitions and tournaments

More than $400,000 in prize money will be up for grabs through competitions and tournaments open to everyone. Some of the competitions are DreamHack Featuring Fortnite, DreamHack Starcraft 2 Masters (invitation only), DreamHack Fighters (fighting games) and BYOC Tournaments. Newly added contests include Magic: The Gathering DreamHack Showdown, Cosplay Championship and Street Dancing Exhibition.

Check out the website for more competitions, like the “Gamer’s Best Friend” Pet Cosplay Contest, as well as details for all the tournaments.

Tickets and more info

Tickets, available at dreamhack.com/atlanta/tickets, start at $31 for a one-day pass and $85 for a three-day experience.

DreamHack is part of ESL FACEIT Group, a competitive games and esports company. The DreamHack 2022 global tour covers a total of 10 festivals in seven countries. It has not been to Atlanta since November 2019, due to the pandemic. Find out more at dreamhack.com.

Esport Summit on November 17-18

Before DreamHack opens, the annual Esport Summit will take place on Nov. 17 and 18, punctuating the thriving esports industry in Georgia and beyond. Esports Summit provides business leaders and educators a comprehensive view of the entire esports ecosystem.

There will be networking opportunities, presentations from industry leaders, and workshops with some of the largest names in the esports and scholastic esports industry. Find out more and get tickets at esportssummit.live.

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Around Atlanta

Your Guide to Fall Fun

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From pumpkin patches and apple orchards to fall festivals and Halloween events.

It’s that time of year. Pumpkin spice wafts through the air, which is blowing in as crisp as a newly picked apple. The season invites everyone to get outside and enjoy the cool weather before winter sets in.

There is plenty to see and do this autumn. Here’s a list of some of the top events happening around the Peachtree Corners area over the next few months.

Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes

Immerse yourself in pumpkins and pick your way through the corn fields. Plenty of places make it easy to do one or both.

Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church in Peachtree Corners will sprout a Pumpkin Patch, Oct. 9-31, where everyone can choose among a variety of pumpkins and gourds. It’s open Monday to Thursday, 12-7 p.m.; Friday, 12-8 p.m.; and weekends, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Story time is held there Saturday mornings at 11 a.m.

The church will also host a Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat on Sunday, Oct. 23 starting at 4 p.m. Check out MtCarmel-umc.org or facebook.com/MtCarmelUMC to get details.

Peachtree Farm in Peachtree Corners has planned a Tailgate for Tomatoes event for Saturday, Oct. 22, 2-5 p.m., that features a pumpkin patch and pumpkin chunkin’. There will also be food, an artisan and plant sale and college football watching. Admission is free. Find more info and a place to register at peachtreefarm.org.

Kids are kept busy at the Buford Corn Maze. The maze, course, is a highlight, but so is the Haunted Forest. There’s more — pony rides, hayrides, animals to visit, a pumpkin patch and the Barnyard Grill. The Haunted Forest runs through Sunday, Nov. 6 and the Corn Maze is open through Sunday, Nov. 13. Tickets are $16 for the maze and $16 for the forest; combo tickets are available at $28. Check hours and more info at bufordcornmaze.com.

In Lawrenceville, Randy’s Pumpkin Patch has an inflatable corn maze, carnival games, pony rides, bungee jump, train ride and lots more to do. The fun continues through Oct. 31; it’s open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is $5 and ages 15 and under are free with a paid adult. The rides require tickets, which are $1 each or 25 for $20. There are details at randyspumpkinpatch.com. A few more pumpkin patches that feature corn mazes are within driving distance. Warbington Farms in Cumming, warbingtonfarms.com, is open through Nov. 5 and offers a spooky experience for visitors who opt to do the Flashlight Corn Maze at night. In Holly Springs, Cagle’s Farm, caglesfarm.com, has fun that runs through Oct. 30 with bonfires, wagon rides and an animal barnyard as well as an Apple Cart that sells apple cider and caramel apples.

Apple Orchards

Head a bit further north to get the season’s tastiest treats — fresh, crispy apples. There’s a well-loved festival and lots of orchards up that way.

The 2022 Apple Festival in Ellijay runs for two weekends, Oct. 8-9 and Oct. 15-16 at the Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds. Of course, the festival features apple-based foods, drinks and crafts. Other highlights include a parade, antique car show and more than 300 vendors offering a variety of handmade items.

Hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $10 per person; children 12 and under are free. Go to georgiaapplefestival.org for additional info.

In the Ellijay area, local orchards invite families to come in and do their own apple picking. Pluck the fruit right off the tree or stop by their markets and choose from freshly made selections that include jams, pies, ciders and apple cider doughnuts.

Below are three of the most popular orchards, but you’re likely to come across others that are less well known but just as wonderful.

B.J. Reece Orchard, reeceorchards.com, has farm-fun activities on Saturdays and Sundays and is known for their fried pies. At Hillcrest Orchards, hillcrestorchards.net, visitors can pick apples and enjoy the petting zoo and playground, among other activities. There’s apple picking and a pumpkin patch at Red Apple Barn, redapplebarn.com, as well as a market stocked with goodies.

Fall and Harvest Festivals

Hayrides, scarecrows and…vintage German cars? Festivals abound this fall so everyone can find something that interests and excites them.

Take a trip to the farm on Saturday, Oct. 15, 12-4 p.m., at Harvest Homecoming in Duluth’s McDaniel Farm Park. Admission is free to partake in crafts, old-time games, farm tours, hayrides and s’mores. Visit GwinettParks.com to find details.

The 2022 Trick or Treat Trot Family Fall Festival & 5K, hosted by Easterseals North Georgia, is set for Saturday, Oct. 15 at Thrasher Park in Norcross. The race has a $30 registration fee and starts at 8 a.m. The Fall Festival continues the fun, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., with food, music, costumes and more. Visit trickortreattrot.com to learn more and sign up.

For something completely different, consider dropping in at Stone Mountain Park for the Highland Games and Scottish Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15-16. There will be kilts and tartans, pipe and drum music, and food and drink as the clans go head-to-head in music, dance and athletic competitions. Get the whole story at smhg.org.

Head over to Best Friend Park in Norcross on Saturday, Oct. 29. From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., the park will be alive with music, a parade, food and crafts to honor loved ones who have passed on. The Dia de Los Muertos celebration is free, and more info can be found at GwinettParks.com or by calling 678-277-0222.

There will be 250 classic German automobiles — BMWs, Audis, Porsches, Mercedes Benzes and more — on display at the Deutsche Klassic Autoberfest in Downtown Norcross Saturday, Oct. 29, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. It’s free to enter and activities are planned for kids of all ages, polka music, German food and beer. Go to norcrossga.net or deutsche-klassic.com to find out more.

If you want to experience a more classic Oktoberfest, head to Helen, where visitors can celebrate all things German with dancing, music, food and, of course, beer. The festival is held in the riverside Festhalle, with revelers dressed in lederhosen and dirndls as they dance the polka.

The party starts in September and runs through Oct. 30, starting at 6 p.m. through the week and 1 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s open to all ages. Admission is $8 during the week, $10 on Saturdays and free on Sundays. Get the important info on the Helen Chamber site, helenchamber.com.

The Father’s House Church in Peachtree Corners has planned Harvest Fest 2022 for Monday, Oct. 31 in celebration of the season’s beauty with free food, games and treats for the whole family. Hayrides and a bouncy house round out the day of fun.

Also, mark your calendar for December 17 and 18 when the church will present Christmas: Now, Then and Forever! with songs, dances, live music and poetry. Visit TheFathersHouseatl.org or facebook.com/fathershouseatlanta for more.

The Cumming County Fair and Festival brings carnival food, amusement rides, live music and entertainment to the Cumming Fairgrounds Oct. 6-16. Admission is $10 for ages 11 and up, free for kids 10 and under. Get hours of operation and other details at cummingfair.squarespace.com.

If you want more autumnal celebration, there’s the Snellville Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 22, 12-6 p.m. on the Snellville Town Green. There’ll be music, plenty of food, arts and craft vendors and costume contests. A $15 all-day activity band lets visitors enjoy multiple inflatables, a rock wall, gaming bus, nine-hole mini golf and more. Visit experiencesnellville.com/snellville-fall-festival for additional info.

Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Scarecrows in the Garden showcases dozens of scarecrows created by local artists, crafters and youth groups. It kicks off Oct. 1 and continues through Oct. 30. The toddler-friendly Goblins in the Garden is set for Oct. 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. These events are free with garden admission. Click on the calendar at AtlantaBG.org for info.

