Pop culture fans and sci-fi enthusiasts are revving up for Dragon Con — the annual multi-genre convention held in downtown Atlanta on Labor Day weekend.
Every year, the event attracts thousands of fans and fills Atlanta’s streets with cosplayers portraying characters from video games, movies and TV shows.
The convention takes place Aug. 30 through Sept. 3 and is expecting a record attendance of 85,000 people, according to media relations. Fans will pour in from “all 50 states and several foreign countries,” a press release says.
The convention will be hosted in five downtown hotels (Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Hilton Atlanta, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel and Westin Peachtree Plaza) as well as in AmericasMart buildings No.1 and 2.
Celebrities And Guests
More than 400 guests from film, comics and literature are coming to Dragon Con this year, media relations said. Some will lead panel discussions and sign autographs.
Noteworthy guests include stars from the Atlanta-filmed “Stranger Things.” Caleb McLaughlin, who plays Lucas, and Gaten Matarazzo, who plays Dustin, will be appearing Saturday, Sept. 1 and Sunday, Sept. 2, according to Dragon Con’s website.
Other featured guests are Jennifer Morrison, who plays Emma on “Once Upon a Time,” Peter Capaldi from “Doctor Who,” Ricky Whittle who plays Lincoln on “The 100” and Mike Colter from “Luke Cage.”
Alfie Allen and Pilou Asbæk from “Game of Thrones” will also attend. See complete list of featured celebrity guests here.
For the 80th anniversary of Superman, Dragon Con has invited cast members from “Smallville” and “Superman Returns.”
Events You Don’t Want To Miss
From gaming to puppetry, Dragon Con hosts a wide range of tracks for fans of many interests. You can keep up with them all on the Dragon Con app, which is available for iPhones and Androids.
One event you don’t want to miss is the annual Dragon Con Parade, which takes place Saturday, Sept. 1 at 10 a.m. The parade is free and open to the public, including those who have not registered for Dragon Con.
If you want to meet celebrities and get their autographs, stop by the Walk of Fame. Some guests may charge for their autographs.
Finally, one of the events Dragon Con media relations keeps promoting is gaming. The convention has more than 140,000 square feet of video, tabletop and arcade gaming. It’s free for all Dragon Con members and available all day starting Thursday, Aug. 30 at 4 p.m.
Although not everything at Dragon Con is G-rated, there are some activities designed for kids to enjoy.
The Dragon Con Parade is one of them, and there are also some kid-appropriate activities in the puppetry track.
The Kaleidoscope track is geared toward kids ages 6-12, according to the Dragon Con website. Some of the Kaleidoscope events that have been shared on Facebook are “Junior Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Training,” “Character Encounter” and other crafting activities.
How To Get There
There are many ways to get to Dragon Con. You can use a ride-hailing service, ride MARTA or drive yourself to the convention.
Dragon Con recommends that drivers use Spot Hero to reserve parking spaces near the convention. Use the link here.
As for MARTA, Dragon Con says the station most conveniently located to the five host hotels is Peachtree Center.
Dragon Con also offers a courtesy bus service to help you get across downtown Atlanta. View the bus schedule here.