Dragon Con (styled Dragon*Con with an asterisk for much of its history from roughly mid-1990es; more traditional univerbism DragonCon was also used by many fans) is a massive multi-genre pop culture gate show held annually since October 1987 in Atlanta, Georgia. In the 1990s it moved to June/July and in 1998 and ever since 2001 to the four days on Labor Day weekend (first in September), usurping the traditional timing of Worldcon. Dragon Con was born in the aftermath of the 44th Worldcon, ConFederation, in Atlanta 1986, with the activised fans wanting to keep a local convention; it grew very fast – the first Dragon Con had a membership of 1,400. By 2012, Dragon*Con had an attendance of 52,000 with a volunteer staff of 1,500. It was virtual in 2020 due to Covid-19.
The event is owned and produced by a for-profit corporation, co-founded by Ed Kramer and five others under the name Dragon*Con / ACE, Inc. Kramer was 34% owner, his share of the profits reportedly more than $150,000 annually, although he stopped being part of Dragon*Con's active management in 2000 after his arrest. He was forced out of the organization completely in July 2013 during a shareholder revolt that resulted in a buyout of Kramer's stake in the parent corporation and a lifetime ban from the event. The new corporation was registered as Dragon Con, Inc.; as a part of the reorganization and attempts to separate itself from the Kramer legacy, the con dropped the asterisk from its name and became Dragon Con again.
The annual Julie Award, named after Julius Schwartz, has been given for achievement in multiple genres since 1998.
The Hank Reinhardt Fan Award, originally called the Georgia Fandom Award, has been given annually since 1990 in honor of outstanding Georgia writer, artist or fan. It was renamed in 2009 after its first Recipient, Hank Reinhardt.
In 2016, Dragon Awards were instituted to "recognize excellence in all things Science Fiction and Fantasy" as a mass popular vote open online to anybody; Puppies liked this.
- 1990: Origins Game Fair
- 1995: NASFiC
Detailed Dragon*Con entry at Fanlore – with many early con reports and a special emphasis on the 1997 Mercedes Lackey online "rant"
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