It’s that time of the year again, the time where I regal my faithful readers with the latest edition of my Dragon Con Chronicles, a day by day account of my adventures in one of the best conventions that take place in the continental U.S.A. But first a let us have a couple of introductory paragraphs so that the new readers can get up to speed.
Dragon*Con is a U.S.A. based multi-genre convention. It was founded in 1987 and takes place once each year in Atlanta, Georgia usually on Labor Day weekend. Due to the growth of the event through the years, the convention takes places in five hotels the Hilton Atlanta, the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, the Marriott Marquis Atlanta, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel and the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel. Since 2013 they moved the dealer tables and exhibitor booths to The Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart adding this way another building that host hosts part of the official activities of this event.
If you are a geek and you are enthusiastic about a particular field (comic books, video games, cosplay to mention some), Dragon*Con probably has not just one activity but a set of activities related to your field of interest spread all over the 4 days the convention last. Let’s suppose you are going to Dragon*Con and that you like comic books. You like them so much that you not just read them but collect them, analyze their stories, grade their conditions, etc. Wouldn’t be nice to go to a convention that offered not just one but a series of comic book related events spread through its duration? Dragon*Con is that kind of convention because it has something called Fan Tracks which is the name they use when they refer to a whole set of activities that have a theme in common. In the case of comic books they call that set the Comics and Pop Art Fan Track. Dragon*Con has by my count 42 Fan Tracks that cover the gamut of all the currently relevant fields of geek interest. That means hundreds of hours of different kinds of activities, all of them running simultaneously.
The day right after I came back from Dragon*Con 2013 I bought my 4 day pass. I wasn’t able to get a room at Hyatt this year instead I made a reservation at the Omni Hotel. I also bought my plane ticket before that year ended. The plane ride to Atlanta was fast and without incident, using the airline’s iPhone app to do my check in the day before helped on that. Once I had all my bags I used the Airport Shuttle Service and saved myself about $70 in Taxi Cab fare since I bought myself a round trip. The check in at the Omni was also quick and without incident also because I did my check in online the day before.
After settling in my room I went to the Sheraton to finish my pre-registration and get my 4 day badge. It was the fastest registration for a convention that I have ever done. The guy who gave me my badge warned me that if I lose it I had to pay full price ($150) for the replacement. I left the Sheraton feeling really hungry since I haven’t eaten anything since breakfast in Puerto Rico at 4:00 AM so I headed to The Mall at the Peachtree Center to grab a bite. At the Mall I said hi to Meg Galacticat (whom I met last year) and her husband Christopher. Afterwards I had my first taste of Chicken Swarma ever at the Mediterranean food restaurant Aviva by Kameel. I was attended by Kameel himself, that guy is just awesome.
Once my belly was full I photos of some cosplayers and headed to the CVS Pharmacy at the Mall to stock up on snacks for the weekend before heading back to my hotel room for a shower, some rest and a change of clothes before heading to the Hyatt.
When I got there both old and new friends started to appear; Janet Osburn and her husband Nate, the Hatcher sisters (Hailey & Anna), JD Stretch and Jessica Paulding; all of them members of the Battlestar Galactica fan club called The Colonial Fleet. Around 7:30 PM all these people and the rest of the members got together in front of the Hyatt and from there we all went to have dinner at Max Lager’s Wood-Fired Grill & Brewery. The food was great so were the people with whom I shared this meal.
Around 9:00 PM I left Max Lager’s and went back first to the Hyatt and later to the Marriott where I crashed into a Cosplay Playboy Bunny Party. I had a lot of fun. I cannot stress enough the fact that even when Dragon*Con didn’t officially starts until Friday, the mood everywhere was like the convention was in full swing with the main hotels filled with people cosplaying left and right. After taking a good amount of photos I called it a night and headed back to my hotel room around 10: 30 PM so I could get my minimum 5 hour REM sleep time in order to get ready for Friday morning, the official beginning of Dragon*Con 2014.