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DragCon brings thousands to DTLA this weekend. We have your guide.




LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 30:   Shangela (L) and Alyssa Edwards onstage during the 3rd Annual RuPaul's DragCon day 2 at Los Angeles Convention Center on April 30, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 30: Shangela (L) and Alyssa Edwards onstage during the 3rd Annual RuPaul's DragCon day 2 at Los Angeles Convention Center on April 30, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)
Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images

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Start your engines!

RuPaul's DragCon starts this weekend at the L.A. Convention Center, and outside of fantasy and sci-fi, it's one of the biggest conventions in the country centered around a TV show.

DragCon was created for fans of "RuPaul’s Drag Race" and of drag queens in general, and last year attendance numbers swelled to approximately 40,000 people. Those fans spent up to $9 million on merch.

"Drag queens are moving from the kids’ table to the big table in the world of entertainment," says Randy Barbato, co-creator of "Drag Race," and of the company that hosts DragCon. "They are like formidable entertainers. It’s like a new industry."

Queens especially resonate among young teenage girls who, before "Drag Race" hit TV screens, would've rarely seen a drag queen in real life.

Those girls look to drag queens for tips on exuberant fashion, make-up and more as they develop their own sense of style.

Here are some tips for going this weekend:

How do I get in?

Tickets start at $40 for a single-day pass, $70 for the whole weekend and kids 10 and under are free.

After the floor wraps up each day, you can splurge on nighttime performances, too, at theatres and bars throughout downtown L.A.

Who will be there?

RuPaul, of course, who gives a keynote speech on Sunday afternoon.

Many past contestants from the show will be there, too. You might also meet some future contestants (we took pics of season 9's Valentina before she was cast on the show).

Celebrities like comedians Nicole Byer and Billy Eichner will be on hand, as well, and Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson on "The Simpsons."

But expect to see tons of excited, young fans who've dressed up for the occasion.

What kind of programming can I expect?

On Saturday, Brian McCook (a.k.a. Katya) talks about the business of drag, queens give advice on removing body hair, and queer gamers discuss how drag and video games intertwine.

On Sunday, queens chat about ending online hate speech and harassment, Miss Congenialities from past "Drag Race" seasons talk nice, and there's also a panel on body positivity.

Stick around the convention floor, too, where high-energy performances will happen throughout the whole event.

How should I prepare?

With some good shoes. Lines to get into panels can be long.

And the line to meet some of the most popular queens can stretch on for hours...unless you buy a fast pass.