You know it’s Dragon Con Parade day (Sat, 10AM) when you see dragons of all types, stormtroopers of various eras, pastafarians, robots on segways, zombies, LARPers, and cardboard-box superheroes all dancing, lurching, fighting, and weaving down the streets of the city. The crowds were thick again this year and seemed to particularly enjoy the Colonial Fleet from Battlestar Galactica, the Netherworld monsters and floats (with their usual elaborate designs and animatronics), and the huge Ghostbuster contingent, who danced to the music blaring out of their Ghostbuster vehicle. Although the Star Wars group was one of the largest overall, the stormtrooper faction was unusually small this year. However, they included some unique additions: Jack Sparrow as a stormtrooper and the Kilted Trooper Brigade. Who knew there was an organization for kilted stormtroopers?
The guests from Power Rangers Samurai, Alex Heartman, Hector David, Jr., Najee De Tiege, and Steven Skyler rode in two cars. When the lead car stopped on Baker Street, David (aka the Green Ranger) climbed out of the car and ran around it, raising his arms and encouraging the crowd to cheer. To the delight of the spectators, he took a running start into an aerial flip before returning to the vehicle.
People on the street awaiting the parade spoke to the Daily Dragon about their reasons for being there. Chris and Chad from Atlanta came to the con for the day and were drawn to the parade because they had friends marching as Spartans. Thomas and Steve from Suwanee, GA, brought their kids, who’re into Minecraft, The Lego Movie, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. Steve was hoping they might find other things that would also interest them.
Also waiting for the parade were Princess Leia (Gwin), her husband, Sean, and their son, The Doctor (Liam). They came to the parade from their home in Alpharetta, GA, last year and are attending the con for the first time this year.
Chelsea from Austin, TX, came to the con with friends. She was eager to see all the costumes in the parade and admires the work people put into them.
Philip from Dalton, GA, is attending his third Dragon Con. He enjoys the parade because there’s “something cool every year.”
Maureen and Kris from Ohio are vendors who attended the parade because they had a break and happened to see it when they arrived.
The Dragon Con Annual Parade is definitely an exciting part of the Con, and can be made even more so by participating in it! Becoming part of a group that walks is so much more than just walking and waving. You become part of a special group. There is a bonding that occurs. You chat over the year about your group’s upcoming participation. There is feedback on costumes. The opportunity to share expenses is also present since you become close with your fellow group members. If you don’t hear from someone, you tend to worry that everything is ok. You feel like family.
One reporter (Faith) marched as part of the Periodic Table. She says, “Although I teach English, I find Science so much fun. It goes to show that you don’t have to participate in the norms of your everyday life. I get the chance to be something other than an English teacher. Not only do we bond (dance arm in arm in a circle) as we walk in the parade, we also bond as friends. Although we do not live close to each other, we have email and Facebook.”
Jan Price, Parade Director, reported that there were 45 groups of marchers this year, composed of over 3,000 costumed Dragon Con participants. Will you join the Parade next year?
Photos by Jesse Garrett, Dean Ansley, Steve Eberhardt, and Tito Hernandez