The 30th anniversary of Dragon Con was super-sized in many ways.
Festival organizers report that more than 77,000 people attended the five-day pop culture-fantasy-sci-fi convention held throughout Labor Day weekend in downtown Atlanta, an increase of about 17,000 from 2015.
The Dragon Con team is especially proud of expanding the international reach of the event, with fans travelling from Japan, New Zealand and Fiji to attend. Anime director Shinji Aramaki, one of about 400 actors, artists, authors and other creators who populated Dragon Con, also traveled from Japan to be a part of the annual gathering of elaborately costumed fans .
Some of the big names who attended this year’s Dragon Con included William Shatner, Gillian Anderson , Karl Urban, Alan Tudyk (who announced the release of the mobile game Con Man The Game) and Mythbusters’ Tory Belleci and Kari Byron (who announced that they, along with Grant Imahara, will star in the upcoming Netflix series, “While Rabbit Project.”) as well as cast members from “Game of Thrones,” “Torchwood” and “Dr. Who.”
Dragon Con’s fundraising efforts also delivered about $98,000 to its official 2016 charity, the Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency, which helps put homeless individuals on a path to achieving a healthy independence. The organization is the largest provider of workforce development resources to homeless men and women in Atlanta.
The money was raised through auctions and other charity events, along with a $50,000 match from Dragon Con. Since 2012, Dragon Con has raise close to half a million dollars for its official charities.
Memberships are available now for the 2017 installment of Dragon Con (a discounted price of $80 holds through Sept. 19 of this year), which will take place Sept. 1-4.