Updated July 2017
If you happen to be in downtown Atlanta the weekend of Sept.1 through Sept. 4 and see the streets jammed packed with costumed characters, it is not a weird dream or a science fiction game gone horribly wrong. No, you have wandered in Dragon Con, where thousands of science fiction aficionados, fantasy literature readers, comic book lovers and gamers — all dressed in costumes — have a great time together.
Your first question may be: Why? Well, obviously there are a lot of people who feel deeply connected to science fiction characters and want to be around like-minded folks as well as meet their celebrity counterparts. The pop culture convention is held every Labor Day and features 3,000 hours of comics, film television, costuming, art, music and gaming.
The fact that it’s celebrating its 31th anniversary in Atlanta is also a testament to the city. Atlanta, the Dragon Con leaders tell us, is one of the “geekiest” cities in the country because it boasts Georgia Tech, a technology-based economy, a thriving movie industry and has lots of comic book shops. However, one of the biggest benefits, the leaders say, is that Atlanta “oozes Southern hospitality, where good manners are important, no matter who you are.”
However, you don’t have to be a part of Dragon Con to enjoy it. In other words, you don’t need to be able to tell a Whovian from Star-Lord. This year's guests of honor are Jane Yolen, American writer of fantasy, science fiction and children's books, and Petar Meseldzija, fantasy artist illustrator.
A once-in-a-lifetime bucket list adventure is to watch the Dragon Con Parade right on Peachtree Street.
Journalist Mary Welch writes lifestyle and business stories for national and local publications.