5 New Things I Did at Dragon Con 2013

I am home from Dragon Con 2013!!  As usual, the weekend was worth every bit of hype, prep, and stress.  I always say one thing about this con: San Diego Comic Con has the biggest advertising spectacles, but Dragon Con has the best fans.  Over 50,000 geeks gathered in Atlanta this year.  The costumes, panels, and PEOPLE were incredible.

Passes and certain hotel rooms are already being sold for 2014, with good reason.  There's always something new to experience at Dragon Con; people look forward to it year-round.  Even though this was my fourth DC, I have a HUGE list of "firsts."  Here are 5 things I experienced at Dragon Con 2013 for the very first time:

1. Put on a costume a day before the convention even started. - If you ask a Dragon Con veteran when the convention starts, you may get a strange answer: "Thursday is the new Friday."  While festivities officially kick off the Friday before Labor Day, attendees start arriving days earlier.  Thus, my friends and I were already in-costume by Thursday afternoon.  We dressed up as the wandering, singing nomads from Avatar: The Last Airbender.  These characters appeared in only one episode of the series, but there were plenty of die-hard fans around who recognized us.  We performed a certain song several dozen times to much applause.

Avatar: The Last Airbender Nomads cosplayer

Returning to the Marriott after a long evening of singing "Secret Tunnel" to EVERYBODY.


2. Helped with a Doctor Who puppet show. - Weeks before the convention, I saw a call for Doctor cosplayers on Facebook from The Timey Wimey Puppet Show.  There are no female Doctors (HMPH!), but I AM a rather fetching Rose Tyler.  I jumped at the chance to assist.  I was asked to pull volunteers from the audience for a musical number.  Sadly, there were very few costumes present, even though the room filled to capacity.  Mike seemed grateful for the help, regardless.  Best of all, I got to see what the inside of his TARDIS stage looks like!  It is NOT bigger on the inside, and yes, that is a melodica around his waist.

Timey Wimey Puppet Show

What the inside of a TARDIS puppet rig looks like!


3. Marched in the parade. - Why, why, WHY did I wait 4 years to do this?!  The Saturday morning parade was a blast!  I dressed as Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite, and walked with a slew of costumers from the game.  We even had Motorized Patriots and Songbird!!  I couldn't believe how many "regular" citizens of Atlanta came out for the festivities.  Their cheers and waves kept me dancing and spinning through the streets despite immense heat.  I even got a hug from a little girl. <3

Elizabeth and Booker Bioshock Infinite Cosplayers

SO PSYCHED to be in a parade!! Photo courtesy of Ron Ladao


4. Met cosplayers just as obsessed with accuracy as I am. - Normally, my hobby of collecting screen-accurate clothes from Doctor Who and Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is considered overkill.  At Dragon Con, I'm right at home!  I met a Marion Ravenwood cosplayer with a necklace pulled from the VERY MOLDS used for Raiders of the Lost Ark.  The below picture features a Penny cosplayer I found (Diane) who managed to score the same Anthropologie cardigan I have.  I had no idea any other girls owned this item- I LOVE it!!

Penny from Dr. Horrible cosplayers

It's perfect- one for Dr. Horrible, one for Captain Hammer!


5. Got engaged at the Georgia Aquarium!! - There's a Dragon Con-exclusive event each year at the Georgia Aquarium.  I went for the first time to get photos taken by Irrational Games in my Bioshock Infinite Elizabeth costume.  After the photoshoot, my boyfriend- er, fiancee- arranged a behind-the-scenes tour above some of the tanks.  Suddenly, SURPRISE!!  My crazy geek guy dropped to one knee and popped the question!  I said "yes," of course.  :)  The folks from Irrational were very excited, and gave me a tower key prop like the one Elizabeth has in the video game.

Geeky marriage proposal at the Georgia Aquarium

There's always a man, there's always a ring, there's always a key...

Woo-hoooooo!!!  Believe me, there's an entire, separate article coming about what it's like to be engaged.  It has been... enlightening.

Anyway, that was my Dragon Con in a nutshell.  There was a lot more, of course, including an awesome Indiana Jones photoshoot and a panel about animating Wheatley from Portal 2.  I could type all day!  For now, though, just know that DC is spectacular.  Even when it's crowded wall-to-wall and the line for the ATM is wrapped around the building, there's nothing more fun.

Hotel rooms are already being sold for some of the host locations, so get going if you want to be a part of the experience in 2014!!


COMING UP FROM GGC:  This GEEKend's Chicago events!

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