Plan Your Book Festival Experience

Where do you start when there’s so much goodness packed into one weekend? Don’t worry, we have you covered. This page includes everything you need to plan your book festival schedule and must-do list. 

Click on the links below to jump to a specific content of information. See you at the 2019 AJC Decatur Book Festival (DBF) this labor day weekend! 

The Basics

The DBF is FREE and open to the public. Held over Labor Day weekend each year, the festival takes place in more than a dozen venues throughout downtown Decatur. DBF is a non-profit organization. Book sales from the participating on site booksellers help to support the continued success of the festival. 

Friday, August 30

Kidnote
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Keynote
8:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Saturday, August 31

Children’s Parade
9:45 AM – 10:00 AM

Author Sessions & DBF Street Fair
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Sunday, September 1

Children’s Parade
11:45 AM – 12:00 PM

Author Sessions & DBF Street Fair
12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Sessions & ticket information

Some of the 2019 DBF special events require tickets. If the event or author session you are interested in attending is not listed in the special events schedule, it will be first come, first served seating. Click on the button below to see which events require tickets.

Children's Parades

For the kids and the kids at heart

Each day of the festival starts with a fun and adventure-filled children’s parade through the Decatur Square. Both parades start at the Community Bandstand on the square, wind through the street fair and end at the Children’s Stage.

  • Saturday’s parade gathers at 9:30 AM then steps off at 9:45 AM.
    Sunday’s parade gathers at 11:30 AM then steps off at 11:45 AM.

Come enjoy a family-friendly event full of laughter and cheer.

Attend the festival and see our Children's Parade.

Food & Drink

Attend the festival and get your pick of the best food.

Food trucks, drinks, popsicles, and plenty of yums!

DBF attendees can enjoy several food options located on East Court Square and Sycamore street, featuring many local goodies. In addition, visit the City of Decatur website for a guide to restaurants and other shops around the festival.

Book Sales & Author Signings

Meet and greet your favorite authors

Book sales and author signings occur after each author event. Each stage has a dedicated bookseller that carries the books being presented at that stage. We encourage you to purchase your book at the festival just before the author event to avoid the sales line following the event. A portion of sales from these booksellers helps support the DBF.

We encourage you to visit our booksellers before, during, and after the DBF.

Modern authors love to attend the festival.

Getting Around

Families are welcome to attend the festival.

MARTA is a convenient and affordable way to get to the festival. MARTA’s Decatur Station is at the very center of the festival.

Take the Blue Line train to the Decatur Station (E-6), exit, and you’re here! If traveling by MARTA’s bus system, find the best route at itsmarta.com. MARTA’s Decatur Bus Station is also right in the heart of DBF.

We can’t wait to see you at the AJC Decatur Book Festival. Whether you walk, bike, take the train or bus, or drive, getting to Decatur is easy. Use the adjacent google map to see the best route for you.

Enjoy free and secure bike parking provided by Atlanta Bike Coalition and sponsored by Whole Foods Market. Find the free bike valet on North McDonough, in front of the DeKalb County Courthouse.

Decatur parking is convenient and plentiful. Visit the City of Decatur’s website for parking deck and lot addresses, hours and rates. Please do not park in private lots posted as ‘no parking’ or that specify which retail establishments are served by the parking lot. Your car will be booted or towed.

There are several hotels convenient to the AJC Decatur Book Festival. The Courtyard by Marriott at 130 Clairemont Avenue is our host hotel and the site of four of our stages.

Check out the new Hampton Inn & Suites at 116 Clairmont Avenue and the nearby Emory Conference Center Hotel at 1615 Clifton Road, Atlanta.

Find other options on places to stay with Discover DeKalb hotels.

Downtown Decatur

The hip hometown

Of course the festival provides access to all that the City of Decatur has to offer: dozens of excellent restaurants, the Decatur Farmers Market (Saturday morning at First Baptist Church Decatur), the DeKalb History Center (exhibits open in the Historic DeKalb Courthouse during the festival), and the annual Book as Art exhibition at the Decatur Library. This juried show, produced by the Decatur Arts Alliance, celebrates the book with a wildly varied collection of inventive and intriguing work that challenges expectations. Learn more about Decatur.

Attend the festival to hear live music.

Frequently Asked Questions

Saturday 10am–6pm and Sunday 12pm–6pm.

General festival sessions on Saturday and Sunday are free and open to the public. The festival hosts other events that are ticketed and may or may not have costs associated with them. In 2019, the Keynote and Kidnote events require tickets but are free, as space is limited. Authors and ticket availability will be announced at a later date. In addition, the festival may add other ticketed events that may or may not have costs associated with them.

The festival’s venues are located throughout downtown Decatur and are within walking distance of one another. View the 2019 Festival Map.

If you’re driving to the festival, type 101 E Court Square, Decatur, GA 30030 into your GPS for directions to downtown Decatur.

Yes, all festival stages and venues are ADA compliant.

We all love our pets but we suggest you leave your pets at home from the AJC Decatur Book Festival. It’s hot (air temps can be in the 90s, and street temps can be up to 130 degrees) and crowded (we average 70,000 to 80,000 people all centralized together in the city center). And since most of the presentation venues do not allow animals in their buildings (except assistance dogs) we don’t have places to keep your animals cool. So for these reasons we suggest you leave Fido at home.

Rain or shine, the show goes on!  

The costs for renting a booth can be found on the Become an Exhibitor page.

The Emerging Writers program has been put on pause for 2019 as we work on giving it a well-deserved facelift. 

Authors can rent a booth in the street fair to showcase their work. For more information, contact Street Fair Manager Mike Miller at mike@decaturbookfestival.com.

Street fair vendors are only open during festival hours on Saturday and Sunday.

Authors will be signing books in a signing area in or adjacent to their venue immediately after their speaking session. See the 2019 Session Schedule.

We encourage you to purchase your book at the festival just before the author’s session to avoid the sales line following the event. A portion of sales from these booksellers helps support the DBF. If you choose to bring books you have already purchased, it’s possible that you may be limited to how many books are signed. Typically, authors are willing to sign 5 or viewer books to ensure there is enough time for everyone who wants a book signed is able to do so.

To see which authors are speaking when, check out the 2019 Festival Schedule.