Dragon Con brings 80,000 people to downtown Atlanta

ATLANTA — Dragon Con is back in Atlanta for its 31st year and organizers expect to set an attendance record.

The pop culture convention is expected to bring 82,000 people to downtown Atlanta during the Labor Day weekend.

“It’s amazing. You think it can’t get any bigger, then it does. So many people have a good time. It keeps bringing more people in,” attendee Sam Licktieg said.

Organizer Dan Carroll said the event started with two friends and grew to the tens of thousands of people.

“We give people an experience that’s so wonderful they get out and share it on social media,” he said.

RELATED STORIES:

Officials said the economic impact of the three-day event will top $70 million. Five host hotels are booked and booming.

“The restaurants, the bars, even the CVS all benefit from this event,” said Peter McMahon with the Hyatt Regency hotel.

Channel 2's Berendt Petersen spoke to event goers from all over the country who've come to Atlanta with one goal: to get their geek on.

“Whenever you come here, it’s like our Mecca. If you’re a nerd, let it fly,” attendee Josh Galvis said.

Organizers said Georgia’s booming film industry has given the convention a boost.

“So many of my friends that I met through Dragon Con are working in the film industry here in Atlanta because when it started to grow, they were looking for people who could make costumes and do makeup, so Dragon Con was a great breeding ground for that,” Carroll said.

The Dragon Con parade will go through the streets of downtown Saturday morning.

With such large crowds for the convention, there is a lot of security. Event goers said seeing so many police officers made them feel safe.