Dragon Con parade to be streamed, in-person limited to members as COVID-19 cases rise

The organizers of Dragon Con, the Southeast’s largest multi-media and pop culture convention, announced this weekend several changes to how it will hold the in-person event this Labor Day weekend in light of the city of Atlanta’s mask mandate including the parade.

Possibly the biggest or most noticeable change will be the annual parade. It will still be held in Downtown Atlanta but will be "modified and scaled back" to allow only those with Dragon Con membership to view it in person. It will still be televised locally and will be available on the convention subscription-based DCTV, its YouTube page, and other social media.

The convention also will not be selling single-day membership passes for Saturday, traditionally its biggest day in attendance. One-day passes will still be available for Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and Monday. 

Memberships also will not be sold at the convention, but online. The badges will still be picked up in person.

Masks will be required at all times in the venues, seating will be cut to two-thirds capacity in all rooms, and other changes will be made to reduce overall crowd sizes.

In addition, several traditional events in the Kids Track will be canceled due to children under 12 not being approved to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Those changes were announced as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise in Georgia. As of Monday at 3 p.m., the two-week average for new cases rose to 1,693 and current hospitalizations were at 2,409, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. 

Last year’s convention went completely virtual, but the 2019 Labor Day weekend drew more than 82,000 guests. The Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau estimated the 2019 event had close to $80 million direct impact on Atlanta's economy with another $110,000 raised for area charities.

This year’s convention is expected to feature such stars as Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper of "Doctor Who," Tricia Helfer, Edward James Olmos, Mary Mcdonnell, James Callis, James Bamber, Michael Trucco of "Battlestar Galactica," Bonnie Wright and Matthew Lewis of the "Harry Potter" franchise, Maurice Lamarche, Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, and Tres Macneille of "Animaniacs," Alex Kingston, Anthony Rapp, Zachary Levi, Felicia Day, pro-wrestling legend Diamond Dallas Page, ," voice acting legend Jim Cummings, comic book legend Chis Claremont, and of course William Shatner.

It will also feature actors from such works as "American Gods," "Arrow," "Duke Nukem," "The Mangalorean," "Overwatch," "Star Trek: Discovery," "Supernatural," "Steven Universe," "Smallville," "Supergirl," "The Walking Dead," and more. 

This year’s guests of honor include artist William Stout and writer John Scalzi.

For more information on the changes made to Dragon Con, its lineup, and how to become an in-person or virtual member visit dragoncon.org/updates,

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