Pensacon starts Friday in Pensacola

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Attention cosplayers: Pensacon is back!

The annual comic book and pop culture convention starts Friday at the Pensacola Bay Center.

Pensacon staff expects thousands of comic convention fans to make their way to the Bay Center for the biggest event in Pensacola since the pandemic began.

“We’re very much ready to see everyone back together again and happy and having a great time,” said Julio Diaz, market director for Pensacon.

Masks will be required inside the Pensacola Bay Center during Pensacon but outdoors event spaces will not require them.

“We’re going to have a great time,” Diaz said. “We’re going to have a safe time.” 

Pensacon fans were out picking up their tickets Thursday afternoon. Many fans said they were excited for the weekend.

“This is my third or fourth Pensacon. I’m getting my mom to come to her very first comic-con at all,” Leesha Coleman. “It’s just fun to meet people that you’ve grown up watching.”

Pensacon has dozens of celebrity guests appearing at this year’s convention.

One of those guests is Kenny James, who for the last 17 years has been the voice of Bowser for the Super Mario Bros. video games.

“Yeah, that’s Bowser in a nutshell,” James said, after letting out a Bowser growl. “I mean, he’s a nut in a shell. I never really thought about that before. Brilliant!”

James said Pensacon is special because it has features a wide variety of pop culture.

“You’ve got actors from movies and TV and you’ve got video game people like me, voice actors,” James said. “There’s a little bit of everything. Somebody’s going to find something.” 

For many, Pensacon has become a staple of the Pensacola community and a family tradition.

“We’re fans of a lot of the movies that the actors and celebrities are in so we just enjoy seeing all of them,” said Nicole Allen, who plans to attend all three days of the convention with her family. “We like the atmosphere and going to all the booths. It’s really become a fun activity for not just me and my husband but our little girls too.”

You can still buy general admission tickets for Pensacon at the Court of De Luna event space on East Gonzalez Street Thursday evening or at the Pensacola Bay Center this week. VIP tickets are sold out.

For celebrity guests and ticket information, go to Pensacon’s website.

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