(Photo courtesy CBS Atlanta)

A variety of sporting events, concerts, parades and other happenings will fill Downtown Atlanta this Labor Day weekend, and the Atlanta Police Department is offering a few tips to navigate the crowds safely.

Most importantly, anyone traveling to any of the events by car should remember to adhere to the APD’s Clean Car Campaign by removing all valuables prior to exiting their vehicle. Officers routinely respond to reports of laptops, GPS units, tablet computers, purses, firearms and other valuables stolen from unattended vehicles. Leave these items at home, or take them with you to avoid becoming a victim of this preventable crime.

Attendees to Thursday night’s Atlanta Falcons game at the Georgia Dome should familiarize themselves with the NFL’s new bag policy, which prohibits bringing large bags and purses into the venue. Leaving these items in an unattended car can lead to thefts.

Other tips include:

· Consider taking MARTA to these events, or carpooling, to minimize the traffic volume expected in Downtown and Midtown Atlanta.

· Always be aware of your surroundings, and call 9-1-1 to report any suspicious activity. Remember the Department’s “See Something, Say Something” campaign to encourage vigilance for criminal activity.

· Be mindful of parking only in permitted lots and be sure to pay attention to any “No Parking” signs to avoid citations or fines. Violators are also subject to having their vehicles towed and impounded.

· Be aware of possible road or lane closures due to events to plan your outings with minimal disruptions.

“The City of Atlanta is safer than it’s been in more than 40 years,” Chief George Turner said. “But we always want to urge event-goers to take common-sense steps to reduce their chances of becoming victims of crime, just as one would in any major city.”

More than a dozen major events will be held over the holiday weekend attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees. Labor Day events include Atlanta Black Gay Pride, DragonCon and Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game activities.

A partial list of Labor Day Weekend Events 

· Atlanta Black Gay Pride, Downtown and Midtown Atlanta, August 28 – September 3
· Atlanta Falcons vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, Georgia Dome, August 29
· Georgia State University vs. Samford University, Georgia Dome, August 30
· Dragon Con, Downtown Atlanta, August 30 – September 2 (Includes parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday)
· Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, Georgia World Congress Center, August 31
· Chick-fil-A Kickoff Concert featuring Sheryl Crow, Centennial Olympic Park, August 31
· Georgia Tech vs. Elon Phoenix, Bobby Dodd Stadium, August 31
· Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins, Turner Field, September 1
· Action Dash 5k, Piedmont Park, September 2

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.