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Dragon Con 2016: Dragon Con Turns 30

Day 1-3

This year marks the 30th year for Dragon Con in Atlanta. Record attendance spiked with more than 77,000 people for the sci-fi/fantasy convention. The convention experienced many firsts this year, along with some major announcements from celebrity guests.

For the first time, substantial programming was offered on Thursday, making Dragon Con a four-and-a-half day convention. A new, fan-driven awards program, the Dragon Awards, was launched to recognize the creators of science fiction and fantasy in books, comic books, games and filmed entertainment.

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Actor Alan Tudyk (Firefly, Serenity, & Dollhouse) announced the release of Con Man The Game, a mobile game based on Tudyk’s hit web series Con Man. The game is a world-building game where players build and run their own fan conventions.

 

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Mythbusters Tory Belleci, Kari Byron, and electronics wizard (that’s a real thing, I looked it up) Grant Imahara announced that they are starring in the upcoming Netflix original seriesWhite Rabbit Project. The show will look at the science behind things such as jet packs and fast cars.

 

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Thursday

The day started the same as always, pick up the badge, take some pictures, and meet new people. But something was different today. The air was filled with anticipation as crowds gathered early for badge pickups. Parties were held through the night for the entire weekend, and the Pokémon Go players were out in full force (including me).

 

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Friday

My first stop was the Warehouse 13 panel featuring Eddie McClintock and Allison Scagliotti. The panel was filled with stories of Cherry Curie and inappropriate nudity jokes (thanks, Eddie, I can’t get those words out of my head). Fans reminisced about guest stars on the show and wondered how the cast reacted to certain storylines.

Fans also go to experience the 22 Pushups for 22 days challenge in support of the 22 soldiers a year who take their lives after experiencing combat (https://www.22kill.com). Eddie spearheaded the challenge with fans and made his day 8-10 videos here at the convention. Here is the link to the panel I was in:

 

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My next stop at the convention would see some childhood dreams come true. It was more than a dream for most, but fans reveled in the glory of meeting former Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Austin St. John and David Yost. Robert Axelrod, the voice of the skinless villain Lord Zedd and the docile Finster, was also in attendance.

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Robert regaled us with tales from the recording studio, while Austin and David talked about their days on set. Fans rallied around the announcement of The Order, a film produced by former Ranger Karan Ashley and featuring many of the past rangers.

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Saturday, Dragon Con Parade

This year Dragon Con expanded by more 215,000 square feet with the addition of AmericasMart Building 2. This was the perfect time to expand the parade route for the annual Dragon Con parade. The parade brings out all of Atlanta’s citizens.

 

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With attendance up, Atlanta’s CW69 broadcasted the Dragon Con parade live on Saturday, Sept. 3rd, so that the parade and convention could reach new heights.

Here is the link to the video of the parade on demand: http://cwatlanta.cbslocal.com/dragon-con-parade/.

 

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Eddie McClintock was on hand as the grand marshal for the parade, with special guests Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick.

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After the parade, I bolted to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel panel. James Leary (Clem from Buffy) moderated the panel and was hilarious (I want to buy that guy a drink).

Eliza Dushku and James Marsters were on hand to answer fan questions about stunts, working for Joss Whedon, and most importantly, if John Barrowman is a better kisser than Sarah Michelle Gellar (asked to James Marsters).

 

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Barrowman is obviously the winner.

This pic is proof.

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Next up was the Grimm Panel. On hand were the stars David Giuntoli, Reggie Lee, Sasha Roiz, Jacqueline Toboni, and Bitsie Tulloch.

The cast talked about the sadness of the show ending and their favorite hexenbiests.

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One fan told Reggie Lee that he has the best walk of anyone who has ever walked; then he walked across the stage (mic-drop).

Bitsie talked about the pranks David pulled and how she got her revenge by “fake locking his keys in the car,” which embarrassed him to no end.

These first three days were a killer, but I had so much fun!

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