Dover Comic Con is unique festival event with artists, vendors, authors, cars, panels, crafts, gaming, fan groups and more!
Dover: Lightsabres? Cinderella’s? Ghostbusters? Pokemon? Yup, you betcha, and these were just a few of the Cosplay characters that showed up at the Dover Comic Con, so if you were one of the ones driving through down town Dover this past weekend, and saw people dressed up as if it was Halloween, you’re not alone and it definitely wasn’t a mind trick, but rather the annual Comic Con festival that was being held on the Green.
“It was pretty clear while driving down Lockerman Street that Cosplay wasn’t just for kids.”
Comic Con? What the heck is that? Comic Con started in 2013 by the Dover Public Library. It was started to help promote the Library’s graphic novel collection as a teen program. In 2013 when Comic Con held its first event, there were only 120 people in attendance just in the library. Today, they have over 7,000 people attending events city wide, and this year, the event added even more activities.
Dover Comic Con starts early this year. Friday, August 5th at 5:30! pic.twitter.com/y4PQwylfrn
— Dover Comic Con (@DoverComicCon) July 27, 2016
The Comic con party started Friday and since the Kent County Tourism is a new partner of Comic Con, they provided the fireworks display which started at approximately 8:30 P.M. The show was astounding and was best viewed from Legislative Mall.
A block party was hosted from 5:30 to 6:30 at the Dover Art League and featured Delaware Ghostbusters. Yes, “Ghostbusters”, and they came with Ecto-1 sirens and the theme song. Following the block party, the Library’s monthly in harmony concert took place at Lockerman Plaza, and featured Captain Blue Grass.
Although there was a $10.00 fee for adults, and a $8.00 fee for children, the Schwartz Center for the Arts on State Street had its screening of Stars Wars Episode VII: The force Awakens, which began at 7:00 P.M.
But wait, that’s not all. The event added another day, and Comic Con continued on Saturday from 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Organizers, say that last year the event attracted 7,100 people and while this year’s figures are not yet available, organizers say they were expecting closer to 10,000 people.
Seating was limited to twenty people but that didn’t stop a panel from the University of Delaware, who gave a lecture at the Dover Public Library. The lecture was about materials and the engineering behind the Cosplay costumes. For the feminine Cosplay, experts, Jesseca Woods and Austin Vestal were giving some talk on the topic in the Library’s mult-Purpose room.
“There’s an art to assembling a Cosplay costume and in some cases, some of the costumes looked just as good, if not better then what you would see on the screen” said, Kerri Hollyday, Comic Con co-organizer, and library assistant for Dover Public library.
A Cosplay competition was also hosted at 3:15, and was judged in four categories. Kids, from 5 and under, kids, from 6 to 12, kids from 13 to 19, and kids from 20 and up. The contest was held at the intersection of Lockerman and Bradford streets, and included an expert Cosplay panel, and even Luis Andres Valdez who is also known as the Brown Ranger was in attendance.
As the festival carried on, half of the Green was dedicated to one of the newest attractions this year which was a “bump and Play” soccer event. Bump and Play is a sport where players wear large plastic bubbles to play soccer. It allows an even more challenging, physical, and even safer sport. On the other half of the Green, larping was taking place. Larping is live action role playing where participants perform as their own character.
There were more than 100 artists and exhibitors in front of the library and a handful of food vendors were lined up along Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.
This year’s event included more groups and more events, including new panels, artists, roller derby players, and painting parties. There was even a bounce house for the kids, and Mispillion River Brewing company and Harvest Rideg Winery was set up for the adults at Lockerman Plaza at 5 P.M.
Of course, if comic Con wasn’t for you, there was always Pokemon Go opportunities. Comic Con was a Pokemon Go-friendly event, and since the mobile app has become so popular, poke lures was placed around the downtown areas including the museum, and historical buildings to keep people busy looking for Pokemon characters.
“We started this event for our community, but we also have people coming in from outside of Kent County and even outside the state.” “We’re looking forward to showing them what we have here.”, said, Kerri Hollyday, Comic Con co-organizer, and library assistant for Dover Public library.