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Dragon Con 2019 | Everything you need to know

This is one of Atlanta's biggest events of the year.
Credit: WXIA
Aquaman, Batman and Batgirl at Dragon Con 2018

ATLANTA — Dragon Con is one of the largest science fiction and fantasy conventions in the world, drawing more than 80,000 attendees annually to downtown Atlanta.

The convention is a Labor Day weekend staple for Atlanta and in the past has also played host to other associated science fiction and fantasy conventions including the 1990 Origins Game Fair, the 1993 Wizard Fan Awards as well as the 1995 North American Science Fiction Convention and 1995 STARFLEET International Conference.

Dragon Con includes guests and fans from many subgenres and areas of fandom, organized into various groups or "tracks," which allows attendees to participate in whatever area they are interested in.

Another element of Dragon Con is the dealer's room, which is filled with all sorts of vendors from all corners of fandom, from art to apparel; from videos and music to games and books and every conceivable craft in between. Some items for sale are handmade by artisans with incredible skill. Other products include mass-produced items which may be only available from a limited number of specialty vendors.

Many fans are there to participate in an element called cosplay, which literally is a blend of the words "costume" and "play."

For quite a few fans, cosplay moves a step beyond simply dressing in an outfit from the local costume shop. It involves the development and construction of a costume from scratch that very closely approximates or mimics a particular character -- whether from television, movies, comics, anime, manga, the printed page, or a variety of other media.

RELATED: Dragon Con costumes: How to make a fox tail in 12 simple steps

Those individuals may invest a lot of time, effort and money into their costumes, which they demonstrate as they walk through the convention areas, display in cosplay contests, demonstrate in particular tracks, or wear during the Dragon Con Parade.

Where is Dragon Con?

Dragon Con is based in five host hotels in downtown Atlanta: the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, the Hilton Atlanta, the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel and the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel. The Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton are each connected by sky bridges which allow moving between each possible without going outside.

Other downtown hotels have provided discounted rates for attendees, so fans have made reservations there and will be attending from those hotels as well.

Who is at Dragon Con this year?

Each year, Dragon Con is noted for bringing the biggest names in the genre to Atlanta to participate in the convention's tracks and to meet with fans.

Cast and crew members from movies and television shows, novelists and writers, artists, musicians, model makers, and others make the journey each year to not only see the fans, but to enjoy each other's company. Because in some cases, the productions are in   locations across the globe, this is one of the few opportunities that some of these folks get to see each other, so Dragon Con becomes a great big party for them.

This year, hundreds of cast and crew members from  'Star Trek', 'The Avengers', 'Agents of SHIELD', 'Mystery Science Theater 3000', 'Stranger Things', 'Preacher', 'The Expanse', 'Game of Thrones', 'Black Lightning', 'Doctor Who', 'Power Rangers', 'The Flash', 'Legends of Tomorrow,' 'The Walking Dead', 'Farscape', 'Stargate', 'Fantastic Beasts', 'The Orville', 'Shazam!' and many other television shows and motion pictures will be on hand.

Click here for a full list of all the featured guests scheduled to be on hand this year.

Along with the featured guests, there are performers and musicians who will be there to entertain throughout the weekend. The musicians cover genres from nerd pop to folk-rock; gothic swing to acapella. You name the musical style, and you will probably hear it during Dragon Con weekend.

Click here for a full list of the musicians and performers this year.

What can you do at Dragon Con?

Dragon Con is organized into event "tracks" which allows participants to follow subject or interest areas throughout the convention.

With more than 80,000 science fiction and fantasy fans gathered in one place, at first one might think that there would be a singular interest, but the number of different interests at Dragon Con is almost as myriad as there are people attending the convention.

One area includes a large variety of games that fans can play, from video and computer games to live-action role-playing games, to collectible card games. 

There are various types of games involving miniature figures, Dungeons & Dragons and similar games, and even good, old-fashioned board games.

The areas of interest, or "tracks" include: Alternative & Historical Fiction, American Sci-Fi & Fantasy Media, American Sci-Fi Classics, Animation, Anime/Manga, Apocalypse Rising, BritTrack, Costuming, Digital Media, Diversity in Speculative Fiction & Literature Fandom, Electronic Frontiers Forums, Fantasy Literature, Filk Singing, Film Track, High Fantasy, Horror Track, Kids Track, Military Sci-Fi Media, Puppetry, Robotics and Maker Fan Track, Science, Science Fiction Literature, Silk Road: Asian Cinema & Culture, Skeptics, Space, Star Wars Track, Trek Track, Urban Fantasy, Video Gaming, Writers' Track, X-Track, Young Adult Literature.

Click here for a full list of details for each fan track and what is included in each.

There are workshops that give fans a hands-on opportunity to work with some of the guests and professional artists, including an acting workshop with CSA Film Academy founder and director Ken Feinberg, practical self-defense with award-winning author and second-degree black-belt Keith R.A. DeCandidio, voice acting master class with veteran voice actors Dino Andrade and Greg Houser, and a number of others.

For a full list of workshops and seminars, click here. (Note, many are already sold out)

In addition, there's a full list of autograph sessions, Dragon Con Night at the Georgia Aquarium, mock jousts, video and film rooms, puppet shows, reading sessions and much more.

Click here for a full list of events happening during Dragon Con.

Can you draw like a comic book artist? Do you make short films? How are your costume-making skills? Can you build a robot? These are just some of the contests taking place over the weekend. It all culminates in the 11th Annual Miss Star Trek Universe Pageant on Sunday afternoon in the Grand Ballroom at the Sheraton Atlanta, with celebrity judges and hosted by "Star Trek Voyager" star Garrett Wang.

Click here for a full list of contests taking place during Dragon Con weekend.

RELATED: Dragon Con 2018: What we saw

Dragon Con Parade 2019

The highlight for many fans is the annual Dragon Con Parade, which allows the entire Atlanta community to turn out on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta and watch as costumed Dragon Con attendees march down the street, showing off their finest cosplay efforts.

Watch the 2018 edition of the Dragon Con Parade below:

Credit: Dragon Con
Dragon Con 2019 Parade Map

Click here for a full-sized look at the Dragon Con Parade route map as seen above.

The parade kicks off at the corner of Peachtree Street and Linden Avenue at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 31. 

The parade will proceed southward on Peachtree to Andrew Young International Blvd., where it will turn left and proceed over one block to Peachtree Center Avenue and turn left again. The parade will proceed a block and a half northward to end in front of the Marriott Marquis Hotel.

Click here for full updates on the 2019 edition of the Dragon Con Parade.


DragonCon.TV is a live streaming channel available to members of Dragon Con 2019 as well as for others who are not attending the convention. 

It provides streaming video content of panel discussions and other events at Dragon Con. Viewers will be able to access the content online at http://dragoncon.tv/.

Below is a photo of the logo.

Credit: Dragon Con
DragonCon.TV returns to Dragon Con this year, as in years past -- with a logo that looks suspiciously like it may have ingested a certain peacock.

Dragon Con members may purchase memberships for $10 while non-members can purchase a streaming membership for $30.

Note: Some panel guests have studio agreements that limit the ability to have their appearances streamed via DragonCon.TV.

In addition, Dragon Con has its own YouTube feed, which includes selected recorded content from Dragon Con in years past, along with some content from this year, posted after the event. 

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