On the Saturday before Labor Day, Dragon Con throws the biggest outdoor party of the summer: the Dragon Con parade. When the sun goes down, free, paid and impromptu parties continue at the convention hotels themselves and in the surrounding area.

What’s new with the parade and what parties should you add to your convention going or gawking schedule? Here is a mini-guide.

Dragon Con Parade: New Parade Route

The parade route has changed yet again to accommodate the vast amount of spectators and the parade participants. The new path begins at the intersection of Peachtree Street and Linden Avenue; it then heads south on Peachtree, east (left) on Andrew Young International Boulevard and north (left) on Peachtree Center Avenue.

It will end on Peachtree Center Avenue between John Portman Boulevard and Baker Street, in front of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

The parade happens Saturday, September 5 at 10 a.m.

Many Parties: Planned, Spontaneous And/Or Free

There is always a party atmosphere throughout the convention. Spontaneous parties break out at the hotel bar area. The spot around the Pulse restaurant at the Marriott has the best music. The Hyatt’s 22 bar comes in second.

There are several evening shindigs that cater to whatever tickles one’s fancy - whether it be fantasy, comic book or zombies. Here’s a short list of where the Dragon Con parties are.

Paid: Night At The Georgia Aquarium

Tickets to the event are $25.00 in advance, $30.00 at the door and $80.00 bucks if you want to be a VIP. This shindig is a good place to take all members of the family, especially the young ones as the tone is PG-13. Plus the fish exhibit backdrop adds education to the fun. The highlight of the Night is the cosplay costume contest which anyone can enter.

Guest of Honor Awards Banquet

Tickets to this event are $65.00 and they honor notables like the original “Star Trek”’s Lt. Uhura, Nichelle Nichols, author Peter F. Hamilton and actor Gary Chalk.

Saturday, September 5 Parties

Creature Karaoke: Sheraton Atlanta 8:30 p.m
Bring your big voice and best costume and be ready to sing.

SGMT Charity Night/Pub Trivia Event: Westin Savannah Ballroom at 8:30 p.m. Battle wits in teams for a good cause, the Lymphoma Research Foundation. Cool points if you wear a costume.

Swimcast Party: Hyatt Dunwoody at 8:30 p.m.
Technically speaking the Swimcast gives updates on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. But today it’s a party (but sorry not at a pool).

The Heroes And Villains Costume Reception And Ball: Sheraton Reception Stairway at 8:30 p.m. And the Joker shall hang out with Batman over a few beers and have a great time.

Last Party Alderaan: Marriott Imperial Ballroom at 10 p.m. Party as though Darth Vader not going to blow your planet up to get the location of the rebel base from Princess Leia.

Middle-Earth ‘90s Night Dance Party: Marriott A601-A602 10 p.m.
Dance to your favorite ‘90s tunes in your best Middle-Earth garb.

Get the full schedule of parties from the the Dragon Con app.

Going to a party not on this list? Tell us about it in the comments below.