Dragon Con 2014

Hadley C.

Staff Writer

Dragon Con is a well-known “geek convention” held once a year in downtown Atlanta. People come from all over the globe to attend Dragon Con (There was a group of attendees from Germany this year!) and get to learn more about their fandoms, as well as attend panels to listen to their favorite stars talk about their work, meet other fans, and cosplay as their favorite characters. For 27 years, Dragon Con has been celebrating popular culture and bringing out the inner geek in everyone.

Every year, Dragon Con becomes more popular. This year, Dragon Con had the biggest turn out in all its history. Hotels sold out in less than two months, and because of the large turnout, Dragon Con staff introduced a no badge-no entry policy. If a badge was not already preordered or bought, one could not go into the convention, period. In past years, people were able to wander the convention but not view screenings or attend panels. An estimated 52,000 people attended Dragon Con 2014, which happened Labor Day weekend. About 3,000 exhibitors displayed their merchandise, independent comics, and art as well. This brings attendance to a staggering total of 55,000 people at the convention, not counting staff!

dragoncon-HCWhile setup for Dragon Con began on Thursday, by Saturday, Dragon Con had launched into full-on convention mode. All attendees had arrived by Saturday, which was by far the most exciting day at Dragon Con. Saturday kicked off with a spectacular parade that took up the streets of Atlanta. From Netherworld characters to princesses, this parade was the highlight of Dragon Con. Participants created costumes; decorated vehicles, floats, and banners; choreographed dances; performed scene reenactments; and played music to parade down the streets of Atlanta, waving the Dragon Con flag. The diversity and creativity brought a light and silly element to the convention for all to enjoy. The parade was filmed and aired on Dragon Con TV. After the parade concluded, the crowded streets eased up, and attendees filed into the convention, while the rest of the parade viewers continued with their day in Atlanta. Saturday was the day for cosplay, gaming, panels, and meeting celebrities. This was the busiest and most activity-filled day at the con but also the most enjoyable!

Sunday, in contrast, was a much more laid-back day. Most of the vendors were closing up shop and Dragon Con staff began tear down early in the morning. The hotels were, for the most part, empty on Sunday. This was because nearly all attendees were leaving the convention and heading home. However, the con was not over yet! The Walk of Fame, the room where people can meet celebrities, was not crowded at all. There were still panels to attend with little to no line, and the gaming area was easy to get in and out of.

While the con was only around for four days, two of which had little happening, there was so much to do and see that those in attendance could barely cover four events in a day! Just walking around the con was an amazing experience in itself. Attendees had the opportunity to meet so many new people and learn about all kinds of art, fandoms, places around the world… and costumes!

There were plenty of amazing cosplays this year, as always. A cosplay is a costume made to look like a fictional character. These characters could be from books,dragoncon-HC3 movies, TV shows, even podcasts. Someone cosplaying might even act like the character they are cosplaying. A few highlights were a nine-foot-tall Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, Princess Batman (That’s right, the one from the Tumblr cartoon), a levitating Iron Man, a Weird Al-inspired polka Dalek, and the Hogwarts staff. There were cosplays from every fandom: Disney, Marvel, The Hunger Games, Sherlock, Doctor Who, DC, Attack on Titan, Supernatural, and many more. It is amazing the amount of hard work attendees put into their costumes, and this year was no different. The amount of Elsa cosplayers who had individually sewn on each ice piece onto their dresses blew attendees away, as did the eighteenth century French dresses at the Vintage Vogue Fashion show.

Dragon Con is one of the biggest events in Atlanta, and getting to be a part of it is an amazing experience. Attending is one of the coolest things a geek can do, as there is something for everyone. May the force be with you!

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