If you really like scarecrows, you can view a more than 150 for free in Downtown Alpharetta during Scarecrow Harvest, Oct. 3 through Nov. 1.

Trick or Treat and Other Halloween Events

Although Halloween is celebrated on Oct. 31, there are ghosts, witches and other creatures haunting the area for several weeks around the end of the month. Several places welcome them in and even find ways to entertain them.

Kids are invited to trick or treat during Train or Treat at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth on Saturday, Oct. 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The day includes music and a costume contest for ages 12 and under. The event is free with museum admission.

The museum also has a few special events in November. On Nov. 13, there’ll be Holiday Decorating from 1-5 p.m., and Santa Arrives on Nov. 19, 1 p.m. You’ll want to get advance tickets for that. Learn more at train-museum.org.

The Spooktacular Skate Party on Friday, Oct. 21, 6-8 p.m.,is an evening of spooky fun for kids aged 5-18 (and their parents/guardians) at Pinckneyville Park in Norcross. Everyone is encouraged to wear a costume and bring skates and a bag to hold candy. The entry cost of $5 covers games, crafts and a costume contest. For more info, visit GwinettParks.com or call 678-277-0920.

Boo at the Zoo gives the little ones an opportunity to dress up and have fun. The Halloween festival, held at ZooAtlanta on Oct. 22, 23, 29 and 30, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., is filled with whimsical characters, yummy treats and a chance to meet animals from around the world. Boo at the Zoo is free with general admission. The Events page at ZooAtlanta.org is the place for more information.

Fernbank Museum’s annual Dino Trick or Treat will be held Oct. 29, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Visitors should wear costumes and expect treats. Also plan to visit the museum on Oct. 22, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., for Creepy Crawlies, an event that spotlights creepy animals and spooky crafts. The event is free with general admission. Click on the calendar at FernbankMuseum.org for further info.

Ghost Tours and Haunted Houses

How about a ghost tour? It’s a great way to get in the Halloween spirit. Sometimes the goblins move around and other times, they stay put in haunted houses and other spooky spots.

Lawless Spirits is a walking ghost tour guided by costumed characters. Courtesy of Lionheart Theatre, it runs Oct. 13-16 with two shows per night, 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Audience members will walk through the streets of Norcross while being regaled with stories about local ghosts, murders and bank robberies. Tickets run $15 per person and can be purchased at lionhearttheatre.org.

A local favorite is the Decatur Ghost Tour. The tour is available year-round, but this is the best season to catch it. It’s an after-dark walking tour that meets up in downtown Decatur and meanders through the streets with several stops that have seen paranormal activity. Adults and children are led by a psychic and paranormal investigator. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for kids aged 10 and under. DecaturGhostTour.com is the site for more info.

If you’re willing to venture further into the city, try Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours in Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery. After dark, Oct. 20-30, costumed docents guide visitors through cemetery and tell stories of notable and notorious residents. There’s also a Haunted Hunt Scavenger Hunt that runs Oct. 1-31. Tickets are $42 for adults, $30 for kids 4-12 and free for children under 4. Details and tickets can be found on the Events page at OaklandCemetery.com.

Duluth High School’s Wildcat Theatre has been magically altered. On Saturday, Oct. 15, 4-6 p.m., little folk are welcomed to tour the Enchanted Theatre. After dark, there’ll be a transformation, and 6:30-9 p.m., it becomes a Haunted Theatre for older kids. Find out more at duluththeatre.weebly.com.

Everyone knows that Six Flags Over Georgia is home to thrills for all. Through Oct. 31, during the day, families can get into the Halloween mood with the Kids Boo Fest. At night, however, Fright Fest calls forth ghosts and ghouls that terrify even the stout-hearted. Additional info, including ticket pricing, is at SixFlags.com/overgeorgia.

Of course, Netherworld Haunted House is arguably the area’s most popular fright experience. It runs through Nov. 12 at its Stone Mountain location. The haunted house, known for its terrifying special effects and live actors, is recommended for adults and teens. Go to fearworld.com for details and tickets. Also check out the Netherworld Escape Room; learn about it at EscapeTheNetherworld.com.

Halloween Shows

You can always stream your favorite scary film classics, like “Nightmare Before Christmas,” but it can be more fun to participate in some of the live Halloween-themed entertainment in the area.

