Doggy Con: a pop culture convention for furry fanatics

Atlanta’s scorching August heat didn’t stop Megan Nelson from slipping on a long faux fur coat and dressing up like Cruella de Vil for her first Doggy Con convention, a pet event for costumed canines inspired by the upcoming Dragon Con convention.

Doggy Con drew hundreds of dog owners and spectators Saturday to an Atlanta park for their own small cosplay convention, dressing up like fictional characters from video games, movies and other corners of the pop culture universe. For Nelson, that meant strutting and posing for photos alongside her dog Darla, a young chocolate Labrador Retriever mix sporting a Dalmatian costume.

“It’s everybody coming together for just pure cuteness and joy,” said Ansley Whipple, Woodruff Park project manager.

The Doggy Con event in Atlanta’s downtown Woodruff Park signals the approach of the internationally known Dragon Con pop culture convention. For more than 30 years, Dragon Con has attracted thousands of cosplay devotees and others to Atlanta for its annual costumed fandom events.

Paige Sullivan, marketing manager for Atlanta Downtown, said the Doggy Con celebration is a small-scale convention organized with the locals in mind.

“Doggy Con kind of kicks off Dragon Con season downtown,” Sullivan said. “I think that’s very unique to our city.”

The highlight of Saturday’s convention was a pet parade and costume contest in which prizes were doled out for dressed-up dogs and human companions. Dragon Con donated prizes including two day passes to its convention Aug. 29-Sept. 2, Sullivan said.

Nelson and Darla won the judges’ award for best dog and owner combination costume. The highest-scoring dog wore gold-rimmed sunglasses, and another dressed like Yoda from “Star Wars” won for best cosplay costume. A fan-favourite pair of Dachshunds were costumed like Starbucks coffee cups, complementing their owner who dressed as a Starbucks barista.

Although Nelson had never before attended Doggy Con, she was no stranger to fandom festivities. She has attended Dragon Con since she moved to the Atlanta area five years ago and owns about 60 costumes, she said.

“I love dressing up, obviously, so what better excuse?” Nelson said.

Organizers sold out of vendor spots and welcomed pet retailers, animal welfare nonprofits and food trucks to the park, Whipple said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Piece of Red Deer history up for sale

Willson House was built in 1911 and has been completely restored

Up to 60,000 Alberta beehives could perish

“A perfect storm” of obstacles is threatening thousands of Alberta beehives. “It’s… Continue reading

57 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Friday

Central zone remains at three active cases

Frontline rural police will benefit from new support positions say municipal representatives

Province says of 43 new RCMP officers on the job, 18 will provide support and specialized services

P.E.I. reports three new COVID-19 cases, including one seniors’ residence employee

CHARLOTETOWN, P.E.I. — Prince Edward Island reported new COVID-19 cases for the… Continue reading

Even pandemic can’t spoil July

July. Finally. It’s seems like the last three weird months have taken… Continue reading

‘You have to show up:’ NDP MP questions virtual attendance of Alberta Tories

NDP MP McPherson says she’s disappointed Tory MPs haven’t been participating in virtual meetings

Flood warning, mandatory evacuation for people in remote Alberta hamlet

A flood warning has been issued for the rain-swollen Smoky River near the Hamlet of Watino

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, Amnesty, sex worker advocates say

‘We need to make sure the existing laws on the books aren’t enforced’

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $25 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $25 million jackpot… Continue reading

At Mount Rushmore, Trump digs deeper into nation’s divisions

MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL, S.D. — At the foot of Mount Rushmore… Continue reading

Most Read