Dragon Con started as a Sci-Fi and gaming convention in 1987, and had about 1200 attendees. As technology has advanced, the worlds of gaming, science fiction, fantasy, comics, and graphic novels have blossomed. Once the internet became a household name, individual fans and participants of these genres were able to easily connect, and have formed a genuine community.
Dragon Con 2015 had over 70,000 attendees, well over the anticipated 65,000!
Dragon Con is a celebration of this community, and is widely inclusive of all branches of fantasy, science fiction, and the continuously growing off-shoot genres and platforms.
Dragon Con takes place each Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia. It involves incredible coordination and collaboration within the city and among organizers, venues, and citizens. It is truly a phenomenon of epic proportions, both visually and experientially.
Each year, a charity is designated for the recipient of fundraising events. This year's charity was the Lymphoma Research Foundation, and so far over $100,000 in donations has been counted. Last year, over $100,000 was raised for the Atlanta Food Bank.
Dragon Con events take place continuously over a four day period. There are over 3500 hours of scheduled activities, including celebrity panels, parties, live music and performance art, workshops, contests, and art shows. There are numerous opportunities for fans to interact with their favorite actors, writers, creators, film makers, and more.
Cosplay is a HUGE part of Dragon Con, and during the convention, the streets of Atlanta are filled with people representing any character you can imagine. From easily identifiable mainstream superheroes to niche video game characters, anything at all goes. In addition to simply having the opportunity to create and dress in your favorite costumes, there are contests and a Masquerade Ball to celebrate the hard work and creativity presented by each participant.
The convention encompasses several blocks of downtown Atlanta, and utilizes five major hotels and additional convention and vending spaces. Since the event can make travel by automobile very tedious on surface streets, Marta trains and stations (Atlanta's public transportation system) are filled with every color of the rainbow on a daily and nightly basis.
If you haven't experienced Dragon Con, regardless of whether or not you are a fan of the celebrated genres and platforms, it is certainly worth the time, money, and effort!