ATLANTA - Dragon Con, which bills itself as the "largest multi-media, pop culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe," is happening this weekend in downtown Atlanta. More than 65,000 fans are expected to attend this year's Dragon Con.
Here's what you need to know:
DATES: Aug. 31-Sep. 4
WHERE: Dragon Con is spread across multiple hotels: Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Westin Peachtree, Hilton Atlanta, Marriott Marquis, Courtland Grand (formerly the Sheraton Atlanta) and AmericasMart Buildings 2 and 3.
PARADE: The parade, which is FREE and can be enjoyed by everyone, is set for 10 a.m. Sept. 2. More than 3,000 costumed characters participated in last year's parade. It will begin at Peachtree and Linden streets, heading south on Peachtree. It will pass the intersections with Pine Street, Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard and John Portman Boulevard. The parade will turn left on Andrew Young International Boulevard and then turn right on Peachtree Center Avenue. It will end between the Atlanta Marriott Marquis and Hyatt hotels. Early arrival for the best viewing is strongly advised.
COST: A 5-day pass is $175. However, you can also purchase one-day passes. Cost for Thursday only is $35; $55 Friday; $65 Sunday; and $35 Monday. Saturday is SOLD OUT and other single day tickets are "extremely" limited. BUY TICKETS
TRANSPORTATION: Your best bet is to take MARTA's Red and Gold lines to the Peachtree Center station, which is only a couple of blocks away from the action. Driving and parking will be difficult in the area.
SPECIAL EVENTS: There are several special events during the weekend including Dragon Con's Pin-Ups by the Pool Party on Friday; Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium on Saturday; Georgia Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday; Dragon Con Burlesque on Sunday; and more. Some events may require additional tickets. MORE INFO
COSTUME CONTESTS: There are several contests during Dragon Con, including the animation/anime costume contest, masquerade costume contest, Miss Star Trek Universe Pageant, Star Wars costume contest and video game costume contest. MORE INFO
GAMING: If gaming is your thing, you'll have plenty of chances to do so. There will be role-playing campaigns; video gaming; collectible card gaming; board gaming; tabletop gaming; and more. MORE INFO
VENDORS: Dragon Con will feature hundreds of vendors. Seriously, there's too many to list. In addition, don't miss the art show with dozens of the best fine artists from all over the world. Last but not least, check out the Comic & Pop Artist Alley for an eclectic array of creators from comic, animation, pop surrealism, lowbrow, and art toy design. MORE INFO
WALK OF FAME/PHOTO OPS: The Walk of Fame (autographs) is still happening this year despite the current writer and actor strikes. However, since guests may have limitations on what they can provide for autographs, fans may want to bring their own. Also, there may be additional restrictions on video, audio and photos that can be taken of/with the special guests.
FEATURED GUESTS: Ethan Peck, Sean Astin, Freddie Prince, Jr., George Takei, Garrett Wang, Elijah Wood, Omid Abtahi, Tom Cavanagh, Christina Chong, Mark Brooks, Clatyon Crain, Ceila Rose Gooding, Ryan Hurst, Sean Maher, D.B. Woodside and many more. MORE INFO