The annual Dragon Con parade through downtown Atlanta, which steps off at 10 a.m. this Saturday, Sept. 1, will include about 3,200 participants, and draw 65,000 viewers. FILE PHOTO/JOHNNY CRAWFORD

How to watch Dragon Con Parade (with 65,000 of your closest friends)

The ever-popular Dragon Con Parade steps off at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, giving the city a chance to see some of the characters who populate this science fiction/fantasy convention.

There will be 65,000 spectators and 3,200 participants. The parade features a mile-long cavalcade of superheroes, monsters, dragons and villains.

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It has become the biggest parade in Atlanta, with sidewalk space at a premium, so here are a few tips for a successful experience:

Here is the parade route for the Dragon Con Parade, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 1. From Linden Avenue, the parade travels south on Peachtree Street, east on Andrew Young International Boulevard and north on Peachtree Center Avenue, ending in front of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. CONTRIBUTED BY DRAGON CON
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

• The parade begins at the intersection of Peachtree Street and Linden Avenue, and heads south on Peachtree, following the same route as in past years.

It will turn left (east) on Andrew Young International Boulevard and left again (north) on Peachtree Center Avenue, coming to an end in front of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis — one of the host hotels.

There are plenty of places to stand and watch. (If you want to sit and watch, bring a lawn chair.) But many sidewalks fill up early. Parade regulars suggest arriving between 7 and 8 a.m. to get a curbside seat. Watch out for interlopers who stand in the street in front of you, a tactic that is strictly discouraged.

Here are 4 spots in Atlanta with some of the best views of the Dragon Con parade. (Erica A. Hernandez/AJC)

• This year, the parade marshals will be Emilio Delgado, Bob McGrath and Roscoe Orman — three actors from the beloved children’s television show “Sesame Street” who play the characters Luis, Bob and Gordon.

Others who will be part of the show include wrestling legend Ric Flair and Joel Hodgson and Jonah Ray from “Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return.”

A cosplay enthusiast dressed as Storm from the “X-Men” movies participates in a previous Dragon Con Parade. CONTRIBUTED BY DRAGON CON
Photo: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

• Parking will be at a premium, and parade organizers suggest taking MARTA to one of three nearby stations: North Avenue, Civic Center, and Peachtree Center. One can also reserve parking in advance through a company such as Parking Panda.

• Sue Rodman of 365 Atlanta Traveler writes that the blocks near the beginning of the route, between Linden and the I-75/85 overpass, have been the least crowded in recent history.

• Some parking decks offer an elevated and unobstructed view of the action. Staking out a spot on such a deck may also offer shade, which can be a blessing on a sunny day.

And, finally, those who want to enjoy the parade from the comfort of their living rooms can watch a live broadcast on Atlanta’s CW69.

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