Superheroes, villains, comic book characters, video game monsters and everything in between are set to invade Atlanta.
Dragon Con returns to the area Labor Day weekend. The convention runs from Thursday through Monday. Dragon Con includes celebrity panels, autograph opportunities, seminars, contests, discussions and much more. But for thousands of people, the Dragon Con Parade is the big draw. And it's free to attend.
On Saturday morning, thousands of costumed characters will take to the streets of downtown Atlanta. The parade begins at the intersection of Peachtree Street and Linden Avenue and heads south on Peachtree. It passes the intersections with Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard Northeast, Baker Street and John Portman Boulevard. It lasts about three-quarters of a mile before turning left onto Andrew Young International Boulevard and then another left onto Peachtree Center Avenue. It ends a block later in between the Marriott and the Hyatt.
Tens of thousands of people typically attend the Dragon Con Parade. Here's some advice: Get there early if you want a good seat. The parade starts at 10 a.m., but the sidewalks that line the parade route will fill up early. People begin arriving around 7 a.m. Don't expect to show up at 9:30 a.m. and still be able to score a front-row seat. It's not uncommon for the crowds to be 10 to 15 people deep once the parade begins. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on. Don't forget your camera and umbrella if rain is in the forecast.
Emilio Delgado, Bob McGrath and Roscoe Orman will serve as the grand marshals for the 2018 parade. They are from Sesame Street. Ric Flare, Steven Barnes, Pat and Sherry Henry, Joel Hodgson and Jonah Ray are expected to be on hand.
For those taking MARTA, the North Avenue, Civic Center and Peachtree Center stations are the closest to the parade route. There is typically plenty of parking available near the route, though the closer to the Hyatt Regency Hotel you try and park, the harder it is to find a spot and the more expensive it is. Expect to pay $15 to $20 to park.
Peachtree Street will close for the parade about an hour before the parade's start and will reopen about 20 minutes after the parade's conclusion.
After the parade, head to the Hyatt. While Dragon Con organizers will control access to the hotel, there are usually hundreds of parade participants hanging around outside. Most of them will gladly take pictures with the public.
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