Wesleyan School in Peachtree Corners presents Legend of Sleepy Hollow, based on the classic gothic tale by Washington Irving. This outdoor immersion experience will be held at the Cross Country Trails at the Hoyt Family Athletic Complex Oct. 20-22. Find more info at wesleyanschool.org/arts/drama.

The classic camp film Rocky Horror Picture Show will have two showings on Saturday, Oct. 22, 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., at the Red Clay Music Foundry in Duluth. Admission is free and first come, first served. This is for mature audiences only — ages 18+ — and not for the easily offended. Audience participation is encouraged, and free prop kits will be provided. If you want to know more, go to duluthga.net/community/rocky_horror_picture_show.php.

Here’s another one for the older crowd. One Stop Norcross will host a Date Night Mystery, complete with femme fatales and crooked detectives, on Saturday, Nov. 5, 6-8:30 p.m. Adults 18 and up will enjoy a meal and murder mystery game for a $20 admission fee. Uncover more info at GwinettParks.com or by calling 678-225-5400.

No matter what you enjoy — dinner and a show, carnival rides, communing with nature — fall is the perfect time to get out there and do it. You may even want to try something new.

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Exciting Screening Experience at Fernbank, “Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit”

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Join NASA astronauts on Fernbank Museum’s giant screen as they venture underwater in “Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit” to train for spacewalks on the International Space Station. Directed by Emmy award-winning cinematographer Jonathan Bird, this film follows astronauts
Chris Cassidy and Jeanette Epps on two different underwater training facilities and reveals the ways NASA uses these environments to give its astronauts experiences akin to those in space. “Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit” premieres on Oct. 8, 2022, in Fernbank’s Giant Screen Theater.

Audiences will see first-hand how astronauts learn to live and work in space by first practicing
underwater in “Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit.” Jonathan Bird specializes in underwater production and captures the complexities surrounding an astronaut’s training regimen before going into space. The film demonstrates how critical it is for astronauts to be trained for every scenario in microgravity, whether positive or negative. Fortunately, the closest place to train with no oxygen or gravity is located on Earth itself, specifically in special facilities located in Texas and Florida.

“Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit” gives a real-life example of how this training successfully saved an
astronaut’s life. In 2013, current ISS Commander Chris Cassidy had to make an immediate spacewalk to fix a critical life-support system on the station. He would not have been able to complete this high-stress feat without having first practiced underwater. Now, audiences can get a giant screen view of Cassidy as he works in a space suit in an underwater facility called the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston, which houses a life-size replica of the ISS and allows him to practice his skillset. Cassidy has now completed 10 spacewalks in his career at NASA, accruing 378 days in space over his three launches.

Southeast of Houston in Key Largo, Florida, is the Aquarius Reef Base, where Jeanette Epps trained to one day become the first Black woman to have an extended stay in space as part of an ISS crew through NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO). “Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit” captures her 10-day stay with other astronauts underwater, simulating what life will be like in space, including how to move aboard the spaceship, collect samples and initiate experiments. She was first a CIA technical intelligence officer before becoming an astronaut in 2009 and viewers will now have the chance to watch her prepare for her first space flight to the ISS.

In an impressive comparison of underwater training to working in outer space, “Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit” allows audiences an immersive look into the technological world of astronauts and what it takes to prepare for a trip outside of Earth’s orbit. This film premieres the same day as Fernbank’s new exhibit, Journey to Space, which will run until Jan.
1, 2023. With the film running alongside the exhibit, visitors will leave with a better understanding of and deeper interest in all things space. This film is family friendly and has a run time of 20 minutes.

MacGillivray Freeman Films presents “Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit,” an Oceanic Research Group
production directed by Jonathan Bird.

“Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit” plays daily in Fernbank’s Giant Screen Theater at Fernbank Museum.

General admission tickets include three floors of exhibits in the natural history museum, choice of one giant screen film and 75 acres of nature explorations in Fernbank Forest and WildWoods. Fernbank is located at 767 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta, minutes from midtown Atlanta and downtown Decatur. For more information, visit FernbankMuseum.org.

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Around Atlanta

Japan Fest Atlanta 2022

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Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18

Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Gas South Convention Center

6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Duluth 30097

japanfest.org

Tickets are $15 until Sept 16; on the day of the event, $18. Two-day ticket (available before the day of the event only) are $20, and parking is $5.

Explore Japanese culture with performances, vendors and foods. Japanese Businesses in Georgia (JBig) will showcase Japanese companies in the area.

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