Time and Place: A newb at the Dragon Con parade

‘Every day after Sunday is just a countdown to the next Dragon Con’

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Saturday was my first Dragon Con and I was barely prepared. I knew just a bit (take an Uber for Christ’s sake, don’t try to park). But not quite enough (maybe don’t show up to the parade a half an hour before go-time). I turned my body sideways and lifted my camera high to slink through the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd that had already formed along the parade route. 

The crowd was long formed, actually. Armed with folding chairs, bottled water and superhero shirts, these spectators clearly knew what was up. But I had been told to expect inclusivity and kindness from the Dragon Con crowd and these veterans quickly brought this nerd newb into the fold.

“Can I scoot in next to you?” “Of course, can you see well enough?”“Mind if I snag that curb spot next to you until your dad gets back?” “Of course! Please do.”

With my newly borrowed front row seat, I could see the devotion in the details of Dragon Con. Meticulously constructed robot suits, a crew of custom-made dresses that mirrored the carpet of the Marriott Marquis (one of the host hotels), fake werewolf hair applied so expertly I wondered if this dude was legitimately half dog. And of course, a woman decked in a Star Trek costume pulling a red wagon filled with dolls sporting their own miniature Star Trek outfits. 

“Every day after Sunday is just a countdown to the next Dragon Con,” I was told later in the day by an elf from a video game I hadn’t heard of (Not “World of Warcraft,” y’all — I’m not that dense). 

The passion and dedication of attendees was evident in the whole spectacle of the weekend, but it was most personal in all these details. And that passion was infectious – people were excited to share their joy with all us onlookers. That dad whose spot on the parade route I took? Once he returned and I tried to fade back to the crowd, he insisted there was room for all of us on his hard-won curb. 

“Enjoy the show,” he said.