37th annual Dragon Con takes over downtown Atlanta

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Look around Atlanta this weekend and you may feel like you just stepped into another universe, where superheroes, video game characters, and anything science fiction and fantasy-related comes to life.

One of the largest pop-culture conventions on the planet comes to Atlanta every Labor Day weekend.

“This is my first time at Dragon Con and I’m amazed. We came in yesterday and I’ve just been amazed the whole time. There’s so many cosplayers in one place and it’s heaven for cosplayers,” said Echo Waters, a Dragon Con attendee.

Dragon Con started in 1987 with 1,200 people.

Today, that number is over 65,000. The convention spreads across five different downtown hotels with dozens of vendors, arcade games, photo ops, and amazing cosplay.


“Amazing number of Barbies, of Oppenheimers, and of Barbie-heimers,” said Dan Carroll, media engagement director at Dragon Con.

In the sea of color, sparkles, and face paint, you might be surprised to find lawyers, NASA scientists, and even puppeteers from Broadway.

“What brings them here is that opportunity to express themselves. To be in an environment that totally embraces who they are, whoever they are and a place for them to try on new masks, literally,” said Carroll.

Organizers say it’s a space where everyone can feel accepted and safe.

“Dragon Con is my second family honestly. It’s for people who love the same things that I love and are welcoming and inviting and I’ve made so many amazing friendships from the people I met here,” said Josh Duart, a Dragon Con attendee.

Amanda Rose

Amanda Rose

Amanda Rose joined the Atlanta News First family in February of 2023.