Parades in Atlanta via @FieldTripswSue

You never know who you’ll be hanging out with on the street during the Dragon Con parade. Photo credit: Sue Rodman /Atlanta TravelingMom

Parades in Atlanta aren’t just marching bands and colorful floats. Parades in Atlanta often come with stormtroopers dressed for the season, super heroes made from boxes and spectators getting into the spirit by sporting their own costumes. Here are four of my favorite parades in Atlanta and why I like them. I dare say, these events are worth traveling to the city to witness and many of them have become a family tradition.

1. Dragon Con Parade

This parade is held the Saturday of Labor Day in conjunction with the Dragon Con Sci-Fi Conference. Whether or not you’re a Sci-Fi fan, you’ll enjoy this quirky, bizarre showing of creatures, super heroes, mythical and cartoon characters. You don’t have to attend the conference to watch the parade, but you do want to get there early; I’m not the only one who finds this event a must see. Some of the characters in this parade can be intense, so think about bringing little ones. However, it’s a great outing for tweens and teens.

Parades in Atlanta via @FieldTripswSue

Stormtroopers dressed for the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Christmas Parade. Photo credit: Sue Rodman /Atlanta TravelingMom

2. Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade

This parade is held in the evening on the first Saturday after Labor Day. The Atlanta Beltline is a fantastic project that when complete, will be a 22-mile network of public parks, multi-use trails and transit connecting several in town neighborhoods to each other. The Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade celebrates the opening of Art on the Atlanta Beltline, the city’s largest temporary public art exhibition. It’s a beautiful and unusual parade and there are lantern making workshops in the weeks before the parade so spectators can get in on the fun.

3. Little Five Points Halloween Parade (LP5 Halloween Parade)

This event is held in October in the eclectic bohemian section of Atlanta called Little Five Points. The parade features everything from zombies to a unique band called the Marching Abominables and everything in between. It’s the focus of a day-long street festival with food vendors, entertainment stages and shopping from local artisans. Although you’ll find a lot of children from babies to toddlers on up at this festival, it does have a more adult vibe on the street and some of the floats can be a little suggestive (just a little).

4. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Christmas Parade

This parade is held the first weekend in December. It’s a traditional parade with marching bands, floats, and large character balloons. Santa closes out the parade. This parade is a tradition for my family, so my older kids will sometimes go just because of history. In reality, it’s probably a better parade for younger children. Teens and Tweens would need to be in the spirit of the season to enjoy it.