Walking amongst the people at the Dragon*Con parade
Your duchess loves a parade as much as anyone, whether it’s Gay Pride in New York City or some Catholic craziness in Sicily. As long as there are sparkly costumes and pageantry, count me in! One of the unexpected pleasures of residing in Atlanta again is that I was able to attend the Dragon*Con parade for the first time this year, and it surpassed my expectations.
I lived along the route of several major parades in New York for many years, and I got spoiled by being able to pop down for awhile, cheer and clap, go back home for lunch and a break, and then return to find the fiesta still in full swing. Dragon*Con, and Atlanta in general, is a bit more complicated and less convenient, but it was worth the crowded MARTA journey.
For the uninitiated, Dragon*Con is not a celebration of all things dragon, but rather it is a massive annual convention that takes over Atlanta every Labor Day weekend. The parade is pretty much a smaller version of NYC’s Halloween parade with more nerds and less skin (probably a wise combination). Oddly, there were more evangelical wackadoodles protesting the Dragon*Con parade than one sees at the skinfests in New York, but people down here do seem to have a serious lack of constructive hobbies, and there are a lot of frustrated cheerleaders.
The parade itself takes place on Saturday morning, and once you survive the MARTA crush, it’s a relatively roomy and charming affair. The costumes are helpfully grouped by character, so you’ll see a fleet of Ghostbusters (complete with several cars) followed by a crowd of Batmen, etc. Of course, your duchess identified most strongly with her fellow royalty in the Game of Thrones crew, although the lack of a representative Tyrion was troubling. I suppose it’s a little too on the nose if you’re of short stature.
There are panel discussions with icons like Stan Lee (and the somewhat less iconic Dean Cain), as well as themed adult parties throughout the weekend, but the real thrill is just walking amongst a throbbing crowd of fantasy fans fully geeked out and happily in their element. The universal theme of a parade is the acceptance and celebration of whoever you are, which is probably why we love them (and why the wingnuts are less fond). At Dragon*Con, anyone can be a king (or a duchess) for the weekend, and everyone is welcome.Add a comment