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Dragon Con 2013: Parade Time!

Holly Frey | September 6, 2013

Ask anyone who went to Dragon Con this year, and they will tell you: The crowds were insane. Last year, Atlanta police estimated that 80,000 people turned up to watch the parade (show attendance was around 52,000), and this year, it certainly felt like an even bigger spectator turnout. While that makes for a tighter situation on the sidewalks (and makes jostling for a good view more complicated), it also adds to the excitement and energy — something everyone can use after a late night of socializing.

I never quite get over the dedication of the fans who walk in the parade. Getting up early during a con to put on a costume — often heavy with multiple layers — and walk through Atlanta’s humid streets just to share your love of your fandom? That’s commitment.

As always, the Star Wars group wrapped up the parade in style. We’re at an interesting time in Star Wars fandom. The announcement of more movies on the horizon has rekindled enthusiasm for the franchise, but since we don’t know much about the upcoming films yet, costuming fans who want to do something new are turning to really creative interpretations of existing characters. So as faction after faction came through the course, we were treated to quite a few surprises.

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Star Wars Day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Holly Frey | May 10, 2013

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I was lucky enough to be in Walt Disney World for their May the 4th Be With You celebration this year. This one-day party at Hollywood Studios was clearly intended to be a warm-up for the upcoming Star Wars Weekends. It was way bigger and more involved than I expected, and the crowd was awesome. I didn’t do a scientific sampling, but it seemed like roughly 75 percent of the people we saw were wearing Star Wars shirts or even costumes. It was like an awesome fan street festival.

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Star Wars on the Run

Holly Frey | March 6, 2013

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The Princess half marathon weekend that runDisney hosts in Walt Disney World every year is near and dear to my heart. The inaugural year of the race, 2009, I ran it — my first half marathon. I haven’t missed a year since, and so long as I’m mobile, I’ll be there. I run other races throughout the year, but Princess weekend always feels like home to me.

For the last two years, I’ve run dressed as Princess Leia (in the classic white), and other runners always seemed to really like it, often yelling, “May the force be with you!” But I only ever saw one or two other Leias on the course. However, since the Star Wars brand is now officially part of the Disney family, I had a feeling that this year would be different. And I’m happy to say, I was not wrong!

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A Nearly-Instant Leia Costume

Holly Frey | October 18, 2012

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Halloween approaches! You’re rushed for time, but want to show your Star Wars love. I have a super-quick Leia project just for you! Leia’s A New Hope look is so iconic that it’s easy to make an instantly-recognizable homage to every Star Wars fan’s favorite princess. This isn’t going to be a screen accurate version, but it’s perfect for those times when you get a last-minute invitation to a costume party, or if you just want to add a little Rebel chic to your wardrobe. You will need some basic sewing skills, but this is all fairly simple stuff. Best of all, it will only take you an hour or two.

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The Force is Strong with This Parade

Holly Frey | September 6, 2012

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Every Labor Day, fandoms from all corners of the entertainment universe converge in Atlanta for Dragon*Con, which touts itself as “the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe!” One of the highlights of the weekend is the official Dragon*Con parade that happens on Saturday morning. This costumed display has become such a big attraction that even Atlanta residents that don’t attend the con get to the route an hour ahead of the parade’s start time to make sure they have an optimal viewing experience.

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Dragon*Con Star Wars Costume Contest: Where do we go from here?

Holly Frey | September 4, 2012

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If there’s one thing that’s central to the Dragon*Con experience, it’s costumes. You can’t wave a stick in any of the host hotels without whacking a costumed attendee. (Please, don’t wave sticks at cons with the intent of whacking people.) And because the con is so huge, most tracks have their own costume contests, in addition to the con-wide hall costume contest and the Dragon*Con Masquerade. Star Wars is no exception, but this year was unique because Dragon*Con fell right on the heels of Celebration VI. That meant that some people had opted to attend the less frequent Star Wars con instead of the annual con, and some people attended both, but were too wiped out from CVI to compete their costumes again. This resulted in a slightly smaller field for the Dragon*Con contest. Even with a smaller group, there was no shortage of variety and creativity.

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