Do you feel it? Its coming. Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks, stores are filling their aisles with orange and black decorations, and there is so much candy you get a toothache just thinking about it. Fall is in the air. All we’re missing is the crisp chill that comes with it but since I live in the South I probably won’t get that until October.
Still, I love fall. It brings such wonderful things. Halloween, Thanksgiving, the changing of the leaves and its CON SEASON!
If you’re ever in the Atlanta area on Labor Day weekend and you haven’t gone to Dragon*con – or at least walked by it, you are seriously missing out. This is the weekends were the Geeks of the world unite and completely take over the city.
I love walking Atlanta on Dragon*con weekend because not only to you see all these amazing costumes, you see all these specially ordered signs posted outside of restaurants and shops announcing that Dragon*con attendees are welcome there. So not only is it a chance to wave your geek flag proudly, it also brings some excellent cash to the city which is always good.
Its hard to truly explain how vast Dragon*con truly is. It spans five huge hotels and has 35,000 PLUS attendees every year. You never know who you’re going to talk to either. One year, I had a lovely discussion with a man in a duct tape dress. Turns out he was a brain surgeon when not attending con.
My first day, I dressed up as Bride from Sherrilyn Kenyon‘s Dark-Hunters. You see me there with Simi from the same series. I even did the costume contest at the Dark-Hunters ball and won Best Human so that was exciting!
Another first for me was doing the parade. Let me just tell you, if you don’t think Dragon*con is your thing – which is IMPOSSIBLE because there is something for EVERYONE there! – at least come out Saturday morning for the Parade. It starts, I think, around 9 or 10 in the morning. Get there early to get a good spot though.
They completely shut down the streets of Atlanta going around the con hotels and attendees all decked out in their best costumes march through town. Best part? FREE. You can go and see some of the best costumes at the convention, take their pictures, and cheer them on.
It was actually a lot of fun. I felt awkward at first. I was in my Bride costume for this marching with the Dark-Hunters and I really wasn’t sure what I should do. But as the audience got into it, so did we. It was even better when I was handed a sign that said “Bite Me” in big white letters on a black backdrop.
When not marching around in costume, I was usually found in the Writers Track. That is always fun and I always learn something new. Its actually hosted by Nancy Knight who is also one of the founding mothers of Georgia Romance Writers.
Before Nancy took over, Writers Track was more a fan track. They got these big name authors but it was mainly fans who were coming rather than people wanting to be writers themselves. Nancy felt, and justly so, that there were enough fan tracks at the con. When she took over, she made this a true WRITERS track.
Whenever she got the truly big names in her room, the first thing she would do was get up and go to the front of the room and inform everyone that if they were just there as fans they could leave now. There would not be autographs later that this was a writers track for writing questions. I was always very proud of her in those moments.
As you can see I had a very busy, fun filled weekend. I met some fabulous new authors to read such as Alethea Kontis and Leanna Renee Heiber, won a costume contest – which was a huge surprise, marched in a parade and just had a blast.
If you’ve never been, you seriously need to go. I end this with just some random pictures taken at Dragon*con this year so you can truly appreciate the awesomeness of it.