Trish’s and Nancy’s Dragon Con Adventures

Hey, everybody, it’s that time of year again, the time when Trish and I report on our Dragon Con weekend.  Last year, we ran into each other several times.  This year we saw each other only once, outside the ballrooms where she and a friend were going to one panel and I was about to go cover a Stargate one for the Daily Dragon.  Here’s a picture of the first banner in the parade.  I think the woman in the red gown and pink gloves is from Who Shot Roger Rabbit, but I couldn’t swear to it.  I have no clue who the actual banner bearers are.  But they look like they’re having fun!

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My first impression was that the con was more crowded, and more quickly, than last year.  I went to a 9 AM panel on Friday and stayed for the one after it.  When I came out, at 11, there was a double line to get into the skybridge from the Hilton to the Marriott.  This was kind of an uh-oh moment.  Friday morning should not be congested at that level.

Officially, 62,000 people attended this year.  Unofficially, subjectively, it seemed to me to be far more than that.

Trish, did it seem more crowded than usual to you?

It did. It was even hard to get down the sidewalks outside. I suspected it was getting more crowded even last year when I wasn’t able to get a reservation for a host hotel this year and had a bit of a longer walk each day, even getting totally soaked on Saturday afternoon when I got caught without my umbrella in that downpour. I know the official count was 62,000, but that’s only counting people who had badges. There are lots of extra people who come in for the parade on Saturday and hang out watching costumes, people who don’t have con badges.

I hadn’t been to the parade in a few years, so I went this time, also covering it for the Daily Dragon.  Below are some of my favorite photos.

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Of course I’m going to glom onto the superheroes–at left, Black Widow, Batgirl, Superman, Green Arrow, and, in the background, Aquaman, King of Atlantis, and his queen, Mera.

 

 

 

 

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Lego superheroes have become very popular in recent years, maybe because of the Lego movie.  The Lego female in this photo is actually Batman supervillain Poison Ivy, but let’s not split hairs!

 

 

I had no idea there was a whole organization for kilted stormtrooopers.  There is, though, and they marched in the parade.  Here’s one greeting a kiddie Boba Fett.

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 A Dragon Con parade wouldn’t be complete without pirates, so here they are.

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The Star Trek contingent brought their own marching band, a small but valiant crew.

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Crowds notwithstanding, I had a great time.  I covered a several panels and a demonstration I’d originally intended only to watch.  The duo of Nicole Harsch and Mike Sakuta, a/k/a Crossed Swords, do swordplay demonstrations.  I barely got a seat because I went to the parade.  Since I’d seen Crossed Swords before and knew how popular they were, I beat feet from the parade to the demonstration.

Anyway, they announced that they’d accepted an Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS and were going to fight a duel at the end of the program, with the winner dousing the loser (who’d be standing in an inflatable kiddie pool in deference to hotel carpet maintenance).  I tried to find the video on YouTube, but it’s apparently only on the pair’s Facebook page.  It runs just over a minute, and you can find it here.

That program was one of the most fun things I did all weekend.  Trish, do you have one particular highlight?

Trish with Craig Parker

I went to some great panels (Spartacus, Being Human, Defiance and Lost Girl) and got my picture taken with some of the celebrity guests, which is something fun I always do. I even got one with Patrick Stewart (aka Captain Picard from Star Trek: Next Generation and Professor X in the X-Men films). Two other highlights were meeting Sean Maguire (Robin Hood on Once Upon a Time) and chatting again with Craig Parker (Haldir in Lord of the Rings; also from Legend of the Seeker and one of my favorite shows, Spartacus). Craig is truly one of the nicest people I’ve ever met at Dragon*Con, really personable and down to earth. And he’s really funny and can’t for the life of him sit still.

Trish with Patrick Stewart

Spartacus panel with Manu Bennett, Craig Parker and Katrina Law

Of course I hit the dealer’s room, where I found a t-shirt featuring geek-girl-librarian-turned-superheroine Barbara “Batgirl” Gordon.  Of course I had to have that.  And “Atlantis Swimming,” which is a sly wink and nod to Aquaman.  Those netted me a free third t-shirt (I chose Wonder Woman) and a giant TARDIS gift bag, which is going over to Trish, as she’s much more of a Whovian than I am.

