They say that the freaks come out at night, but they must have never spent the morning at Dragon Con.
Every year, hordes of fans gather to brave the Atlanta summer humidity and gawk at the amazing costumes that line the city streets in one of the most memorable cavalcades the South has on offer. A claustrophobic's nightmare, this grand event is not for the faint of heart. Attendees pack the sidewalks and spill out onto the roads, and if you don't mind ducking and weaving your way to the front of the herd, then you'll be able to witness one of the most fun elements of Dragon Con. For it's here that a front-row view of some of the most intricate, clever and praise-worthy costumes of the weekend await you with the annual Dragon Con Parade.
If you can get a jump-start on the day, that early morning wake-up time will be well worth the effort because primo parade viewing spots fill up quickly, and if you don't secure your spot fast, you may end up watching the backs of people's heads. The parade starts at 10 a.m., but it's not uncommon for pavement real estate to become scarce hours before.
The route is fairly long, ending at the Hyatt hotel. Late sleepers take comfort in knowing that the procession usually lasts at least an hour, so if you want to catch some of the action, make sure you head to the end of the line between the Hyatt and Marriott hotels.
Young or old, it doesn't matter. This parade is great for all ages, as long as you set up camp in a shady area, ideally with some sitting space — and always, always remember to drink plenty of water. After all, no one wants to see parade participants tripping over a passed-out granny.
If you simply can't find that perfect view from ground level, there's always the option of seeking a higher-up vantage point.
From up there you get a panorama of all the action, but being in the thick of it does allow for those more intimate up close and personal moments.
One of the many exciting aspects of the Dragon Con Parade is that you never know what you're going to get.
With cosplay more clever and creative than the last proliferating around every corner, groups band together to recreate some of the best rallying moments of the big screen.
No doubt there will be plenty of surprise moments that you wouldn't want to miss!
For anyone who takes joy in seeing the faces of children lit up with delight and the hard work of devotees who have put in many hours of costume making to honor their most beloved pop culture icons, this parade will make you grin. There's something for everyone, and the whole family will be guaranteed a good time — as long and you stay together, drink plenty of water, remember the snacks, and scope out that perfect view.
You might have missed your chance to take in this year's parade, but live streaming can be found online. It may not capture all the vibrant energy of being there in person, but it'll give you a pretty good idea of what to expect next year!
Until next time, see ya at next year's Dragon Con, September 1–4, 2017 in Atlanta!