Dragon Con was like Spring Break at Daytona collided with the internet

By Erik Button 

September 22, 2016

Dragon Con is a sci-fi and fantasy convention held the weekend of September in Atlanta, Georgia. This year marked the 29th year of the convention and it was attended by over 77,000 excited fans this year. Driving into downtown Atlanta to check into the convention I got a small glimpse into the weekend ahead of us. We saw a group of girls dressed in different outfits like Princess Leia, a gaggle of Deadpool’s, massive Ents, and people raving in the middle of the afternoon all over. These are not just passive fans, these are fanatics.

When I arrived I received a booklet of everything that was happening over the weekend and I felt overwhelmed by all the cool choices. There were panel tracks for Anime fans, steampunk fans, and even things like wrestling and film making. The convention spanned three hotels that held the panels and most of the events, two convention centers that had the booths where people could by art and merchandise and there were affiliated events happening in at least two other hotels. The first thing you notice when you come to Dragon Con is the people. Everywhere I looked I saw people bustling from one panel to another, snapping selfies in different costumes, stopping and drooling over clever pop culture mashup T-shirts, and catching a glimpse of celebrities at panels. Even better than the panels or the board games is the people watching.

One thing that surprised me about Dragon Con is how focused it is for 20-something crowd. Sure I did see some kids but the vast majority of people were somewhere between 21 and 35. There are dance parties every night, alcohol pretty much everywhere you look and a bunch of young people in costumes taking a break from their regular jobs to cut loose and party with others like them. I had cheap beers and played a prototype of a tabletop RPG with friends of mine from Richmond. I bought drinks for two people dressed as reptilian Hilary and Trump. I played Dance Dance Revolution (Remember Dance Dance Revolution?). The whole weekend felt like Spring Break at Daytona Beach collided with the internet. Next year, if you enjoy pop culture, enjoy dressing up and are free on Labor Day weekend, I highly recommend Dragon Con.

Recap video of Dragon Con 2016 by Priceless Misc for CLTure.

Read next: 

In this article