JULIETTE, Ga. — Many people might take their boat to the lake or barbeque during Labor Day weekend. But others are flocking to Atlanta to get their geek on.
DragonCon is an annual comic convention in Atlanta. Thousands of people flock to the city every year and Central Georgians are no different.
Many people cosplay, a portmanteau word for costume play, characters from their favorite TV shows, books, comics and so much more.
"I put on Bellatrix Lestrange, we were at this convention and I was like 'this is it. This is my life calling,'" Angela O'Brien of Juliette said.
O'Brien has been a cosplayer since 2017 and this is her fifth time going to DragonCon. Her favorite character to cosplay is Wonder Woman.
"She embodies everything that I want to be as a person. You know she's brave, she's courageous, she's nice. I mean she cares about others and she puts others first," she said.
O'Briens says she's gotten a lot of attention at conventions for her cosplay and loves taking pictures with other fans.
"I do cosplays for the children and so when a little girl looks at me, she runs up to me, doesn't even know who I am, and wraps her arms around me, it's the most fulfilling thing I can describe," she said.
She's also gotten to meet some stars when she's in costume like David Tenant who starred in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Doctor Who.
O'Brien mostly sources her cosplays through Amazon, verified cosplay retailers, Etsy or she commissions small artists and friends to help her vision come to life. She says she builds her cosplays with her credit card.
"I like to tell people I'm a Hufflepuff because I'm really good at finding things," she said.
O'Brien has done characters like Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Jane Foster from Thor: Love and Thunder and Mother Gothel from Disney's Tangled.
She has even gotten to work with her husband on cosplays. He's cosplayed with her and makes props for her costumes. She says they are working on building a prop shed next to their home so they have more room to create together.
"I think it's just really cool to see him be able to embody the different characters that he does. And I know it's not really his thing but he's a really great supporter," O'Brien said.
She says the cosplay community is like a family and you can get in on the fun at any age.
"I feel like you should embrace the child within all the time. And so, if that's dressing up and acting like a character to make others smile, to make yourself smile, I think, you know there's just no limit on that. You can always do it," she said.
DragonCon is held in Downtown Atlanta during labor day weekend. O'Brien's cosplayer tips include making an 'Oh Crap' bag so you can carry around whatever you may need like a fan, bobby pins, hair ties, vitamin C and more. Of course, costumes are hot so remember to hydrate and wear deodorant.
You can still get tickets to DragonCon online.