Dragon Con, Atlanta’s internationally known pop culture, fantasy, and sci-fi convention, announced a record attendance of more than 80,000 people for the four-day celebration.
Some 77,000 fans attended Dragon Con’s 30th Anniversary convention in 2016.
Fans came from around the world and all 50 states, with this year’s convention attracting people from as far away as Japan, New Zealand, and other Pacific Rim countries.
“Every year, Dragon Con seems to get bigger and better and 2017 was no different,” convention co-chair Rachel Reeves said. “Pop culture fans came from every corner of planet to join in the fun. This year, we gave them a show worth traveling for.”
Iconic comic creator Stan Lee, who previously announced his retirement from the convention circuit, made his third and perhaps final Dragon Con appearance. In addition to leading a panel discussion and meeting with fans, Stan served as the Grand Marshal for the annual Dragon Con parade.
Food Network star Alton Brown announced the return of his colorful Good Eats program, called Return of the Eats, that will air on Food Network beginning in 2018. “We’re restarting it. We’re bringing it back. We’re getting the band back together,” Brown told a standing-room-only Dragon Con audience.
The convention added cash-prize eSports – also known as professional gaming – live streamed over Twitch to the convention’s game-specific programming.
“Our eSports tournaments were well-attended by professional gamers and the Twitch audience was strong,” said convention co-chair David Cody said. “Most importantly, it was very popular with fans on site, which guarantees that it will be back in 2018.”
LifeSouth, which has organized the convention’s annual Robert A. Heinlein “Pay It Forward” blood drive since 2002, recognized Dragon Con for its 25,000th donor. This year, some 3,000 donors contributed nearly 6,000 units of blood and blood products, with the milestone donor arriving on Thursday night.
Since 2014, which marked the start of the organization’s Superheroes program, Dragon Con and its fans have contributed more than 2,600 hours of community service. During 2017, Dragon Con Superheroes manned a crafts ‘n’ cosplay booth at the Special Olympics Georgia Summer Games, maintained portions of Piedmont Park, participated in the annual Walk to End Lupus Now, and collected toys and games for patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Dragon Con’s annual Robert A. Heinlein “Pay It Forward” blood drive attracted a huge turnout, with about 3,000 attendees donating some 6,000 units of blood and blood products this year. The annual drive – consistently ranked as the largest convention-based blood drive – benefits LifeSouth, which serves more than 40 hospitals in the Atlanta area and 110 hospitals in the Southeast.
Let’s check out some of the highlights of Dragon Con 2017. From cosplay to panels to off-site events to vendors and the most anticipated event, the 17th annual parade, Dragon Con was filled with fun all weekend long!
There were hundreds of panels to choose from to attend. The big panels for the weekend were Spotlight on Nathan Fillion, Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. (or Is That Hydra?), Guardians of the Galaxy: Taserface Sends His Regards, Spotlight on Zachary Levi and Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow. At Dragon Con, you can always find a fan panel to fit your fandom such as No Ordinary Town: Midnight, Texas Fan Panel, Telling the Truth: A Lucifer Fan Panel and Ties of Blood & Magic: A Shadowhunters Fan Panel. John Barrowman’s panel is ALWAYS worth a 3-hour line wait.
— Sarah (@sarahslivetweet) September 2, 2017
Second Union attended a Press Conference with Michael Rooker. Rooker is always a fun talent to speak with. Watch our coverage of the event.
— 2U@RoseCityCC (@WeAreSecondU) September 1, 2017
— 2U@RoseCityCC (@WeAreSecondU) September 1, 2017
— Alton Brown (@altonbrown) September 3, 2017
Good Eats was and is the geekiest food show ever devised. Fans have been raving for a panel for years and finally, Dragon Con answered. Among the crew that joined Brown on the panel were long time Good Eats cast members Lucky Yates and Widdi Turner, production designer Todd Bailey, and Brown’s attorney Twitchy, or is that Itchy…never could tell them apart. Brown talked about his long awaited return to the world of culinary “infotainment” with an all-new digital series.
Dragon Con is by far THE best Con featuring THE best cosplayers. Cosplayers were in every corner or atrium of every host hotel and among the streets of Atlanta. Many come from far and wide to get a look at the highly detailed costumes.
— 2U @DragonCon (@WeAreSecondU) September 3, 2017
The Night Life
There are many, many outside events to feed your nerd-dom hunger. One of the more popular events was Barrowman’s Disco Karaoke and he brought a few special guests. The venue is closed to the public and only open to ticket holders with VIP and General Admission ticket levels. And if you were one of the lucky 1500 to first enter the event, you were gifted with an exclusive Dragon Con 2017 lapel pin. With entry, you got to peruse the aquarium, mix and mingle and dance with friends and enjoy the biggest festivity, the costume contest which was judged by Michael Rosenbaum (Guardians of the Galaxy II, Smallville) and Clare Kramer (Buffy). It was a night full of adventure and entertainment!
Until Next Year! Are you planning on attending next year? Follow us on Twitter @wearesecondu to let us know!
— John Barrowman MBE (@JohnBarrowman) September 4, 2017