Fresno Animated by Convention’s Return
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Pop culture fans rejoice as anime, video games, comic books, sci-fi and cosplay fans come together for the sixth annual Ani-Me Con. The two day event will be held on March 18-19 at the Fresno Fairgrounds.
Ani-Me Con 6.0 is a convention that spreads to all things of pop culture from anime to comic books. The event features vendors, concerts, gaming tournaments, art work, a cosplay contest, maid cafes, special guest speakers panels and more.
The event features 138 vendors from all over the Central Valley selling different forms of merchandise from pillows, keychains, figurines, comic/manga, DVDs and food.
In charge of the event is coordinator Rick Phoeung who has ran it since its debut in 2011 at the Manchester Mall. He has seen the event come a long way and his goal is to be the biggest anime event in the central valley.
“I feel we have a strong anime community that has been growing, and we wanted to put on an event that everyone will enjoy,” said Phoeung. “Our event has been getting bigger with every passing year. We started having free admission events at Manchester Mall with over 100 vendors and special guest at the fairgrounds. With every growing event, we are constantly trying to put together the best con that we can.”
The event will feature some of the popular celebrities that have become convention regulars.
Returning to the event will be voice actress Sarah Anne Williams, Kinu Cafe, TVN Sports & Collectibles, Kamikazegames, voice actress Erika Harlacher and more.
“After hearing feedback from our attendees, we are happy to bring vendors and special guests that they enjoy,” Phoeung said.
Attendance grows each year; last year’s event had 6,000 attendees and this year is expected to have 6,000-7,000 attending the event, according to Phoeung. Ani-Me Con is trying to top themselves each year by adding more vendors and guests to each event.
The new vendors and guests who will be featured in this year’s event will be WWE hall of famer Rikishi, cosplayer D-Piddy, DJ Royal-T, cosplayer Tsukino Mari and Corps Dance Crew.
Over the years, Ani-Me Con has left its impression on fans, especially first time attendees.
“We try to make everyone feel welcome in these events as we cater to everything in pop culture from anime to sci-fi,” Phoeung said. “As long as we can make guests feel safe and have a good time in our event, then I think we’ve done our job.”