Aug 31 to Sep 3 in Atlanta, GA
Type of Convention: Art, Comic, Cosplay, Fantasy, Gaming, LARPing, Literature, TV/Film, Music, Sci-Fi
Dragon*Con is a North America multigenre convention, held annually over Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia. The 40,000-plus-member convention encompasses five hotels in downtown Atlanta near Centennial Olympic Park, and is hosted by a 1500-member volunteer staff. Dragon Con has hosted the 1990 Origins Game Fair and the 1995 North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC). It is operated by a private for-profit corporation. Since its inception in 1987, it has raised thousands of dollars each year for local and national charities.
Dragon*Con was launched in 1987, as a project of a local science fiction and gaming group, the Dragon Alliance of Gamers and Role-Players (DAGR), founded by Ed Kramer. The name "Dragon" for the club was derived from Ed's Dragon Computer (a European version of Radio Shack's venerable Color Computer), which hosted a local Bulletin Board System ("The Dragon") that initially served as a central hub for both organizations. The inaugural Dragon*Con flyers debuted at the 1986 Atlanta Worldcon, ConFederation. However, by the following year Dragon*Con had been selected to be the host of the 1990 Origins convention.
The inaugural Dragon*Con featured Guest of Honor Michael Moorcock, Lynn Abbey and the late Robert Asprin, the late Robert Adams, Ultima creator Richard "Lord British" Garriott, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons the late Gary Gygax and Toastmaster Brad Strickland. Miramar recording artist Jonn Serrie delivered his keyboard arrangements from within a real NASA flightsuit and Michael Moorcock jammed onstage with Blue Öyster Cult's Eric Bloom, performing the Moorcock-written tunes "Veteran of the Psychic Wars" and "Black Blade". The late Thomas E. Fuller's Atlanta Radio Theatre Company performed H. P. Lovecraft's "The Call of Cthulhu" live at the con and on live radio.
Over the years, the convention continued to grow. In 1989, Dragon*Con relocated to the Omni Hotel and Convention Center to accommodate the 3,200 fans who attended, mainly due to the appearance of popular author Anne McCaffrey. By 1995, when Dragon*Con hosted the North American Science Fiction Convention, attendance had blossomed to over 14,000 fans. Ten years later—with the convention now encompassing the Hyatt Regency, Marriott Marquis and Hilton & Towers hotels—attendance passed the 35,000 mark. In 2008 the convention added the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel and in 2010 the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, with attendance continuing to grow each year.
Among the many long-running events at Dragon*Con, in 1991 the first "Robot Battles" robotic competition event was held, an event that is still held at the convention to this day, making it the second oldest robotic competition event in the world. In 1999, Dragon*Con's TrekTrak introduced the first Miss Klingon Empire Beauty Pageant, an annual event that has since garnered national media attention. In 2002, the annual Dragon*Con parade was inaugurated. By the seventh year in 2008 over 2000 participants, most in costumes from all aspects of fandom marched along Peachtree Street from Woodruff Park (at Auburn Avenue) to the Hyatt, ending on Courtland Street at the Marriott and Hilton.
Dragon*Con 2012 Photo Gallery
Dragon*Con 2012 Video Gallery