Awesome Con was in mid-June this year, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center right in downtown DC. It’s great that a pop culture convention has managed to flourish in the District. Mike and I have been attending since the first year in 2013, and it has grown exponentially. It used to take only a small section of the convention center, but now it basically occupies the whole thing. This was our first time going all three days, including Friday.
This post is about the con experience itself. I will follow with additional posts on cosplay hall photos and the costumes I wore.
The convention didn’t start until noon on Friday, so Mike, Maggie, Doug, and I took this opportunity to have lunch at China Chilcano. They have a great lunch special menu. We had siu mai pollo dumplings and dancing yucca fries for starters, aji de gallina and atun picante for entrees, and grapefruit sorbet for desert.
For the first time, the convention had to institute bag checks due to security concerns. For that reason, we opted to wait at least an hour after the doors opened to avoid the crowd. We got to the convention center around 1:30 PM, and there was no line. Mike and I went up to take photos of my A League of Their Own costume (which I’ll share later).
The exhibit hall. You can see the “Future Con” area, which included booths from organizations like the Air and Space Museum and NASA.
There were a lot of photographers making their own impromptu studios in the convention center. Here is Dan Arango photographing Zara. It was cool to watch Dan work.
Summer Solstice assisting Dan with lighting
We went to a Q&A panel with Phil LaMarr of Samurai Jack, MADtv, and Pulp Fiction fame. He was a really interesting and engaging speaker.
Another photographer at work
They had a costume from Wonder Woman on display in the exhibit hall.
The details were very cool to see!
We finished the day at Ping Pong Dim Sum.
On Saturday, the first thing we did was attend a panel given by Yaya Han. She explained the construction techniques she used in two of her costumes, which was very educational to hear.
Then Mike and I went to take photos of my new Provincial Belle costume (which I’ll post separately later), followed by a selfie.
Later we attended a panel given by Maggie and several of her coworkers about the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). They did a really good job!
Immediately afterwards, we went to a panel given by John Mather, a Nobel Prize winner in physics and a senior scientist working on JWST. His talk was both interesting and surprisingly accessible. Afterwards a line of maybe 15 to 20 people formed to take photos with John. Maggie helped him do autographs and selfies, while Mike and I minded the line and directed traffic. It’s the first time I’ve helped with an autograph line for a Nobel laureate, and it’s also probably the first time someone has done that while wearing a Belle costume.
We finished the evening at Graffiato, one of our favorite DC restaurants.
On Sunday Mike and I started again by taking photos of my costume, followed by a selfie. We’re both a little tired in this picture. Sunday mornings at a con are always tough to get started.
Then I stopped by Yaya Han’s booth to get a print signed. She was very nice to talk to and recognized my Outlander costume immediately. She must either watch the series or has a good memory for different cosplays, because not that many people at the con knew where my costume was from.
We spent most of the rest of the day in Artist Alley. There were a lot of cool things to look at!
My purchases. A Mulan print from Yaya Han, and three My Little Pony necklaces from Natural Pop. Not a large haul, but I’m very happy with it.