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Ringer spy Celebriel is in Atlanta this weekend for Dragon*Con. Here’s her report and photo gallery covering Friday’s events.

An Evening in Bree, with its costume contest and two incredible sets by Emerald Rose, was the highlight of the day. During the day a lot of Ringers congregated near the Ringers, Lord of the Fans table, where they could chat with Cliff Broadway (Quickbeam), Carlene Cordova, and others involved in the film Sony is releasing in November, and get some new Ringers merchandise. Right across the way was the table for Arms of Middle Earth, which was coordinating the Dragon*Con Parade registration for the Lord of the Rings contingent. There was also a chance to see John Noble (Denethor) interviewed in the opening ceremonies, and to chat with John and Bruce Hopkins (Gamling) in the Walk of Fame area.

Cliff Broadway was our Master of Ceremonies for An Evening in Bree. The costume contest took place between Emerald Rose’s two sets, with awards presentations, made by Bruce Hopkins, made at the end of the band’s second set. During the second set, Smeagol joined the band on stage to perform his unique rendition of the Macarena in a performance applauded by all the races of Middle Earth. As usual, the costume contest was highly competitive with entrants displaying wonderful workmanship, presentation, and creativity. There was even a marriage proposal (and acceptance) on stage!

Among the award winners were Kathleen Hanover, whose Entwife costume was judged most creative. Kathleen’s costume was made from inexpensive materials, including drapery fabric and silk flowers, recently purchased at WalMart. Judges’ choice awards went to Lee, for his King Theoden costume, and Janet, for her costume of a Prologue/Second Age elf. Marcia Banach of Connecticut won Best in Show for her exquisitely detailed Haradrim costume, receiving a poster signed by Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, and John Rhys-Davies.

Other very interesting costumes included a Radagast complete with birds and bird droppings on his costume, Varda from the Silmarillion, and a Mount Doom Frodo.

In addition to the Dragon*Con parade, Saturday’s highlights include talks by Bruce Hopkins and John Noble, a discussion with Carlene Cordova, Cliff Broadway, and Jeff Marchelletta on the themes of The Lord of the Rings.