By Quentin H. / September 16th, 2022
You can also buy a membership for next year’s Dragon Con here.
There is one maxim about Dragon Con that everyone should know before they try to attend this sprawling five-day convention in the heart of Atlanta: You will not be able to see and experience everything you like, no matter how hard you try. And you will try to see all the diverse events that Dragon Con puts on…and there is no better example of this than the first first day of the convention, which is on a Thursday.
This year’s Dragon Con was the first time that I was able to get there for the full Thursday event, and I had three major goals: 1) see the Dragon Con Opening Ceremonies, 2) attend the Dragon Con wrestling matches, and 3) attend the Bunny Hutch dance party and see the costume contest. The opening ceremonies are fairly self-explanatory in nature, but it is number two and three that really highlight the diversity of what Dragon Con has to offer as an event.
Dragon Con has its own, once a year, amateur wrestling league that is held on Thursday night. Wrestlers enter and throw down in the squared circle complete with signature moves. On the other side of things, the Bunny Hutch is a full-on DJ dance party where people compete in a costume contest while dressed as cosplay bunnies or ‘Hefs’ (think smoking jackets and such that Hugh Heffner would wear). These two events could honestly not be any more different, and they are always PACKED. And because this was the first time that I was there for a full Thursday of the con, I intended to attend everything.
My night started out with the Opening Ceremonies, where I got to see Dragon Con open to the public, the convention talked about the charity they are partnering with for this year (Open Hand Atlanta, which serves meals and other services to food-insecure individuals with medically directed diets), and more. It was fairly enjoyable, as opening ceremonies go, and it was nice to see the bookend to the Closing Ceremonies that I almost always get to see on Monday.
After that, however, it was time to head towards wrestling! I grabbed my belongings, headed over…And found that by the time I got there, the event had already started, was at capacity, and that they were not allowing anymore people in. Dragon Con Wrestling had started exactly when the Opening Ceremonies had ended, which meant that people had already lined up for this extremely popular event while the Opening Ceremonies was going on (Dragon Con only lets people line up for a panel one hour early, so to prevent people from camping out all day ala San Diego Comic Con).
In other words, I was locked out and the maxim was holding true: you can’t see everything.
So, I immediately dashed outside and over to the Hilton to get in line for the Bunny Hutch. I got there not long after the line officially started (again, one hour before the event), and I was eventually able to get inside! The music was THUMPING and there was a burlesque-style dancer, dressed in a bunny cosplay, dancing in time to the music on stage next to the DJ. Dragon Con is well-known for the cosplay, and the Bunny Hutch costume contest is always a competition highlight.
There was bunny-themed cosplay for everything from Little Shop of Horrors to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to horror as couples and groups and individuals. And despite the heavy party atmosphere, people were willing to pose for a photograph or answer a question about “how did you make that?!” if you took the time to ask. The midnight costume contest was also a highlight, and there were so many entries spread across so many different categories. By the time I left, around 1:30 AM, I felt like I had had a very successful and very fun first night of Dragon Con.
And you know what? It is like that every day of con, 24 hours a day.
If you have an interest in something, you will find it here. For example, I was trying to decide whether to attend Who Shot First: The Star Wars Special Editions at 25 (hosted by the American Sci-Fi Classics Track) or Puppetry and ?Other-ness? (hosted by the Puppetry Track) at one point. And in the single-most consequential moment of my convention, I went to The Heroes and Villains Ball (Video Gaming Track) on Saturday night in lieu of that same track’s Zelda Night. Everywhere I went, there was fantastic cosplay and people were having a genuinely wonderful time either learning about fandoms that they adore or even about something entirely new.
And that ultimately is what made Dragon Con so great for me this year. Even though I could not see everything I wanted to, I was able to see at least a lot of things. And you know what? I am determined to finally attend Dragon Con Wrestling at next year’s convention, even if that means that I might have to miss something else to do it.
You can buy a membership for next year’s Dragon Con here.
Did you attend Dragon Con this year? What was your favorite cosplay?
Let us know in the comments below!
animeAtlantaBunny HutchconventionCosplayDragon ConpuppetryVideo Gameswrestling