Parading Through Atlanta

An unnerving thing happened to me on the way to the Dragon*Con Parade. No wait for the elevator should have alerted me, but I may have still let Harry Potter’s Snape be my guide.

Snape, admittedly, did not know the gathering point’s location either, but exited the elevator striding, taking a left and then another left out of the Hyatt Regency, following the directions from some superheroes who seemed to disappear.

Along this left-turning path, I quickly lost step with Snape and then caught sight of the black hair bouncing and the black cape billowing, just as I’d seen in the movie. An eerie feeling settled around shoulders as I realized that I was following Snape blindly and that might be unwise considering the character’s dangerous nature. A childish thought? Perhaps, but anything is possible I always tell myself.

I didn’t know where Snape was really heading as we passed barefoot fairies in front of Hard Rock Café, Lara Croft Tomb Raider at the Marta Station, a three-foot grim reaper carrying a scythe and then Resident Evil IV’s Traveling Merchant who offered me weapons I considered taking. Distracted by the guns and a scythe that could sneak up below eye level, I lost track of Snape.

Then relief hit. I spotted a mass of Star Wars Stormtroopers, sprinkled with Imperial Guard. I heard a parade organizer hollering, “Superheroes! You’re late!” One responded with “We were saving …” but the crowd smothered his retort. Then, bagpipes began to play.

Back to the reality of Dragon*Con. The traditional parade with 900 participants soon streamed past with Wookies (one of them carrying Yoda), Han Solo, Klingon babes, pirates, Stargate personnel, Federation officers, Netherworld’s Collector, Harvestman, Jester, Psychotic Pete, Buffy cheerleaders in Sunnydale, Lord of the Ring characters, and Young Jedi being suspiciously eyed by two Sith.

Thousands lined the street as usual and cheered for the costumes, mock sword fights, and threats from a Bazooka. As the parade-watchers broke up, one last display captured the cameras’ attention: the daywalker Blade, positioned on top of construction scaffolding, taking aim at potential vampires below. Just another Dragon*Con parade.

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