We throw a lot of words around during the year and some cause confusion. Here are the most frequently used, not in alphabetical order.
Parade Section (or Unit) - a portion of the parade that contains participants representing the same or related fandoms. A section is usually made up of both individuals and groups but not always. While a section might be made up exclusively by one group, a section is not a group. Examples: 1) Star Wars contains individuals who have registered themselves and groups such as the 501st, Rebel Legion, Twi'leks, Cardboard Troopers, and Mandalorian Mercs to name a few. 2) The Bridge section contains members of one group.
Group - 2 or more people registered under one contact person. Groups are usually focused on one fandom but not always. IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF A GROUP OR INTENDING ON MARCHING WITH A GROUP, DO NOT SIGN YOURSELF UP INDIVIDUALLY. A group is not a parade section. Examples: 1) The 405th group costume exclusively for HALO. 2) The DC Over 40 group is a mix of cosplays generally not at all related.
Group Leader/Contact - each registered group has one, sometimes two, designated leader(s) that handle parade registration, coordinates group participation, distributes parade related information to the group members, and obtains then distributes wristbands. They are the parade team's primary contact.
Individual - a person registering themselves only for the parade. You do not have to be a member of any group to march. IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF A GROUP OR INTENDING ON MARCHING WITH A GROUP, DO NOT SIGN YOURSELF UP INDIVIDUALLY.
Parade Vehicle - a car, truck, SUV, van, bus, float, or other large specialty vehicle. These must be registered as a vehicle when you register for the parade and subsequently approved. In other words, don't just drive up parade morning...regardless of how spectacular...you won't be in the parade if your vehicle has not been registered and approved. Small transports such as motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, golf carts, mobility scooters, people powered conveyances and carts, riding lawn mowers, adult power wheels, and basically anything that would not normally take up a standard (or compact) parking space are NOT considered parade vehicles. We still need to know if you are planning on having them in the parade, so remember to include information about them in the Comments section when you register yourself or your group.
Parade Line Up - how the parade is organized, the marching order for all the parade sections/units. Sometime referred to it as the 'run list' but that's really referring to the document that reflects the line up.
Staging - where we assemble and launch the parade. Also used as a verb describing assembling the parade. We put the parade together in this area according to line up order (or as close to possible). Generally marchers are assembled in a protected area with restricted access and vehicles are staged on the on the adjacent street. Staging the parade takes about 2.5 hours. Specific details about staging are released closer to con.
Staging Maps - a 50K view of where you’ll be during staging. There are two maps - one for participant staging which shows the order and approximate location within our staging area for each parade section. The other is for vehicle staging on Peachtree Street and shows the order and approximate location your vehicle(s) will be placed. Group leaders and registered Individuals get copies of the maps. They are meant to be shared with your group members and vehicle drivers.
Parade Shuttle - a special, limited route shuttle that operates on parade morning. This shuttle is meant for participants only. It runs in a continuous loop between one of the main hotels and our staging area. Schedule and other details are released closer to con.
Disband - where we end of the parade route and all go our merry and separate ways. The parade is over when you get to disband.
Parade Route - (this one should be obvious...) it's the streets that we follow from staging to disband. A Route Map is distributed closer to con.
The TMI Mail - all group leads and registered individuals get this more-than-you-ever-wanted-to-know about the parade email about 2 weeks before con. It is the final confirmation for participants and contains your parade section/unit assignments, how and when to find us at con ro check in, how to get to staging, what to expect, maps and other useful information. There are two versions - one for participants and one trimmed down version for vehicles.
Wristbands - the most valuable piece of 'jewelry' you will wear during Dragon Con - or at least until Saturday afternoon. It is a paper wristband obtained when you (or your group leader) checks in with us as con. Members of groups get their wristbands from their group leader. Each and every parade participant must wear their parade wristband along with their convention badge or equivilent on parade morning.
Check In - all group leaders/contacts and those individually registered must check in with us at con. Wristbands are distributed at check in. Questions are answered at check in. We get to say hello to you on a more intimate basis at check in. We have a table, open Thursday and Friday, located near convention badge pick up. Hours and exact location are distributed closer to con.
Thank you - you will hear this term a lot during the year and after the parade is over. It is sincerely said. The “YOU” includes everyone who helps make the magic happen out there on Peachtree Street each year. Dragon Con and the thousands of spectators are very appreciative of the time and effort each of you put in to make the parade a smashing success every single year. Thank you!