Pensacon: Pensacola Comic Con 2016 was held February 19 – 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Grand Hotel and Pensacola Bay Center in downtown Pensacola Florida.
Only in its third year, Pensacon is an all-inclusive event that encompasses many genres of the fan community, from Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, Comics, Anime, Gaming and much more. I have had the opportunity to attend all three years of this convention, and it has been fun watching it grow into what it is today.
Pensacon is multi-genre convention that is unique to the Pensacola community. More than any other convention that I have attended, it is obvious how the community has such a large role in the content, the success, and the overall benefit of the convention. Pensacon has grown too large to be confined in just the Pensacola Bay Center, so the convention has spread out to various venues throughout downtown Pensacola. The Vendor Floor, Artist Alley, Writer’s Row, celebrity signings, and fan/community panels took place at the Bay Center, but celebrity panels and special events were held in the Grand Ballroom at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, the Rex Theatre, and the Saenger Theatre. After hours parties and events were held at various business establishments on the main street in downtown Pensacola. Restaurants and bars had themed parties with food and drink menues that catered to various fandoms. All venues are within walking distance, but free trolleys were available as well to get attendees around town. Another added benefit is that children 10 and under were able to attend for free, bringing families of all ages to the event.
Highlights from this year’s event included a Mallrats reunion, with Jason Mewes, Michael Rooker, Jeremy London and Joey Lauren Adams as part of the growing list of attendees that Pensacon has been able to bring in each year.
Cosplay is also a major highpoint of Pensacon. This year’s show had a dedicated “Cosplay Corner”, where attendees could meet cosplay guests Nicole Marie Jean, Kimber Lee Battista and Cami Roebuck of MoodHairCosplays. Local radio station Cat Country 98.7 had a dedicated cosplay photography area where attendees in costume could take their photo against a backdrop. There was a large cosplay costume contest held at Saenger Theatre on the Saturday evening of the convention.
Check out the cosplay photo gallery from Pensacon:
Despite the success of this year’s (and previous years) show, the fate of Pensacon in 2017 is in limbo. In an open letter to the city of Pensacola posted on their Facebook page, Pensacon organizers announced that the Pensacola Bay Center, which is the only event facility in the area, might not have the dates for next year’s events available:
“After three successful years of one of the biggest events in downtown Pensacola, the Pensacola Bay Center placed holds on all dates in February at the facility and blocked us out. Despite letting them know that we planned to return, rather than give us the courtesy of letting us know that a concert promoter and the Ice Flyers are requesting those dates (as both the Saenger Theater and Crowne Plaza Grand Hotel did), they simply booked us as third in the spots.”
What does this mean? There may not be a Pensacon 2017 at all.
Organizers are asking the community to write to County Commissioners to help remedy the situation to bring the event back in the future. You can read the statement in its entirety here.
Tell us what you think about this development in the comments below. Will you be supporting Pensacon 2017?
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