The world’s largest conference (over 50,000 attendees) of fantasy and science fiction, DragonCon, made its yearly arrival in Atlanta this weekend and downtown of all sudden acquired a totally different personality.
The conference business is what keeps downtown Atlanta afloat since us residents do not generally go there for much, except for pro sports events, the Georgia Aquarium, The World of Coca-Cola museum, and now the Skyview wheel. Visitors who come to the conferences usually never leave downtown which is a real shame because Atlanta is so much more but there are things to do in downtown or nearby even if you are just here for a conference.
DragonCon, though, is not like any other conference that comes to Atlanta. Not only do the attendees do the regular conference thing but they also dress up and roam around downtown, sometimes scaring the unaware like the first time I heard about the conference. I was sitting downtown having lunch in a food court around 2006 and saw two suspicious individuals in paramilitary attire and looking kind of crazy. I thought to myself “oh, oh, are they about to go nuts and shoot everyone in the food court?”. My co-worker informed me they were here for DragonCon and explained what it was. I then started seeing more people in costume and many not as scary.
The parade of costumer players (“cosplayers”)
The highlight of the conference for the locals – and maybe for some attendants – is the parade on Saturday morning. I had never been to the parade but went along with a friend and his kids to check it out.
The parade route downtown is short so finding a spot requires arriving early, else you are behind everyone else and may not see things well. The parade takes about an hour or so and it covers the range of characters from cartoons, to games (e.g., Tetris), to science fiction literature (e.g., Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time), to film (e.g., Star Wars, Jurassic Park, 300 B.C.), to TV shows (e.g., Star Trek). It is quite fun for the kids though some characters, like the zombies, can be scary. It was funny because I only recognized maybe a third of the characters and it was the kids around me who would call out who was coming by. That and the banners that some groups carried helped me get clued in. Some famous folks participated in the parade like Billy Dee Williams and that was cool too.
But, without any further explanations, below is a collection of photos from the parade. More will be posted soon in my ilivetotravel Facebook page. Please go there and Like the page so you can be notified when I load more pictures!
(If you are one of the people on the photos or were part of the parade, let me know! I may have more pix of you.)
Which is your favorite photo??