Thousands of people dressed as Batman, the Red Woman, the Joker, Harley Quinn and every thing in between will transform downtown Atlanta into another time and galaxy this weekend.
Dragon Con, the annual science fiction, pop culture and fantasy convention, will be held Friday through Monday. More than 80,000 people are expected to attend. This year there is some Thursday evening programming including wrestling. Special guests are Kane and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat.
To help fans, and the simply curious who no idea why that Storm Trooper in the next car is pointing a laser gun at you, we put together an ultimate guide to Dragon Con.
Here are things you should know:
- The annual convention will be held at five host hotels: the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta Hilton, Sheraton Atlanta, Atlanta Marriott Marquis and the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel and at AmericasMart.
- On-site membership is $140 for the entire weekend. One-two- and three-day memberships start at $40. Registration is at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel.
- The annual parade, a major highlight of the convention, will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday on Peachtree Street.
- Hours for the vendor hall, Comic Artist Alley and Walk of Fame are:
Friday- 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday through Sunday- 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Monday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- If you take MARTA, the best stops is Peachtree Center Station. MARTA said on Twitter that extras trains will run Saturday morning for the parade and the rest of the day’s events. The recommended stations are Civic Center, Peachtree Center and Five Points.
- Parking can be an issue during the week , when the area is crowded with workers. However, Dragon Con has partnered with Parking Panda, that allows visitors to search and reserve parking before the trip or on the go. View real-time availability and pricing at lots within easy walking distance to Dragon Con events. Parking Panda is also available at 800- 232-6415 to speak with a helpful representative!
- There will be 2,000 Dragon Con volunteers, recognized by their bright tie dye lanyards
- There’s an app for that. updated The Dragon Con app for iOS and android users . The app can also be viewed on desktop . Features includes a map, event schedule, speakers and an option to create an itinerary for the convention.
- Yes, some celebrities charge for autographs. For instance, Echo Kellum, who stars as Curtis Holt on ‘Arrow,” charges $40 for an autograph. Actress and producer Katee Sackoff, best known for her “Battlestar Galactica” role charges $60. John Cusak’s autograph will cost $100. It’s best to pre-purchase photo ops because sessions in the lower level of the Marriott Marquis sell out fast. On-site purchases are cash only.
The website also contains a lot of advice about the convention and celebrity appearances.
One question, though, really piqued our interest.
“Can I get married at Dragon Con? “
The question may not be that far fetched.
When you think about it, if you’re willing to dress as Darth Vader and do your best James Earl Jones voice all weekend, why not?
Unfortunately, the answer is no.
“First off, congrats if you are part of the lucky couple requesting to get married with us,” Dragon Con said in a statement on its site. “We are, however, unfortunately not able to host weddings at Dragon Con with an already very tight and limited schedule. We would suggest that if you are interested in getting married the weekend of Dragon Con to contact one of the local hotels about renting one of their ballrooms.”
So if you had plans to get hitched this weekend, you may just have to find another galaxy to say, “ I do.”