Dragon Con 2016: Family and Fairy Tales

From left to right Stewart Watts II, Kossie Gardner III, James Allen

From left to right Stewart Watts II, Kossie Gardner III, James Allen

Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia is a completely unique experience. For some 75,000 people, it is an adventure that can only be understood by taking a pilgrimage to the Peachtree Center area of downtown Atlanta.

Once there, folks from all walks of life are welcomed to the world famous Dragon Con. From the outside looking in, Dragon Con is fairly straightforward: a four-day convention featuring hundreds of celebrity guests, thousands of hours of programming for fans of science fiction, fantasy, comic books, and other elements of fan culture. But after living through Dragon Con, you discover that it is anything but your average 4 day convention!

You walk away feeling like you have spent the holiday weekend with your extended family who you have been missing for the last year. “Family” is certainly an appropriate word when attempting to articulate the feeling of being at Dragon Con and reuniting with other fans. The sense of community oozes from the pores of the convention. The only issue you will face at Dragon Con will be determining how to prioritize your desired activities, as the 24 hours in a day, across the 4 days, is simply not enough time to do or see everything Dragon Con has to offer.

There are new and interesting activities for every person for every hour of the weekend. Beloved TV show character panels from Gotham and Power Rangers, to non-stop dance parties are just two examples of the diverse activities at Dragon Con. This convention is designed to captivate people at every turn, and it succeeds on every level.

The celebrities, discussion panels, and vendors are what initially draw you into Dragon Con’s warm embrace. The participants are what truly make the convention so dynamic. They are the real stars. They are the soul of Dragon Con. The best opportunity to observe this is during the Dragon Con parade. It might be difficult to imagine, but it is astonishing to see, 3,200 costumed participants marching down Peachtree Street in front of thousands of spectators.

The parade is so large in scale that one must experience it for themselves to be able to truly appreciate the extravaganza. The convention goers, many of them in costume as their favorite fictional or pop culture character, are always willing to take pictures and interact with one another. The convention is also extremely lucky to draw in a 1,500 member volunteer staff.

This volunteer staff serves as the backbone of the convention. They are excited to help enhance your experience in any way they can. The volunteer’s enthusiasm is what makes Dragon Con feel alive; its pulse, if you will. Their abundance of energy and joy keep the festivities going around the clock for 4 straight days. Interacting with attendees truly highlights the spectacle of Dragon Con.

“Diversity at it’s finest. We just don’t see something like this, on such a grand scale, in Nashville. I am so glad I was a participant.” –Stewart Watts II “I came to Atlanta for two reasons: family and fairy tales. Dragon Con did not disappoint.” – James Allen