Thursday, January 16, 2020

Atlanta's Liberty Plaza

Five years ago today, on January 16, 2015, Liberty Plaza was dedicated. More than 100 years in the making, a civic area near the Capitol Building was propose in 1910 as part of a comprehensive city beautification and development plan that was finally realized a century later thanks in great part to the Georgia Building Authority

Today, Liberty Plaza serves as a major focal point for large groups that hold public rallies and assemblies both during and between legislative sessions. The plaza is large enough to accommodate over 3,000 visitors and is located southeast across from the Georgia State Capitol.

Liberty Bell reproduction | Liberty Plaza | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Liberty Bell reproduction | Liberty Plaza | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Did you know that the actual Liberty Bell in Pennsylvania used to travel? And that it traveled to Atlanta? It was on display during the 1895 Cotton States and International Exposition in Piedmont Park. That exposition was a message to the world that Atlanta was poised to be a significant contributor to domestic and international commerce and the country's economic fabric—that we were (and continue to be) worth consideration and investment.


Liberty Bell reproduction | Liberty Plaza | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Liberty Bell reproduction | Liberty Plaza | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Surrounding the Liberty Bell replica fly the flags of the 13 states whose representatives signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, declaring these states independent from Great Britain. The 56 signatories were representatives from New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Georgia had three representatives sign the Declaration of Independence: Button GwinnettGeorge Walton, and Lyman Hall—the first three signature on the left—whose names are engraved on section of wall around the Liberty Bell.

Statue of Liberty reproduction | Liberty Plaza | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Statue of Liberty reproduction | Liberty Plaza | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor


Some may think that this is a replica of Miss Freedom, the statue atop the Gold Dome of the Georgia Capitol Building. It's not, but Miss Freedom has two relative previous names—“Goddess of Liberty” and “Liberty”—which she had before assuming her current title of “Miss Freedom”.

This statue is a replica of the Statue of Liberty, standing a few feet tall at the northwest corner of the Plaza, and was gifted to the City of Atlanta in 1951 by The Boy Scouts of America. The dedication plaque reads, "With the faith and courage of their forefathers who made possible the freedom of these United States...as a pledge of everlasting fidelity and loyalty".

Liberty Plaza is open 6am-6pm Monday-Friday. The Liberty Bell and the Statue of Liberty replicas, previously located on the Capitol grounds, were relocated to prominent locations in the new Plaza and are visible to visitors at all times.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Fashioning Art from Paper

Exploring 500 years of fashion, SCAD FASH's current exhibition features Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave's spectacular visual illusions in Fashioning Art from Paper, a collection of nothing short of masterpieces of life-size attire made of paper and paint. The exhibition is in its final week. You can see it through Sunday, January 12, 2020.


Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

This exhibition is absolutely stunning! Isabelle de Borchgrave's works of art are sculptural replicas of historic garments found in early European paintings or collections from around the world, including gowns worn by Queen Elizabeth I.


Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor


SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film had been on my must-visit list since its opening was first announced but sadly this was the first time I'd been. Sad because I've missed some magnificent exhibitions already, but I will not miss any others! The space is AMAZING, the staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and the museum is a wholly unique experience.


Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Being my first time at the museum, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd seen photos of previous exhibitions and I was familiar with the building—I worked in a satellite office of Equifax many years ago and would go to meetings and training classes at the company's headquarters, now SCAD Atlanta. 

Signage leading to the museum is well done, and clever, too! You follow the purple line to the level where the museum is located and there are signs noting "a little farther" and "almost there"...pure brilliance!


Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Programming

This Thursday, January 9, at 12noon, join SCAD FASH Italian Renaissance scholar and art history professor Sarah Mellott Cadagin for her talk Moda Alla Medici: Fashioning the Self in Renaissance Florence


Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

This exhibition includes a number of fashion accessories including shoes, purses, and jewelry so exquisitely fashioned that they too would trick the eye from a distance if you did not know that they were made of paper.


Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Within the exhibition are pieces from Isabelle de Borchgrave's Kaftans series, inspired by the Silk Road textiles of Central Asia.


Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

I visited on a rainy day, but took my umbrella and ventured onto their outdoor space, located on the parking level. It's elegantly appointed and offers some wonderful vistas of Atlanta's skyline. Up on the museum level, there's a terrace overlooking the outdoor space with some seating and a staircase leading down to the larger outdoor space which spans the width of the building.


Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

There's a digital exhibition guide which you can follow along on your cell phone or the museum will loan you a tablet (they'll need to hold your ID while the tablet is in use). The garments in the exhibition are numbered, so it's easy to follow.


Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

SCAD FASH is a teaching museum—and an absolute gem for locals and tourists alike—featuring nearly 10,000 square feet of adaptable exhibition space.


Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Fashioning Art from Paper | SCAD FASH | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The exhibition includes a trio of de Borchgrave’s series Les Ballet Russes.

Fashioning Art from Paper is co-organized by SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Society of the Four Arts, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Frick Art and Historical Center, Baker Museum and Flint Institute of Arts. This fabulous exhibition is on view at SCAD FASH through Sunday, January 12, 2020.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

wanderlust ATLANTA's 2019 Photo Review

This is always my favorite post of the year, not because it's the end of a year, but by time I get to the end of a year I've forgotten how many wonderful things I've done in the previous 12 months. This post allows me to meander back through the year to relive those awesome experiences.

I blogged a lot less in 2019, but only because I've been working on my book. It's almost finished! My final deadline is the end of January 2020 and it's scheduled to launch in spring!


111 Places in Atlanta That You Must Not Miss
111 Places in Atlanta That You Must Not Miss

My publisher, Emons, granted my request for the book cover of having the symbol be a Phoenix and the color being the blue from the City of Atlanta flag. Serendipity stepped in, my book cover is very close to Pantone's 'Color of the Year' for 2020, Classic Blue! 

The book is already listed online in their spring catalog. It's not for sale just yet, but will be soon and I'm honored and grateful to those who have already pledged to buy a copy and to those who have so graciously already offered to host book signing events. This truly is a dream come true!

Let's have a look back at the year... Here are a few things that happened:
  • I worked on my book!
  • I'm also the photographer, so I've visited dozens of awesome places!
  • The book cover was revealed and I love it.
  • I visited Milwaukee, which was amazing! Serendipity at its finest, the weekend I was there was the weekend that "111 Places Milwaukee" launched so I got to meet the author and photographer of that book!
  • I visited Jekyll Island, Georgia, for the first time! Attended a beautiful wedding and went to Driftwood Beach.
  • A dear friend from my Navy days visited. We'd not seen each other since 1986. I took her and her daughter to 5Church Atlanta, the Center for Puppetry Arts and to the Atlanta Botanical Garden. It was a wonderful day!
  • Visited Plains, Georgia, birthplace of President Jimmy Carter.
  • Went to Laughing Skull Lounge after wanting to for years...laughed so hard!
  • Revisited Poplarville, Mississippi, and had a super-fun time!
  • Went on my first hot air balloon ride! It was tethered, but still a blast.
  • Went to Biltmore Estate for my birthday and stayed in The Inn.
  • And so much more...
Let's revisit some blog posts...

Orchid Daze 2019 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Orchid Daze 2019 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

There's always something to see or do at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Orchid Daze in February and March is an excellent example!

Atlanta Blooms 2019 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Blooms! 2019 | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor


Hundreds of thousands blossoms spring forth during the annual Atlanta Blooms! exhibition at the Atlanta Botanical Garden...absolutely beautiful!


Phoenix Flies | Plaza Theatre | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Phoenix Flies | Plaza Theatre | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Phoenix Flies, an Atlanta Preservation Center program, offers hundreds of free tours every year! In 2019 I toured Plaza Theatre.

Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor


Visiting various sites in Plains, Georgia—birthplace of President Jimmy Carter—was great fun! I learned quite a lot about Carter and his childhood life.



Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

2019 was the 10th Dragon Con Parade I've been to...always great fun!


Medieval Times Atlanta Castle | Photo: wanderlust ATLANTA
Medieval Times Atlanta Castle | Photo: wanderlust ATLANTA

Medieval Times has a new Queen and an updated show. I enjoy going to the Atlanta Castle once or twice per year...it's that much fun!


Imaginary Worlds, Alice's Wonderland | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Imaginary Worlds, Alice's Wonderland | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

This year's summer exhibition at the Atlanta Botanical Garden was Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland and it was absolutely wondrous! 


Houdini | Breman Museum | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Houdini | Breman Museum | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Inescapable: The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdini was magical! The special exhibitions at The Breman Museum are consistently amazing!


Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The Big Bugs exhibition at Fernbank Museum of Natural History was AMAZING...the bugs are enormous!



