Expect to see people dressed as John Egbert and other residents of the animated town of Sburb, or maybe the anime characters Finn and his dog Jake roaming the Bellingham Public Library after hours this weekend for BA~CON 2013, an event that just keeps growing in popularity.
Bellingham Anime Convention, now in its fourth year, is the area's only free anime and cosplay event, said Jennifer Lovchik, teen and web services librarian at the Bellingham Public Library. It grew out of monthly anime nights at the library.
"It's anime and other fan-based animation," Lovchik said. "Cosplay is just dressing as the character. Cosplay is not doing scenarios," she said, so no live-action role-playing is allowed.
"They just love the opportunity to dress up as their favorite character," Lovchik said. "It lets them explore different facets of their personality. It lets them be creative; it's a great creative outlet."
BA~CON (the tilde represents a rasher of bacon) is from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 3, downstairs at the Bellingham Public Library, 210 Central Ave. Participants should enter at the lower level near the Children's Library off Lottie Street.
Admission is free, but tickets are limited to 250. Tickets are available at the Central Library or by email from email@example.com. Find more information, including a full schedule of events, at http://bellinghampubliclibrary.org/teens/Programs/anime.aspx or at the event's Facebook group.
Pizza for the event is donated by Westside Pizza, Fairhaven Pizza and Coconut Kenny's. Prizes and other donations are from the Friends of the Bellingham Public Library, RightStuf.com, MerchBot and Dakota Arts.
"It's all ages, so everyone has to watch their language and be age-appropriate," Lovchik said. "I want young kids to come and adults if they want."
All weapons that are part of a character's wardrobe must be "peace bonded" or tagged as safe on arrival. Unsafe weapons will be held at the coat check and no real weapons are allowed.
"I think it goes to the desire in many of us, regardless of age, to dress up and make-believe," Lovchik said. "It is a wonderful way to let go of everyday stresses and just have fun. People are looking at the costume, not necessarily at you."
Lovchik said a parent once told her that the event erased a 41/2-year age difference between her children.
"She said it allowed them to bond over their mutual appreciation of the art form," Lovchik said.
Activities during the event include a dance, various contests, a cosplay forum and an Artists' Alley to showcase the creations of area young adults. Lovchik said they will be displaying their art, jewelry and crafts and accepting commissions for their work. Participants also we be expected to help clean up.
"The ramen-eating contest is a hoot, 20 kids eating ramen as fast as they can using only chopsticks - and their hands," Lovchik said.
Friends of the Bellingham Public Library is sponsoring a March Madness used book sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, March 1, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 2, downstairs at the Public Library, 210 Central Ave. It will feature used books, DVDs, videos and books on tape and CD.
For more information, contact 360-778-7250 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suggest your ideas for family-friendly events or day trips to Robert Mittendorf at 360-756-2805 or email@example.com.