ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Thousands of fans have already arrived at Dragon Con in Downtown Atlanta, and they’re well-dressed for the occasion. The 35th international sci-fi, fantasy and gaming convention is back in full force with a few changes due to COVID.

The Hyatt Regency on Peachtree Street is bursting with pop culture with the return of Dragon Con. The convention is in full effect at AmericasMart and several host hotels through Labor Day. “It’s so good to be back at Dragon Con. We missed it so much,” said Amiynah Hanna Bryant, who came with a crew dressed in elaborate Wakandan costumes, celebrating the anniversary of the Black Panther character. “Fifty-five years of Black Panther. It’s amazing,” said Dantrell Bryant. They’re also remembering actor Chadwick Bozeman one year after his death. “Every time we get to wear these costumes, it’s just like paying tribute, which is an amazing feeling.”

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Organizers limited the number of memberships sold due to COVID, but 40,000 people are still expected to attend the convention. “So many people are here in Atlanta having so much fun already,” said Dan Carroll, a spokesperson for Dragon Con. Sci-fi fans are showcasing their costumes and their droids, looking forward to a weekend full of games and special appearances. “We have William Shatner here this year. In addition, we have many amazing celebrities,” Carroll said. They’ll be there to greet fans and sign autographs. COVID protocols are in place, requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test within the last 72 hours.

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Netherworld is presenting Saturday’s parade, where only badge holders are allowed to watch it in person. The good news is, viewers can watch it live at 10 a.m. on CW69. “Thanks to CW69, everybody’s gonna be able to watch the Dragon Con parade this year,” Carroll said.

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For more details on the convention and how to watch exclusive content, click here.