Atlanta’s favorite fandom parade was back in full force this year for the 22nd year, open to the public once again! Led by Grand Marshal Nnedi Okorafor, Dragon Con’s Literary Guest of Honor, hundreds of marchers showed off their cosplay best.
Along with traditions like the 501st Garrison Stormtroopers, the 300 Spartans, and Netherworld Haunted House, this year also featured Dragon Con’s official Charity, Open Hand Atlanta, and LifeSouth’s bloodmobile, encouraging con-goers to donate blood, in the lower level of the Hyatt all weekend long.
Two more local groups, The Seed and Feed Marching Abominable, Atlanta’s wildest community band, and Lakeside High School’s marching band, both serenaded the crowd with fannish sounds as they passed the hotels. Also sighted: the Big Chicken, visiting the city from Marietta and somewhat downsized for the day.
Dragon Con’s cults were in full force, from the Cult of the Marriott Carpet, led by a herd of Carpetsaurus Rexs, to the Cult of Jon. The Cage Crew featured the many faces of Nicolas Cage, The Deadpool cadre featured crossovers ranging from a Spartan Deadpool to a Teletubby Deadpool, and, of course, a Marriott Carpet Deadpool. ECTO-1 accompanied a phalanx of Ghostbusters of all shapes, sizes, and fandom crossovers, with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man bringing up the rear.
One of the largest contingents, representing Star Wars fandom, featured everything from the First Order to Mandalorians and Jedi of all types, in addition to the aforementioned Stormtroopers. The vehicles included an X-Wing fighter complete with R2D2 in his spot and a Jawa sandcrawler, accompanied by a contingent of Jawas, of course.
As usual, the parade closed out with Robot Santa, sending the viewers home with a look ahead to the other holiday season.