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Dragon Con ends in Atlanta with more visitors than organizers initially expected

Organizers initially estimated that only 60,000 people would attend.

ATLANTA — One of Atlanta's biggest conventions came to an end Monday. Dragon Con, Atlanta's internationally-known pop culture, fantasy, sci-fi and gaming convention, attracted 65,000 attendees during its five-day run.

Convention organizers initially estimated that only 60,000 people would attend. 

The event, which started Thursday, sold out all five days. 

Fans from all 50 states and some foreign countries, including Canada, Brazil, Australia, and several western European nations attended the 2022 event, organizers said.

At least $190,000 was raised for the event's official 2022 charity, Open Hand Atlanta, which provides meals and other services to food-insecure individuals with medically-strict diets, officials said. 

Money is still being collected for the event's official charity, they added. The amount counted so far has surpassed the previous record raised. 

In 2021, $142,000 was raised for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta, according to a press release. 

Some of this year's guests included William Shatner, who played Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek, and Walter Koenig, known for his role as Pavel Chekov. Morena Baccarin, of Deadpool, The Flash, and Gotham, as well as Tom Cavanagh, of Scrubs, Legends of Tomorrow, and Arrow also attended. 

The event's annual "Pay It Forward" blood drive, which has taken place since 2002, had more than 3,000 people donate. It benefits LifeSouth, which serves more than 25 hospitals in the Atlanta area and 125 hospitals in the southeast.

“We were delighted to bring our fans together for another terrific convention, where they celebrated the things they love, connected with friends, and forgot about the outside world for a few days,” convention co-chair Rachel Reeves said. “We are incredibly impressed with fans’ generosity and their willingness to support Open Hand Atlanta, which does great work to meet an important community need.”

Dragon Con will return in 2023 for the five-day Labor Day Weekend, Aug. 31 to Sept. 4.

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