DragonCon 2011 Parade

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We arrived an hour and fifteen minutes before the parade to claim my proven curb spot for snapping photos.  Of course, sitting on concrete is painful.  Yes, we talked about bringing camping chairs, but did we?  No. 

The parade route is fairly short, and the crowd grows each year.  As a result, it’s common for the crowd to be 7-8 deep on the sidewalks.  For those like myself, the curb allows those with cameras to take pictures without spectator obstructions.  Or so it would seem.  However, it seems that anyone who invests more than $1000 on their lens feels entitled to move into the street to take close-ups.  Sure, the newspaper photographer was there, and I’m sure there was someone officially taking pictures on the convention’s behalf as well.  In any case, they and others obviously figured out that my angle was pretty keen, so I’ll take that as a compliment.

The parade is fun to watch, but, this being my 5th year… I’ve seen most of the costumes before.  That said, watching people gather also has its amusements.  Standing across the street from me was this gentleman:

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You’ll notice people passing by and at least one smart cookie with a camping chair.  Doh!  But watching this gentleman causes one to wonder.  What’s his day job?  Please understand, I’m not making fun of him.  This gentleman is representative of a fair portion of convention attendees.  Is he… a banker?  An accountant? A business owner?  A high school physics teacher? One thing is certain, he’s claimed his spot.  25 minutes later, the crowd is coming together.

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It’s a good book. 

He’s dressed rather ordinarily.  With backpack, he’s likely properly provisioned for a full day with his camera, Con schedule, perhaps something to have autographed, or possibly snacks…  He’s wearing comfortable hiking shorts and shoes.  He’s conventional enough to pick a shirt that matches, but not one that is too stiff, too plain, or too hip. Well done.  And then there’s the ears, just hinting that he’s a rebel.  They’re even slightly mismatched, which seems… perfect.  Another 10 minutes, and the crowd is getting thicker.

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Despite the knee brace, he’s shown no discomfort at standing all this time, and he hasn’t backed an inch from the curb edge, lest someone try to nuance their way in front of him.  Casual, resilient, focused, unafraid of what others from “the office” might think…  Clearly, this is a man who knows what he wants… his spot and his book.

For taking parade pictures, shooting across the street only captures the sides, but I found one picture where an assortment of costumed folks find themselves in a battle, quickly falling to the street with their mortal wounds.  This would be LARP… Live Action Role Playing.   He’s there, enjoying the show.

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See?  Let’s zoom in.

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He’s certainly not paying attention to the photographer

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Cheers to those who attend D*Con!

Anyway, it was a good parade, fairly lengthy at about an hour and 10 minutes.  This year’s parade was thankfully free of commercial advertisements or other filler.

A few of my favorite pictures are below:

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Additional Parade photos can be viewed by clicking HERE.

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