It was an emotional, family-reunion vibe at Walker Stalker Con 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. Annually falling on the last weekend of October, this year’s event also happened to hit weekend after the Season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead, and the loss of two main characters.
With the show’s record-setting ratings, loyal fans and ever-growing converts, it’s not surprising that Walker Stalker Con continues to see increased attendance and volunteer participation. An estimated 70,000 attendees descended on the Georgia World Congress Center over the three days to see their favorite stars, peruse themed merchandise or show-off their resemblances. Negan was by far the most popular cosplay character for both men and women.
New this year, Walker Stalker Con added more cast from other hit shows, including Sons of Anarchy, Vikings, Lost and American Horror Story. The Fan Fest-produced convention also added Denver and Nashville to the 2016 U.S. tour as well as the first international stop in London. There were also two food drives inspired by the show benefiting local food banks, the Bisquick Challenge for Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) and Bob’s (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) Barbeque Challenge.
Atlanta is still the only domestic stop that Andrew Lincoln participates in, again hosting a ticketed charitable event as well as a panel discussion. This year’s surprise co-panelist was Norman Reedus. The bromance was in full effect with both actors teasing each other about jealous tendencies, luscious locks, and enticing scents.
All of the cast members used the same word to describe the Season 7 opener: brutal. But they also said what a great guy Jeffrey Dean Morgan is when he’s not portraying the violent and callous villain Negan. Morgan himself sat on a panel with director Greg Nicotero, and came out to thunderous applause with Lucille the Bat, and greeted lengthy fan lines over the weekend for autographs and photo ops.
The majority of The Walking Dead cast (past and present!) appeared at the convention, created by fans for fans. The actors warmly thank and embrace fans for their adoration, their loyalty to the show and for being part of the TWD family. While most of the cast already felt like they were participating in something special, they were also overwhelmed by the fan love and loyalty.
Scroll on to see more of Walker Stalker Con 2016, and click to see larger images.
(All images via Nicole Rateau and Adrienne Lee)