Georgia Tech Celebrates
Diversity and Fandom
"I've never seen anything like this," said industrial design and mechanical engineering Professor Stephen Sprigle. "And I've lived in New York!"
Just before 9 a.m. on September 3, Sprigle was helping students and families get ready to walk in the annual Dragon Con parade. In the corner of a downtown Atlanta parking deck he was assembling snowflake panels for a glittery "Frozen" cosplay.
Surrounding him were hundreds of elaborately costumed parade participants, filling both floors and the ramp of the deck. No less than three separate marching bands were playing the Star Wars cantina song. Outside, lining both sides of Peachtree Street, were crowds already three and four rows deep on the sidewalks. King of Pops stands were strategically parked on corners for what was sure to be a very sunny and lucrative morning.
And there was still another hour until the parade started. Bottles of water were passed around Sprigle's group and plans made to meet up in the Hyatt when the parade was over. The route is a mile long, and this was the first time the costumes would be on the road.
Sprigle was a little nervous, but there wasn't time to worry. He had to move five children with disabilities who use wheelchairs; their costumed parade partners; the children's parents; a team of Georgia Tech students; and the wheelchair cosplays to the front of the parade staging line.
"Here we go," he gasped.