By Nikki Gaskinsngaskins@abcnews4.com
ATLANTA, G.A. (WCIV) For four days, Halloween came early in one part of the Southeast. In Atlanta, more than 52,000 sci-fi fans invaded this year's Dragon*Con. To say the costumes were amazing is a massive understatement.
Creativity took on a whole new meaning. From elves to creatures from outer space, Dragon*Con fans took their imagination to the limit, their makeup perhaps just as good as those from major sci-fi flicks.
"My favorite part of Dragon*Con is all the different costumes. This is my first big costume I've ever worn anything," said Adam Payne from Chicago, Illinois who came dressed as Megazord from the Power Rangers. "A bunch of actors from the original Power Rangers are here signing autographs, and I grew up on that. So I wanted to wear this costume, so I can have them sign it."
Payne is one of many fans who wore costumers that looked amazing, yet difficult to maneuver around in, but Payne says the hassle is still worth it.
"It's a little tough. The legs are a little slow, but other than that it's just really hot!" Payne exclaimed. "I built it over the course of 45 days, which is pretty aggressive. It's a lot of corrugated plastic, foam, hot glue, insulation foam, etc. There's a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in this."
Now in its 27th year, Dragon*Con has become the largest multimedia and popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, pop art, designer toys, literature, art, music, film, and fun in the universe.
Whether you are a lover of the hit AMC show The Walking Dead, True Blood, Star Trek, Grimm, and Lord of the Rings fans got up close and personal with their favorite celebrity during Dragon*Con's Walk of Fame.
Even the Price-Line-Negotiator himself, William Shatner, who's an icon in his own right, attracted fans of all ages. Many Trekkies stood in line for quite a while to meet Captain Kirk face-to-face.
Saturday's parade appeared to signal the official kickoff to the big event. Thousands lined the streets of downtown Atlanta to see all sorts of interesting characters waving to the crowd as they marched by.
The parade included a few familiar faces, including Jason David Frank, who played the Green Ranger in the popular 90's show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, as well as Billy Dee Williams of Star Wars fame.
"I'm a huge dork, so when I come here I feel like I'm at home. Everybody here is crazy weird and it's totally normal. I love it," explained Eric Withrow of Hendersonville, North Carolina. During Dragon*Con Withrow came dressed as Henchman 21 from The Venture Bros. television series on the Cartoon Network.
Withrow first attended Dragon*Con in 2001. His trip Saturday makes the third. Over the years he admits to seeing some pretty crazy things.
"The first year I went, there was a girl in nothing but plastic saran wrap and a belt, and she bolted all the way across the lobby and then there was a Klingon wedding the next morning," laughed Withrow.
While the crowds were big, for many in attendance, the Dragon*Con experience was a first and one they enjoyed.
"I love it. I've always been a big sci-fi fan, a big video gaming fan and just the level of artistry here, it's just phenomenal. I'm definitely looking to coming back next year," Bob Vitt from central New Jersey.
With a never ending list of celebrity panels, workshops, gaming, film festivals, art show, concerts and parties, bands and DJs, tons of costume contests--all squeezed into four short days, Dragon Con is non-stop FUN!
And while that fun has come to an end, organizers hope to make next year's event even bigger and better than this year's.