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Trish, did you do the Dealer Room or did you avoid the massive crowds?

Trish with Sean Maguire

I didn’t get to the dealer rooms this year, which is probably good news for my credit card and considering the fact that I’m in downsizing mode, not acquiring mode. Honestly, since they moved the dealer rooms out of the Marriott, it’s much harder to just pop in them between panels or photo ops. I did wear my two new pre-con T-shirt purchases though, one with quotes from Spartacus character Agron on it and my Robin Hood shirt (worn with my arrow earrings for my photo with Sean Maguire).

Necromongers cosplay

I also as usual saw some amazing cosplay, but the one that really made me go “Wow!” was this foursome who had bought Necromonger costumes that had actually been used in The Chronicles of Riddick. They had their picture taken with Karl Urban (as did I — fangirl squee!), who was Vaako in the movie.

Wow!  You got some great photos.  I love the earrings.

To read about the panels I covered–and I highly recommend, for nonwriters, the Stargate one, which was hilarious, the Crossed Swords one, and the author interviews–visit the Daily Dragon website.

 

Defiance panel with Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Tony Curran and Jesse Rath

What did you do over Labor Day weekend?  Do you like to go do something on a holiday weekend, or do you prefer to kick back and relax?

Comments

38 Comments

  • Eilis Flynn says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful time, the both of you! We try to relax these days, but Dragon*Con has always been something I’d be curious about.

  • Shannon says:

    Oh. That looks so much fun. I’ve never been, but I can’t see doing crowds that big. 62,000!!!

    This year was visiting family. My Mom and I spent Friday and Saturday at my brother’s cabin in Northern Idaho. On Monday, Mom and I went to my home town for a quilt show.

    Next year, my brother in Oregon gets married.

    • Yeah, it’s a lot of people, but tons of fun despite the crowds, sometimes because of them.

      Northern Idaho is so pretty. The Couer d’Alene area is beautiful.

    • Shannon, is northern Idaho in the mountains? That sounds like a relaxing weekend. I’ve never been to Oregon but would like to see it someday.

      The downside to Dragon Con is the crowding. When it takes 15 minutes to walk block and a half, you gotta wonder if you’re a little crazy to be doing this. It didn’t used to be that bad.

  • Jane says:

    Hello Nancy,
    I recognize Craig Parker right away because I just rewatched “Spartacus.” I did a little shopping on Labor Day. Unless there’s a party or a sale, I prefer to relax on a holiday weekend.

    • Yeah, another Spartacus fan. 🙂 I like to relax on most holidays as well, but Labor Day has become synonymous with DragonCon for me.

    • Jane, Spartacus is coming on some channel we actually get. Considering how much Joanie and Trish love it, I’m curious, but I feel as though I need to start at the beginning.

      Most holiday weekends, we hang out at home. Every once in a while, we go somewhere.

      • It’s currently showing on SyFy and evidently they’ve done some editing visually and dubbing, though I’ve heard they’ve done it pretty well. There was just no way they could show it totally in its original form. There was a whole lot of nekkid going on. 🙂

  • flchen1 says:

    Loved seeing your photos and hearing about your adventures, Nancy and Trish! I didn’t do much Labor Day weekend–it was lovely to have an extra day off 😉

  • Lordy, 62,000 people? Just the thought of it brings me out in hives! I’m sure it was fun but I think I might stay home! Trish, LOVE that photo of you with Patrick Stewart. I’m such an admirer!

    • Me, too. Hubby and I used to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation all the time during our college years.

      • Trish, when I lived in London in my 20s (long, long ago), he was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company so I got to see him live quite a few times. He has amazing natural presence, as I’m sure you’ll agree! And that voice!