Panda | Atlanta Botanical Garden Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Panda | Atlanta Botanical Garden Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Made it up to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Gainesville and it's splendid! Will definitely go back again and again...they have lots of room to expand into!


Atlanta Balloon Glow | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Balloon Glow | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

I got to go on my very first hot air balloon ride! It was tethered, but it was still great fun!


Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Autumn brings Scarecrows in the Garden to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, another fun event, especially Thursday nights for Fest of Ale!

2020 will be a whole new chapter for me. I will finish my book, host book signings, return to Corporate America, ramp up my blogging frequency, launch a newsletter, and who knows what else!

Thank you so very much for following along on this journey I call life, for following and being a fan of my blog—YOU are the reason I enjoy it as much as I do and I'm grateful.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Scarecrows in the Garden 2019

Scarecrows in the Garden is back and it's as festive as ever! They're on display at the Atlanta Botanical Garden (and Atlanta Botanical Garden Gainesville) through Sunday, November 3, 2019. And there are LOTS of events going on, too!


Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The two ladies in blue dresses seem to share the garden's 30 acres well enough. Actually, "Dorthy" here is having a bit of a makeup crisis, while Alice (of the Imaginary Worlds: Alice's Wonderland exhibition) is over in another part of the garden taking a nap.

Oh wait, that's not our Dorothy at all. That's "The Thrift Witch...As Dorothy" by the Assistance League of Atlanta and it's quite remarkable!


Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

"Tragedy Ann" has a clever name because all the Atlanta Roller Derby skaters have clever names. A few examples: Rosie Derivator, Madditude Adjustment, and Genie in a Battle. I've met a number of them in recent years, everyone being incredibly passionate about the sport, super smart, wonderfully hospitable, and totally pumped to enjoy their bouts!

If you've not yet been to an Atlanta Roller Derby (formerly Atlanta Rollergirls), I highly recommend treating yourself to some serious excitement! Don't worry if you're not sure how the game works; they have people there just to answer your questions! 

Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

I think my personal favorite scarecrow is "Nutmare on Peachtree Street" made by The Boo Crew. The monocle-wearing Mr. Peanut is dreaming about a circus elephant, a Nutcracker, and a jar of Planters creamy peanut butter. A smooth move by Mr. Peanut to not wear his spats to bed, but check out those adorable woolen lamb bedroom slippers

Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

You may have heard the awesome Amp'd Entertainment at a wedding reception, a mitzvah, or a company party, but if not, you totally get to during Fest-of-Ale during Scarecrows in the Garden, Thursday evenings at the Atlanta Botanical Garden! 

Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

When you get to Scarecrows in the Garden, I recommend visiting the scarecrows in the two-acre Children's Garden first, and then go back and enjoy the rest of them. Historically, the Children's Garden closes at dusk, well before the garden closes at 9pm during Fest-of-Ale. So don't miss all of those fun, festive scarecrows!

Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The must-not-miss event of the season is the Great Pumpkin-Carving Contest taking place at 7pm in the Skyline Garden! It's presented in the fashion of a television competition, and there are lots of other activities going on that night, too. There's a film screening in the Rose Garden, a gaming midway, face painting, a magician, and of course wine and beer, and so much more!

Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

All throughout school I was always in some kind of art class and Picasso has been a personal favorite since childhood. "Pablo Picasso-crow" was created by Jamie Gunnin. Of Picasso's many periods, I find myself most fascinated with Cubism.

Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

"Girls United" was created by Girl Scout Troop 16580 and what a great job they did! Obviously they're huge fans of Atlanta United, our professional soccer team. I also noticed that their troop crest is the unicorn, so they must be super excited to be here during Imaginary Worlds!

Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Positioned in front of Longleaf, which is open during Fest-of-Ale, this alien-looking, but totally fun sculpture was created by Peachtree Petals, perfectly disguised among the towering banana trees. Longleaf does take walk-ins, but during popular events like this, reservations are recommended. 

Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Scarecrows in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The Atlanta Botanical Garden is a beautifully colorful place year-roung, but Scarecrows in the Garden take its colorfulness to a whole new spectacular level! Be sure to check out all the events happening during Scarecrows in the Garden.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Plains, GA, Birthplace of President Jimmy Carter

On the occasion of President Jimmy Carter's birthday, I'm excited to share some photos from my visit last year to his boyhood home, Plains, Georgia. President Carter is the first former U.S. President to celebrate a 95th birthday!


Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Created for a presidential campaign visit to Indiana, this 13' tall Jimmy Carter Peanut was transported to Plains, Georgia, following that 1976 visit...and it's still there! 


Carter Family Farm | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Carter Family Farm | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The Carter's moved to this farm in 1924—Jimmy was born in 1928—which did not have running water or electricity until 1938! A wind-powered mill like this one powered a water pump, easing the burden of having to pump water by hand for the family and farm animals.


Carter Family Store | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Carter Family Store| Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

This is the Carter Family Store where they sold a variety of clothing, foods, medicine, and gasoline, among other items. 

Here are a few prices from that era:

  • Fatback - 5 cents per pound
  • Sugar - 25 cents per 5lb. bag
  • Overalls - $1.00 to $1.75
  • Castor Oil - 10 cents per 1.5 oz bottle
  • Gasoline - 17 to 20 cents per gallon
  • Octagon Soap - 5 and 10 cent sizes; 3 for 25 cents



Carter Family Farm | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Carter Family Farm | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

There are numerous barns and sheds on the Cater Family Farm, including a milking barn, a harness shed, a pump shed, and a large barn, which served as a gathering point. Certainly, President Carter spent a considerably amount of time in this barn. 


Carter Family Farm | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Carter Family Farm | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The Carter family lived here until 1949. Jimmy became an officer in the U.S. Navy and planned a career as a Naval officer. When his father passed away, Jimmy returned to Plains, Georgia, but not to this farm. Today, he and Rosalynn again live in Plains.


Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Plains' antiquity is apparent throughout the town. Nearby, and subtly marked, is the childhood home of Rosalynn Smith, the then future First Lady of the United States. Rosalynn Carter was, and is, a strong advocate for mental health research.


Campaign Headquarters | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Campaign Headquarters | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

This 1888 train depot, in Plains, Georgia, served as Governor Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign headquarters for two years. Its modesty bought Plains onto an international stage. Today, it houses campaign memorabilia, including a television of the period 'broadcasting' campaign footage.


Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Practically everywhere you go in Plains you'll see Jimmy Carter presidential campaign memorabilia. When Carter began his campaign in 1975 he was called "Jimmy Who?", then won the Democratic nomination over 17 others, and proceeded to become the 39th President of the United States of America.


President's Desk | Plains, Georgia
President's Desk | Plains, Georgia

Built in 1921, Plains High School, where Jimmy and Rosalynn both attended, is today the site of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site Visitors Center and Museum. Enjoy making a photo at the President's desk here!

Nobel Peace Prize | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Nobel Peace Prize | Plains, Georgia | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Twenty-one years after leaving Capitol Hill, Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, one of only two Georgians to earn this distinction. Most will agree that the humanitarian work Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have done since leaving office is remarkable and, by far, more than any former president has done for humanity. Regardless of political affiliation, Jimmy Carter is one of the greatest humanitarians in modern times.

I encourage you to visit Plains, Georgia. There's considerably more to see and do than what I've mentioned here, which I discovered thanks to my travel friend Wayne. Put it on your calendar and also go with a friend or family to see this piece of Georgian and presidential history!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Dragon Con Parade 2019

The annual Dragon Con Parade, Atlanta's largest parade, begins with a lovely lady playing bagpipes and a full color guard. But, just ahead of that, 'Forrest Gump' runs a stretch of the parade route to chants from the crowds, "Run, Forrest, run!


Run, Forrest, Run! | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Run, Forrest, Run! | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The Dragon Con Parade is free to the general public, meaning you can be/see part of Dragon Con even if you're not an official conventioneer. The Parade is a sneak peek at the wide ranging programming and events that take place at Dragon Con. 

Cosplay, events, and the parade aside, there are more than 30 tracks packed with programming that conventioneers have access to. Some of my personal favorite tracks are Trek Track (all about Star Trek!), Space, Writers' Track, Science, Puppetry, Film Track, and the American Sci-fi & Fantasy Media Track, to name just a few. 


Mark Sheppard | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Mark Sheppard | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The Dragon Con Parade's Grand Marshal this year was Mark Sheppard! He's had quite the television and film career, my person favorite role being that of Romo Lampkin in the Battlestar Galactica reboot from the late aughts.

You can see that Pikachu was quite excited to see him, too!  


