ATLANTA -- The 2012 Dragon*Con Parade marched through downtown Atlanta promptly at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Spectators lined the sidewalks of Peachtree Street NE and Baker Street NE early so they could secure a good viewing spot for the parade. Local restaurants extended their seating onto sidewalks, allowing for just a few more seats to be squeezed in. The majority of Dragon*Con fans simply sat on the edge of the street.
Dragon*Con attendee Cheryl Romich said, "You see a lot of different costumes, very unusual and out there kind of costumes. It's very neat to see what people dress up as because it's every genre from older Star Trek to the newer Hunger Games."
Romich and her fiance made their third Dragon*Con appearance. She also enjoys the events held in the hotels after the parade. The Hyatt, Hilton and Mariott Marquee all house events, exhibits and shows throughout Dragon*Con.
Traffic on Peachtree was slow compared to most Saturdays, but there were no street closings as of 9 a.m. Security was tight, looking out for pedestrians' safety. A few early morning runners jogged through the crowds of Dragon*Con goers.
Space was valuable moments before the parade, and hard to come by. Many parade watchers had breakfast on the go and Starbucks seems to be a hot commodity.
Two Dragon*Con fans had on costumes with leather wristbands to make up their favorite gaming characters. Julia Upchurch registered her costume in order to get access to all events.
"Alice Liddel wears the wristbands. She's insane in American McGee's: Alice Returns, the second game in a two-game series," Upchurch said.
Dr. Who ran the torch about fifteen minutes before the parade began. The crowd cheered as he dashed down Peachtree.
During the parade, Dragon*Con characters hiked through downtown. There were staged fights, video game acts, movie scenes and interaction with children in the audience.
PHOTOS | Dragon*Con 2012 Parade
The most common costumes of the parade were superheroes, Star Wars characters, Ghostbusters and gaming stars. The Dark Empire, Rebel Legion and Vader's First 501 St. Legion were some of the groups that did entertainment acts along the way.
There were a few marching bands. They played instruments while walking among the characters.
At the parade's end security followed the last of the parade line, and forced crowds off the sidewalks. Trying to keep things orderly, they facilitated efforts to move the crowd into the hotels for the other Dragon*Con events.
Dupree Security Official Robin Johnson said, "It was hectic this year. A woman fainted from being to hot about halfway through the parade. We want people to have fun, but want to make sure things go well."
When the woman fainted, an Atlanta Fire Department truck attended to her location with its sirens blaring. The crowd was so into the parade's stunts, they thought the fire truck was part of the show.
The rush of costumes included Luke Skywalker, D'Haram Solders from TV's "Legends of the H Seekers", Cloud Strife of "Final Fantasy", Nicci from the "Sword of Truth" book series and the Powder Puff Girls.
A couple wearing matching Ghostbusters costumes was among the line of people waiting to pile into the Hyatt after the parade. Mikhail Lynn attended last year's Dragon*Con.
"Every year it's amazing because you have so much fandom in one place. I dressed as Ghostbusters last year as well. It gets better and better," he said.
His wife, Katrina, agreed.
She said, "I can't think of any reason why this parade is not the most awesome thing in the world."