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Dragon Con 2017 attracts more than 80,000 people to Atlanta


(This post was originally filed on Sept. 4, 2017.)

The allure of Dragon Con keeps expanding.

Festival organizers report that more than 80,000 people attended the pop culture-sci-fi convention in downtown Atlanta this weekend, a bump from the 77,000 who donned their finest cosplay for the 30th anniversary in 2016.

During the four-day gathering, which attracted fans from as far as Japan, New Zealand and other Pacific Rim countries, dozens of familiar names ranging from William Shatner to Alton Brown to Stan Lee to John Cusack commandeered panels. The 94-year-old Lee appeared for the third time at Dragon Con and also served as Grand Marshal for the annual Dragon Con parade on Saturday.

In addition to the panels, autograph signings, costume contests and late-night concerts, Dragon Con’s annual blood drive included 3,000 attendees donating more than 6,000 units of blood and blood products. The drive benefits LifeSouth, which serves more than 40 hospitals in the Atlanta area and 110 hospitals in the Southeast.

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers the Atlanta Music Scene and entertainment news for print and online.