The first weekend of June every year is looked forward to by thousands of fans of pop-culture and Japanese animation. This is the weekend of A-Kon, the United States third largest anime convention, with over 30,000 attendees and thousands of square feet of entertainment, imported goods, collectibles, and artist work. There are panels on a multitude of topics, such as how to build armor for cosplay (costumes based on popular characters from games, movies, and animated series). There are also instructional panels on how to draw comics, how to sew, and how to write better fiction. There are also comedy shows, such as improv groups and a mash-up of funny clips called Anime Hell.
Many people enjoy spending all year building costumes that they wear all weekend for A-Kon, doing photo shoots and posing for all the convention attendees to admire. This culminates in a cosplay contest where costumes are judged based on materials, skill, and the time they took to craft. After the contest there is a large rave style dance with DJ's and plenty of colorful lights!
All in all, the weekend is a fun escape from reality, and for many fans of this culture it is the one time a year they can truly be themselves. If you want to plan for next year's A-Kon be sure to get tickets early online, and book hotels as far in advance as possible, as space sells out and prices go up rather quickly!
For 2018 the event will be held in Fort Worth, Texas at the Fort Worth Convention Center and nearby hotels.
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