Dragon*Con is held in Atlanta Georgia
four days of the year, usually around a major holiday weekend. In years past, this was the 4th of July
weekend, but in 2001 (and continuing until 2005 I believe they said) it's Labor Day
. The convention consists of pannels on different science fiction
and a multitude of other genres. In addition, there is a largish sized Dealer's Room, and various activites and rooms going on at all hours of the night. For the last few years the con has seen somewhere in the neighborhood of 25,000 - 30,000 people.
Dragon*Con has been located in previous years in the Atlanta Hyatt hotel on Peachtree Street, but in 2001 they began to shift to the Marrott right behind the Hyatt. Reguardless, the Hyatt and Marrot serve as the "Con Hotels", as in that's not only where most of the action goes on, but where a good percentage of the Con-goers sleep. There are other hotels of course, such as the Days Inn a block from the Hyatt and they are cheaper and can be booked closer to the con than the main ones. They loose a certain charm of staying in the main hotel however. You half to walk further to get to the con in an overfill hotel, but you don't have to wait for an elevator for thirty minutes either.
Pannels (discussion or presentation gatherings), Tracks (programming block of many pannels under one theme), and Events (special one-time gatherings) make up the life blood of any convention, and Dragon*Con is no different. 2001 and previous years have had (among others) Star Trek, Star Wars, Xena, Anime, Comics, American Sci-Fi, British Sci-Fi/TV, filmmaking, Gaming, Electronic Fronteer, Science, Space, and several other tracks I've forgotten. Of these tracks there are assorted pannels that make them up. From discussion of Xena and Gabrielle's sexuality to some of the Babylon 5 cast chatting about the show, there's stuff to enterest most any fan. The real treats are the special events like free concerts (like Gwar
and the Misfits
), movie screenings (the MSTing of Battlefield Earth
, the premiere of Toxic Avenger
4 and Elvira
's new movie) and events such as the Dawn
look-a-like contest (commonly refered to as the Dawn-a-Like contest) the Masquerade Ball (Costume and Skit contest) to board/videogaming tourneys and dances.
When Stuff Happens
If you're conscious, there's something going on in the con. Movie screening rooms, anime music videos, dances and generally oogling people. And when you've walked all you can, nothing cool's going on for an hour or so, and you just wanna sit and have a cool tasty beverage...there's always the Con Suite
. From the start of the con until the last unwashed body has left the building the Con Suite remains open. Free fountain drinks constantly, generally some donut or similar breakfast food, chips and crackers and some veggies though out the day, and things like chili, ice cream, hamburgers and popcorn during the eventing hours. And all of it's free. If you can snag a seat you can watch whatever's playing on the TV (usually some Sci-Fi flick), or you can walk next door and enter my personal favorite hangout, the Smoker's Lounge
. There's generally a bar in the lobby level, so you can booze it up if ya choose (and ya might see Larry Elmore
!) or whatever you want.
The Usual Suspects
Costume wise, at D*C there's a lot of Star Wars themes stuff. Lots of Stormtroopers and generic Jedi. Maybe a Vader or too. Couple Ghostbusters usually wandering around, Klingons frequently (but not as frequetly as Stormtroopers) with other Trek people here and there, some various videogame characters, and the ragtag assortment of anime/generic sci-fi/fantasy/comic/film characters. And fell free to snap photos of folks in costume or ask for a picture, that's what they're there for. As far as famous people, the Dragon*Con has had Anthony Daniels
as the MC
for the last few years, with some old attendees being Troma
, Tom Savini
and Steve Jackson Games
. And more people come each year, for example Sluggy Freelance
returned for a second convention, and Don Bluth
made his debute appearence.
D*C is a great way to unwind if you live in the Southeast area and can take a few days off work. Lots of relaxation with (usually) very little hassle. Lots of things to do and see, and it costs considerably less than most vacations. For more information plese check www.dragoncon.org, and hopefully I'll catch ya at next year's con.