Now in its 32nd year, Dragon Con is back and taking over Atlanta Aug. 30-Sept. 3. More than 82,000 people are expected to attend the extravaganza, packing out most of downtown Atlanta and five hotels in the area.
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The festivities include celebrity appearances (Ric Flair, John Barrowman, Mike Colter, and others), panels, games, workshops and cosplay galore. If you want to extend your cosplay fun late into the night, the infamous parties have been released with times and locations on the official Dragon Con 2018 app.
Get ready for one heck of a ride, long into the night with these nine Dragon Con 2018 parties −fitting for everyone from the consummate cosplayer to the tried-and-true Trekkie.
*All parties except for the Georgia Aquarium soiree are free with you Dragon Con pass.*
6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30. Marriott Imperial Ballroom. 265 Peachtree Center Ave., Atlanta.
Thursday is the new Friday and the opening ceremonies are here to prove it. They're just as much fun to watch − if not more − as the world's Olympic Ceremonies. The event is full of happiness and cheer as veterans of Con reunite and newbies bask in the “nerdiness” of it all. Meet the guests of honor for 2018 and get ready for a wild weekend. Additional Panelists: Pat Henry.
Bunny Hutch Party & Costume Contest
10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30. Hilton Grand Salon. 255 Courtland St. NE, Atlanta.
Geek-meets-chic for this sexy Playboy/girl kickoff party at the Hilton. When picking out your costume, confidence is key. Prepare to embrace the inner sexy in you and wear it all night. Play it up with your favorite fandom and enter the contest to win amazing prizes. Mature audiences only.
The 8-Bit Bash
10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30. Westin Peachtree Ballroom. 210 Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta.
Enjoy classics from the 1980s and 1990s with this Thursday night retro party brought to us by The Video Gaming Track. Costumes are optional but why wouldn't you take advantage of the geeky video age? Bonus points for anyone that shows up as Pac-Man. Get ready for music, dancing and video games galore.
Cosplayers repping the Atlanta film industry with Baby Driver
Photo: Avery Newmark/For the AJC
Pinups by the Pool Party
8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31. Sheraton Pool and Courtyard. 165 Courtland St. NE, Atlanta.
What better way to send off summer than with a pool party, and not just any pool party, a Dragon Con vintage, Pinups Pool Party. Don your best poolside pinup attire and meet up at The Sheraton's pool for fun contests, boozy drinks and a heck of a great time. And for a special treat, a fun set list has been curated by DJ Doctor Q and Talloolah Love, Atlanta's Queen of Burlesque herself.
More on Dragon Con:
How to watch Dragon Con Parade (with 65,000 of your closest friends)
Where to eat and drink during Dragon Con 2018
Dragon Con promises a ‘Stranger’ Labor Day
K-pop Dance Party
8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31. Hilton Grand East. 255 Courtland St. NE, Atlanta.
Thanks to catchy beats, jaw-dropping visuals and alluring dance and vocal performances, Korean pop music has been skyrocketing up the charts. Come see what's trending in K-pop, K-hiphop and K-R&B with this screening of some of the best music videos Korea has to offer.
The Chronicle of the Cocktail
10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31. Marriott A601-A602. 265 Peachtree Center Ave., Atlanta.
There's a lot more that goes into a crafty cocktail than your choice of liquor, soda and lime. Some of Atlanta's best bartenders join the Alternate History Track to explore under the machinery and take a look at the history and cogs beneath the classic cocktails you love and treasure, courtesy of Joystick Gamebar.
Come thirsty and don't forget the cash. Mature audiences only. Additional Panelists: Andrea Miller (Georgia Beverage Specialists), Doctor Q, Evan Millman (Ticonderoga Club), Keyatta Holder-Mincey (Pictures and Cocktails), Kysha Cyrus (Joystick Gamebar), Rory Kennedy (Georgia Beer Garden).
Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium
7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1. Tickets are $30 and can be bought here. Georgia Aquarium. 225 Baker St. NW, Atlanta.
If you've ever wanted to experience the Georgia Aquarium after hours, now's your chance at Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium. It's a spectacular way to take in the world's most magical aquarium with dim lighting and Dragon Con Themes. All costumes and gear are welcome (no real weapons) and all exhibits will be open. Food court open from 7 to 9 p.m. and cash bar from 7 to 10 p.m. The event will end at 11:00 pm and allow you to continue your Dragon Con weekend shenanigans. Keep in mind that this is a private event that will sell out fast.
Spectrum: The Rainbow Flag Party
10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1. Hilton Grand-West. 255 Courtland St. NE, Atlanta.
This party welcomes all of Dragon Con's LGBTQ attendees to enjoy a party just for you. DJ Neon the Glowgo Bear will be spinning funky beats while go-go grrlz n boyz dance for you in Space Station Spectrum, the extraterrestrial-themed festivity. Mature audiences only.
Dragon Con Burlesque: A Glamour Geek Revue event
Photo: Derek Jackson and FrameShot photography/For the AJC
Dragon Con Burlesque: A Glamour Geek Revue
Midnight Sunday, Sept. 2. Sheraton Grand Ballroom A-F. 165 Courtland St. NE, Atlanta.
This two-hour show (brought to you by Talloolah Love) appeals to the gluttons for glamour and to the OG chic who make Dragon Con what it is. It's an event where there's freedom to unleash expressions and to watch beautiful performances. “There's fandoms, cosplay, filk, singalongs, fanfic, dirty jokes, bars, dancing, audience participation, prizes, surprises, and (of course) costume removal,” Love said of the event. “You will see a carefully curated show, that I feel gets better and better every year in quality, production of acts, range of fandoms, and general flow of the show from act to act."
Love amped it up even more this year by inviting special guest Vita Devoid from California to be a featured performer. Make sure to mark this on the must-do list for the weekend; you won't regret it.