Dragon*Con is a hard thing to explain to someone who has never experienced it. On paper, it’s a science fiction and fantasy convention that has been running in the heart of Atlanta for 26 years. In actuality it is so much more than that. D*C is a celebration of all things geek, a place where you can be whoever you want to be for five days. The camaraderie and feeling of family are impossible to really understand unless you’ve been there. From Thursday to Monday over Labor Day weekend, 55,000 people all become best friends and party like their lives depended on it.
Of course there is more to it than just the party. There are panels where celebrities and experts are quizzed by their fans, three massive dealer halls where a person can buy anything their geeky heart desires, an artist’s alley and art show, and officially orchestrated events like the Costume Contest and the Heroes and Villains Ball. Five days is really almost not enough to fit it all in.
The con takes place in the Marriott Marquis, Hyatt Regency, Hilton, Sheraton, and Westin in the heart of downtown Atlanta. I was fortunate enough to get a room in the Marriott this year, on the 21st floor. This is the view from just outside our room, looking down. Needless to say, staying in this hotel isn’t for those with a fear of heights!
One thing about Dragon*Con that really makes it different from other conventions is the true appreciation of costuming. I have heard it called “the costumers con” more than once, and I would have to agree with that sentiment. Costumes ranged from science fiction and fantasy to pop culture to historical. Here are a few of the more interesting ones I saw:
I also found this poor fellow, who had clearly made some poor choices in his life:
I also found someone giving beer to a Xenomorph. Probably not a good idea.
Overall this year’s Dragon*Con was quite a success. A great deal of fun was had, swag was purchased, and signatures from stars were obtained. Now I just have to start planning for next year…