Captain America | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Captain America | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Speaking of excited to see, the crowds loved Captain America roaring in on his Harley-Davidson

I was recently in Milwaukee, Wisconsin—my friend Barry was on business travel and I tagged along to play tourist—and visited the Harley-Davidson Museum and got to see the motorcycle that Captain American rode in one of his Marvel films...spectacular!


Cosplay Volunteers of Atlanta | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Cosplay Volunteers of Atlanta | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

I had the great pleasure of recently meeting the above Game of Thrones couple through my friend David. They're all members of Cosplay Volunteers of Atlanta, a nonprofit organization that provides cosplayer appearances for children's nonprofit events! What a wonderful and fun way to give back to the community, and I bet the kids just love it! 


Lucy & Ethel, Chocolate Scene |  Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Lucy & Ethel, Chocolate Scene |  Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Walking in a parade is exciting enough, but eating chocolate while walking in a parade...the best! And who doesn't love Lucy and Ethel! If you saw the I Love Lucy episode "Job Switching" (S2,E1), you know the hilarity of Lucy and Ethel getting jobs at a local candy factory. 


Carrie, Atlanta Movie Tours  |  Dragon Con Parade 2019  |  Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Movie Tours  |  Dragon Con Parade 2019  |  Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Atlanta Movie Tours (AMT) was in the Dragon Con Parade for the first time! That's my friend Carrie, founder and owner of AMT, driving one of their vans. 

Atlanta Movie Tours started with one tour showcasing film sites from The Walking Dead. They've now grown to 10 different tours and they offer custom tours! You won't believe how many film sites you walk, bike, or drive by every day! And the tours a led by industry professionals, including some former zombies!

I've been on almost all the tours and can personally vouch that they are a great time! They have the best tagline, too... "Get In, Geek Out!"


Rocket Raccoon  |  Dragon Con Parade 2019  |  Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Rocket Raccoon  |  Dragon Con Parade 2019  |  Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Speaking of filmed in Atlanta, Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy was in the parade! Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was filmed right here in the ATL! If you didn't already know that, you would probably learn it on an Atlanta Movie Tours tour. 


Dragon Con Parade 2019  |  Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Dragon Con Parade 2019  |  Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Dragon Con is an inclusive organization and event. Everyone is welcome. Except for bullies. That simply will not be tolerated at Dragon Con.

Dragon Con even has a diversity track, its 'Diversity in Speculative Fiction & Literature Fandom" track. Dragon Con believes, and I agree with them, that "understanding that we have similar interests or beliefs can encourage cooperation and cohesion within our community." I love how welcoming to all and how diverse Dragon Con truly is. 


The Flying Spaghetti Monster | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
The Flying Spaghetti Monster | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The Flying Spaghetti Monster is great fun! Did you know that the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a legally recognized religion in several countries? You'll spot the most devout of pastafarians by the colander on their head, considered religious wear in the noodly religion. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is the chief deity in the religion. 


Dinosaurs | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Dinosaurs | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The hilarity and exponential number of these T-Rex costumes is astounding! And I can't stop laughing. I don't even know what this type of humor is called, but I love it. They make me laugh and laugh and laugh. #ilovedinosaurs


Spartans | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Spartans | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The men and women of Sparta are iconic in the Dragon Con Parade. They've trained for months, all year, for years, and some surely a lifetime to be in Spartan shape. Like many cosplayers, these Spartans spend a lot of time and money creating their costumes, PLUS determined focus and energy preparing their physiques for this event. #GoSparta!!!


Stan the Zombie | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Stan the Zombie | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Listen up ladies and gentlemen. If you don't take care of yourselves like the men and women of Sparta, you could end up looking like my friend here, Stan the Zombie! Then again, Stan the Zombie is a total celebrity.

I have photos with Stan the Zombie at various conventions and even one at a Braves game. He's a great sport! Stan is a pretty awesome living person, too! 


Jawas & Sandcrawler Ice Cream Truck | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Jawas & Sandcrawler Ice Cream Truck | Dragon Con Parade 2019 | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Even before you noticed the Sandcrawler on the horizon, you could hear the unmistakable ice cream truck music. When the ice cream pop-wielding Jawas got to us, we were laughing so hard. At least I'll know why I'm craving ice cream when I watch Star Wars again.

Year after year, the walkers in the annual Dragon Con Parade continue to amuse, mesmerize, and entertain in the most unique and clever of ways. "Thank you!" to all who organize, coordinate, volunteer, and walk in the parade! 

See you next Labor Day Weekend!

More photos on the wanderlust ATLANTA Facebook Page...