Photos courtesy Central Atlanta Progress/Atlanta Downtown

For over thirty years, Dragon Con has drawn thousands of visitors to Downtown Atlanta on Labor Day weekend. Atlantans looking to kick off the festivities a little early can head to Doggy Con, a “pup-culture” celebration featuring dog-centric vendors, pet portraits, and a costume contest with drool-worthy prizes.

Doggy Con takes place Saturday, Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Broad Street Boardwalk. Everyone is welcome to watch the dog costume pageant for free, and those who wish to enter their four-legged friend into the contest can register online for $10. Prizes, including two tickets to Dragon Con, will be awarded in five categories: 

  • Best in Show
  • Best Doggy/Human Dynamic Duo
  • Best Character Cosplay
  • Best Small But Mighty Pup
  • Best Big Buddy 

Presented by Atlanta Downtown, Doggy Con debuted in 2019 in Woodruff Park. Costumes for dogs and their owners ranged from sci-fi staples to the unexpected. The highest-scoring dog in 2019 wore gold sunglasses, and another dressed like Yoda from Star Wars won the prize for best cosplay costume. A pair of Dachshunds were dressed like Starbucks coffee cups, and their owner dressed as a Starbucks barista. This year, the only thing limiting contestants in their costume choices is their own imagination and sense of humor. 

In addition to the canine costume contest, the event also features local vendors and is sponsored by Dragon Con, Bark ATL, BarkBox, Beltline Cosplay, and Big Daddy Biscuits. This year’s judges are:

  • Catlanta – Artist Rory Hawkins
  • Tiny Doors ATL – Artist Karen Anderson Singer
  • Marlon Cabrera, Jr. – Cosplayer and voice actor
  • Ansley Whipple – Founder of Doggy Con 

Mara Davis, local radio personality and media maven, will serve as emcee. 

Doggy Con is just one of the many happenings on the Broad Street Boardwalk. Also taking place next week is the Community Market on Thursday, August 24th.  This local market’s mission is creating support, finding kindness, and celebrating queer joy. Stop by between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. to find local art, vintage, ceramics, apparel, jewelry, apothecary, and more. Plus, don’t miss lunchtime performances on Wednesdays and free yoga on Saturdays.

The Broad Street Boardwalk sits at the intersection of Luckie Street and Peachtree Street directly behind the historic Flatiron Building. As a pedestrian-only plaza, the Boardwalk provides a vibrant public space to relax, eat lunch, and watch music performances. Learn more at BroadStreetBoardwalk.com.

For more details about Doggy Con, visit AtlantaDowntown.com/DoggyCon

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