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 have 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...

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