As it does every year, Dragon*Con's annual parade drew huge crowds and amazing costumes in 2011. Take a look at everything from Jedi to pirate wenches.
Dragon*Con is a convention that celebrates science fiction, fantasy, popular arts and their fans. It happens in Atlanta, Ga., on Labor Day weekend each year, and one of its must-see events is its parade. Here, the head of the Dragon*Con parade nears the end of the route.
... Or Predator?
We're not sure we want to know what's happening behind this sign. Really, we're not sure anyone wants to know.
A hip-hop Stormtrooper parades like he means it.
A surprising addition to the parade: Buddy the Elf
Spartans stick to the rule: Costume for your body type.
Harry Potter looks like he thinks he should keep a closer eye on Dolores Umbridge than Severus Snape.
More than one person in the crowd pointed out that they used to play with that toy.
Rivetdale, a steampunk Lord of the Rings group
Our best guess: steampunk Smeagol
Sometimes, a fight breaks out, right there in the middle of the parade.
A parade isn't complete without a marching band. This one is Atlanta's Seed and Feed Marching Abominable.
Some Batmans not for use with some sets.
The Boxheroes: Superhero costumes fashioned from cardboard boxes. They look a little like Heroclix or Lego minifigs.
Captain America, in cardboard form
This couple got engaged during the parade. But their group formed a protective circle of trust around them, so what the crowd saw during the actual event was ...
The Captain America ASO girls: the only people to actually march in step during the parade
Funny how the most noticeable person behind the pirates and wenches banner is a dude.
Flying Spaghetti Monster, complete with his creations of mountains, trees and a "midgit"
Every year, we have a little imaginary wager about which group will be bigger: Colonial Fleet or Stormtroopers.
We weren't sure who these people were until someone yelled, "Winter is coming." Aha: "A Song of Ice and Fire."
The Princess Bride, her father-in-law to be, Fezzik and the Man in Black
Sleestaks. That hissing sound you hear is really steam escaping from their costumes in the Georgia heat.
HowStuffWorks.com does not advocate driving a DeLorean with the doors open.
Nyan Cat should get an award for the longest streamers.
He's a demon on wheels.
True story: Those orange Jayne hats are maddeningly hot. We can't imagine what it's like to wear one that covers the whole body.
You do not have the training required to wear power armor.
Sadly, this guy's flips and rolls were too fast to catch on camera.
Would you like to take a survey? Do you like portals?
Big Daddy is looking for Little Sister.
Hands-down the most joyful expression of the entire parade. We were amazed; it was hot and sticky, and she'd just walked a mile in that.
She's smiling, but her kneecaps tell another story.
Wonder what that shoots?
Look out for trolls!
"Angry Birds" with an inventive use of umbrellas
The "Dragon Age" video game series has spawned a tabletop game, a Facebook game, books, a Web series, comics and this cosplay group.
It's people! The periodic table is people!
They're not unreasonable. I mean no one's going to take your lymph.
Netherworld brings the monsters.
Dragon rider and l'il dragon rider
More from Netherworld
Netherworld's colossal vehicle, with cannon
Giant on the back of the Netherworld float
HowStuffWorks.com does not advocate the use of a sunroof for mounting a military defense or offense.
These residents of the "True Blood" universe would prefer vampires to be elsewhere.
Our first sighting of a Louis Tully costume, ever
The first of many "Ghostbusters" vehicles
I think he's detected something.
You can't hear it in this picture, but "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" is playing right now.
Another in a series of cars that ain't afraid of no ghosts
Ghostbusters may or may not carry proton packs.
The "Legend of the Seeker" costume group
When you look this much like James Doohan, this costume is non-negotiable.
Live long and peace out.
A really happy Klingon
Maybe this car is what all that Klingon joy was about.
The alternate history group brought their own zeppelin.
This costumer knows that, in a parade, you have to look good from all sides.
Steampunk Ash and his steampunk boom stick.
Part of a steampunk X-Men group, this costumer had particularly striking wings.
We don't think this is a steampunk Boba Fett.
Little Bunny Foo Foo, I don't want to see you picking up the field mice and bopping them on the head.
This seaweed-seashell creature was part of a group of fairies.
Let's get dangerous.
Bender is stocked and ready to go.
This group of My Little Pony costumers may or may not contain Bronies.
Every year, we fear for this group's safety.
Is the TARDIS being protected from us, or are we being protected from what's in the TARDIS?
When you look this much like David Tennant ... Wait, we made that joke already.
It's either another DeLorean or a glitch in the matrix.
Armed and ready for battle
Retired Spartans stick to the rule: Costume for your body type.
One of a group of re-enactors from the Society for Creative Anachronism
A completely different flavor of cardboard costumes
It's a trap!
Bounty hunting runs in the family.
He needs desert power.
Chewbacca (to scale)
The influx of "Star Wars" means the parade is drawing to a close.
Proof of wisdom: He's taking a break while the rest of the group mills around in the street.
One of many "Star Wars" fan groups
Grievous would be impressive even without the truck.
This arm of the 501st is smart enough to know that toting Han Solo and his carbonite through Georgia in the summer would not be pleasant.
He's about to start the Stormtrooper gun kata.
Not only can these guys not shoot straight, but they also can't march in formation.
The TIE Fighter steals the show.
Is he trying to use the Force on the spectators?
This Stormtrooper looks a little worse for wear.
I don't recall any banthas in the "Star Wars" groups, but the sci-fi janitors are ending the parade by cleaning up after something. See pictures of costumes from Dragon*Con 2010.