If you’re new to Atlanta, or if you don’t usually spend Labor Day Weekend in the downtown area, you might not be familiar with Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy, and sci-fi convention, which will take place among five hotels and AmericasMart from September 1 – 4.
82,000 people are expected to attend, and many will be dressed in elaborate costumes that will surely get your attention if you’re anywhere near Peachtree Center, Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Westin Peachtree, and Sheraton Atlanta. In addition to the five host hotels, Dragon Con fans stay at approximately two-dozen convention hotels and some Georgia residents commute from their homes to the convention.
Some may compare Dragon Con to San Diego’s Comic Con, which takes place in July. But those who attend this Atlanta event will tell you that the atmosphere here centers more focus on the fans than the celebrity guests. This welcoming, inclusive spirit draws many famous actors, authors, artists and more, because they enjoy the event as much as the attendees.
If you’re interested in attending, the cost for a four-day pass is $140 and can be purchased onsite. There are also day passes for attending just one or two days. Get all the details on purchasing your pass at DragonCon Memberships.
One of the highlights of the weekend is the DragonCon Parade on Saturday, September 2 at 10:00 a.m. While the parade is expected to attract a large crowd – it is free and the whole city is invited – it will also be broadcast live on television by Atlanta’s CW69, with a rebroadcast during primetime.
The parade route remains the same as past years. Beginning at the intersection of Peachtree Street and Linden Avenue, the parade will head south on Peachtree, east (left) on Andrew Young International Boulevard and north (left) on Peachtree Center Avenue. It will end on Peachtree Center Avenue between John Portman Boulevard and Baker Street, in front of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.
The route is convenient to three MARTA stations – North Avenue, Civic Center and Peachtree Center. Parking downtown is expected to be tight, and Dragon Con encourages parade spectators to consider taking MARTA.
Stan Lee, creator of some of the best-known comic book superheroes, and Lena Headey, the icy Lannister queen from HBO’s Game of Thrones, lead a long list of celebrity guests headed to Dragon Con. Other top guests from television and movies including William Shatner, Karl Urban, Matt Smith, Ming-Na Wen, Alex Kingston, John Barrowman, Michael Rooker, Nathan Fillion, and Peter Mayhew will be among the fan favorites on hand to lead discussions, talk with fans, and sign autographs during the four-day convention. Find a current, full list of guests here.
Muppeteer Martin P. Robinson, best known for performing Mr. Snuffleupagus, Telly Monster, and Slimey the Worm on Sesame Street since 1981, and Lisa Henson, chief executive of The Jim Henson Company, lead a strong cast of puppetry guests.
Star Trek fans will be able to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation with several of the show’s main characters including Jonathan Frakes, Michael Dorn, Gates McFadden, Brent Spiner, and Marina Sirtis.
Jon Heder, from cult classic Napoleon Dynamite, and Michael Rosenbaum, Lex Luthor from television’s Smallville, will emcee The Chôsen costume competition at the Georgia Aquarium on Saturday, Sept. 2.
If you’ve love to attend but cannot, look into the new streaming service with DragonConTV, where you can watch live or recorded panels, the parade and other entertainment. Click here for details.
Find all the information you need at Dragoncon.org.