August is winding down, and the Labor Day holiday weekend approaches. For some of us, that means only one thing: DRAGON CON! Soon, fans from every imaginable geeky fandom will descend on Atlanta, Georgia, to share their fan love with similar-minded fans. This year’s con will be held Friday September 2 through Monday September 5, four days stuffed to the brim with events to delight fans of every sort.
Dragon Con celebrates its 30th Anniversary this year, and has planned a con of special magnificence to mark the occasion. This year, Dragon Con is holding the first annual Dragon Awards. The new awards will be voted on by the fans who will attend the con, to recognize “those who have made real contributions to SF, books, games, comics, and shows.”
Dragon Con is well known for its excellent Tolkien’s Middle-earth Track. This year’s Tolkien track schedule will continue to uphold that reputation. Here are some of the Tolkien-related events that con-goers can attend this year.
- Great panels on a huge variety of topics, such as Feasting in Middle-earth, Tolkien and the Great War, Arresting Strangeness: Tolkien and the Birth of Modern Fantasy, How to Fight Like a Dwarf / Elf, and Politics and Middle-earth. Speaking of cool panels, I (Middle-earth News Assistant Director Valdis Longbeard) will be joining as a panelist for the Middle-earth vs. Westeros and Touring New Zealand as Middle-earth panels!
- Celebrity panels with this year’s film guests, Ryan Gage (Alfrid, The Hobbit Trilogy), Craig Parker (Haldir, The Lord of the Rings trilogy), and Dean O’Gorman (Fili, The Hobbit Trilogy). Dean is returning to Dragon Con, following his first visit in 2015. You can read our exclusive interview with Dean at Dragon Con 2015 here.
- Great party events every night of the con. An Evening at Bree will again be held on Friday night, including a cosplay contest showcasing some amazing Tolkien-themed cosplay, and fabulous music by Emerald Rose. This year’s Evening at Bree isn’t to be missed, since Emerald Rose announced that this will be their last Dragon Con appearance. On Saturday, Middle-earth steps to the 1980s and shows its best glam rock style at the Middle-earth Dance Party with “Thorin Stardust & the Spiders from Mirkwood.” On Sunday, the Brobdingnagian Bards, Marc Gunn and Andrew McKee, return to Dragon Con with the ever popular Hobbit Drinking Songs.
- The Atlanta Radio Theater Company’s dramatic reading of Smith of Wooten Major, to be presented on Monday.
Video: Dragon Con 2013 80’s Dance Party, brought to you by theonering.net
Be sure to check out the Tolkien’s Middle-earth Track web page for details and information about all the goings-on for the Tolkien Track.
Of course, there is much more at the con in addition to the great Tolkien Track events. The annual Dragon Con Parade is always a Saturday morning highlight, and will be broadcast on live television for the first time this year. Other tracks are featuring some blockbuster guests, including William Shatner, Summer Glau, Alex Kingston, Jason Isaacs, Karl Urban, and dozens more. Many of the celebrity guests will be doing photo ops with fans and signing autographs on the Walk of Fame.
Dragon Con also offers an amazing art show, and well known comic book artists. For gamers, the Gaming track has expanded its gaming space in a big way this year, increasing its previous gaming areas by 60%. Fans will be able to shop for all manner of geeky articles in the dealer’s area in the huge America’s Mart, just down the street from the main host hotels.
If you’re ready to join 75,000 of your closest fandom friends in Atlanta, you can still buy a membership for this year for $150. If you will be at Dragon Con, be sure to look for me! I’m the Dwarf woman with bright red hair!
Sadly, Dean O’Gorman had to cancel his Dragon Con 2016 appearance at the last minute. We will hope to see him at Dragon Con 2017, September 1 – 4, 2017!