    • Anna, the crowds kind of give me hives, too. I hate needing to figure in half an hour to get an elevator with room to get on if I want to go up to my room and another half hour to get back down. That’s my least favorite part. When people say RWA is crowded with 2k people, I figure it’s all relative.

      Then again, when I get frustrated, I remember the people making their way through the mob with assistive devices, wheelchairs, and scooters, and I figure I just need to suck it up and deal.

      The block for the Hyatt sold out in 6 minutes for next year, so I’ll likely not be in a main hotel, and aside from not getting DragonConTV, I’m thinking that may be a blessing in disguise.

  • Helen says:

    WOW looks like you both had a ball and all those people I have never attended anything like this before and with all those people I think I would be lost lol

    Love the photos and thanks for sharing 🙂

    Have fun
    Helen

  • Amy Conley says:

    Looks as though both of you had a wonderful time.

    We don’t do alot on Labor Day since Thursday, Friday, and Saturday after Labor Day is our small town’s Fall Fest, and Sunday is my husband’s company picnic which is held in the local ( for us anyway) amusement park. So even though Labor Day itself isn’t celebrated in any special way we do a lot of celebrating all week long.

  • Patty L. says:

    Sounds like you two had a wonderful time. I unfortunately worked the entire weekend. Twelve hour days on a holiday weekend stink, but I love my job so it helps, slightly.

  • Patty, twelve-hour days do sound like a downer on a holiday weekend. As you say, loving what you’re doing is some consolation, though.

  • catslady says:

    I went to a party for my 92 yr. old mom and 2 yr. old nephew! Patrick Stewart – yay. Was the Firefly group there?

    • The only Firefly cast members there this year were Adam Baldwin (Jayne) and Ron Glass (Book). I sort of regret not getting my picture with Ron Glass since I have pictures with all the rest of the cast members.

    • Catslady, what a great celebration! I wanted to see both Ron Glass and Adam Baldwin, but the timing didn’t work out.

      I did see lots of guys in knitted Jayne hats–orange and yellow with ear flaps, strings to tie, and a pompom on top.

  • Deb says:

    Thanks for the recap of your Dragon Con because I really had no idea what it is you’ve been talking about for the last few years. 🙂 It sounds really interesting. Amazing that so many people attended!
    My parents came to our place for lunch on Sunday. It was a nice, relaxing afternoon for us all.
    We didn’t do anything on Monday. Just stayed home. We did grill burgers and I made potato salad.

  • Nancy & Trish – You guys sound like you had a great time! Loved the photos. I could see hanging out at one of the host hotels and just people watch. What a hoot!

    We celebrated the holiday like we do most holidays – we eat well 🙂 Diets be damned! We had char-broiled steaks and my OMG potato salad and all kinds of goodies. But it was a quiet day otherwise.

    • A lot of people do that, Donna. But the past couple of years, the crowds have gotten so big that you either have to have a con badge or a hotel key to get into the host hotels.

    • Donna, lots of people come to the parade just to people-watch. The hotels are particularly strict about who comes in after dark, but a con badge will get you into any of them, even if you’re staying somewhere else.

  • Cassondra says:

    Hi Nancy and Trish!

    I want so much to like DragonCon. I like everything about it…except the crowds. They suck my energy within the first 30 minutes so after that I’m just overwhelmed. I have no patience for standing in the lines and the crush of the people.

    I would so love to look at the vendor booths and walk around and see the costumes though.

    Labor Day weekend I had a guest over and I cleaned some. We sometimes say we’re out of town on holidays, and stay home for a quiet weekend, but usually we’re working on some project here at the house.

    • Cassondra, the crowds are getting harder to deal with. One friend of mine isn’t coming back next year because she’s just tired of it being so packed. I haven’t hit that point yet, but I can see it on the horizon.

      The dealer room was much better on Monday morning. I went Sunday early, which wasn’t too bad. The boy went later that day, and the line was out the door. They weren’t letting people into the building until other people came out. He gave up and went back Monday.

      Your Labor Day sounds very relaxing.