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Fantasies come to life at the 30th annual Dragon Con
DRAGONCON2
The annual Dragon Con event will include a parade with participants donning costumes of various characters and marching down Atlanta streets. This year’s parade will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, at Peachtree Street and Linden Avenue.

30th annual Dragon Con

When: Friday, Sept. 2 through Monday, Sept. 5

Where: Venues across Atlanta

Cost: $150 for membership

More info: www.dragoncon.org

More than 75,000 fans of science-fiction literature and film, comic books, video games and pop culture will flood Atlanta on Labor Day weekend for the 30th annual Dragon Con.

Attendees of the convention — or perhaps University of Georgia fans going to the season opener in the Georgia Dome — might recognize Dragon Con guests by their occasionally colorful appearances or costume play, also known as cosplay.

Dragon Con is the largest multimedia, pop culture convention focusing on science fiction, fantasy, gaming, comics, art, literature and film. It will run from Friday, Sept. 2, through Monday, Sept. 5, and bring more than 400 actors, artists, authors and creators to lead panel discussions and meet fans.

According to a news release from the convention, some of this year’s top guests will include William Shatner and Karl Urban, who will mark 50 years of “Star Trek.” Puppeteers Brian Herring and Dave Chapman will be on hand to talk about their work on BB-8, the soccer ball-shaped droid from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

“We are delighted to have so many guests from so many of today’s most popular or, in the case of classic science fiction, best-loved shows and movies to join us for our 30th anniversary celebration,” convention co-chair Rachel Reeves said in the release. “Overall, we will have some 400 guests — actors, authors, artists and other creators and experts — from across science, science fiction and fantasy worlds, in
whatever medium.”

The event covers several venues in the city, including a gaming program in the Westin Peachtree Plaza and adjacent AmericasMart Building one, occupying 140,000 square feet of solely gaming programming.

The annual Dragon Con Parade will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 5. Every night, cosplayers will participate in costume contests in the streets and five host hotels downtown.

Members and guests can participate in panels, workshops and contests hosted by more than 35 different fandoms covering every genre. Workshops give attendees a chance to work closely with experts on writing, art, acting, costuming and astronomy.

Other activities include live concerts, puppet shows, late-night parties, DJ-hosted dances and Thursday Night Wrestling.

Dragon Con participants must purchase membership to attend the convention for all four days. Membership is $150.

The convention has a charitable facet, raising more than $100,000 last year for the Lymphoma Research Foundation. This year’s charity is the Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency.

Members can become Dragon Con Superheroes, part of a community service project team. Last year, more than 900 hours were volunteered by these heroes.

For more information, go to www.dragoncon.org.

Regional events