'It's cool to have geeky interests and hobbies:' Pensacon 2022 returns this February

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Comic book, television, film, boy band, cartoon and, honestly, fans of any pop culture fandom can take solace in the fact that Pensacon is back this year in its regularly scheduled February slot.

Last year, the coronavirus pandemic forced the convention to move to May but plans for the 2022 edition are full steam ahead for the event to take place Feb. 18 through 20.

The event is centered around the Pensacola Bay Center at 201 E. Gregory St., which will house things like a vendor floor, an artist alley and several spots for celebrity meet and greets and photos.

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On Friday, Feb. 18, the arena will open at 1 p.m. and stay open until 8 p.m. Then on Saturday, Feb. 19, and Sunday, Feb. 20, it will open at 10 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. and 5 p.m. respectively.

As visitors make their way into the area, they will be greeted by the vendor floor. Pensacon Marketing and Media Director Julio Diaz said the space will feature various original creations, from items like customized swords, glass and leather, to classic comic books and Funko Pops.

Pensacon typically pulls in about 10,000 people per day, according to Diaz, and this year, they hope to build on that.

Visitors check out the festivities May 22 during Pensacon 2021 at the Pensacola Bay Center.
Visitors check out the festivities May 22 during Pensacon 2021 at the Pensacola Bay Center.

"We are obviously hoping to do that or do better. I think we have as strong a lineup as we've ever had, if not the strongest lineup we've ever had. So there certainly is nothing holding back from getting the bang for your buck," Diaz said.

Three-day passes are selling for $85, and one-day passes are $35 for Friday, $45 for Saturday and $40 for Sunday. Children under 10 get in free.

The News Journal's coverage last year: Pensacon 2021 day two: 3,000 hours go into guest's $1,000 homemade costume

2021 edition preview: It's Pensacon week! Changes, celebrities and downtown after-parties highlight 2021 event

On the third floor of the arena, you will find Artist Alley, where comic book artists and authors, as well as traditional authors, can be found.

Invited guests will be placed all around the Bay Center eager to meet guests at one of the four celebrity autograph zones.

"If you haven't found the person you're looking for, they're probably in one of the other autograph areas," Diaz said. "And we're going to try to publish a list of who's where once we get closer to the show."

Several invited guests told the News Journal that they are excited to spend time at the Pensacola event and look forward to meeting people who have similar interests to them.

"(Attendees) need to understand that the show is geared around them. It's there for them," said Rob Paulsen, who is known for voicing animated characters on "Animaniacs," "The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius" and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."

"And in this day and age, it's now cool to go to a convention. It's cool to cosplay. It's cool to have geeky interests and hobbies," Paulsen added.

Another guest, Daniel Ross — who has voiced the likes of Donald Duck and Lucky Charms' mascot Lucky the Leprechaun — said he feels grateful to share positive experiences with colleagues and fans at events like Pensacon.

Visitors check out the festivities May 22 during Pensacon 2021 at the Pensacola Bay Center.
Visitors check out the festivities May 22 during Pensacon 2021 at the Pensacola Bay Center.

"I just go back into thinking about the fact that I get to play in the sandbox with these different things that influenced me as a person," Ross said. "And so, to be now in a position to give that back to the next generation and be the person to give them that positive energy is really meaningful to me."

What's there to do at Pensacon?

Poseidon's Bay will sit just outside the Bay Center and will feature a stage with live music and dance throughout the weekend, including the Emerald Coast Honors Orchestra. On Sunday, it will also play host to a children's costume contest.

"So, a lot of different entertainment there. Our food truck vendors will be out there. So are a number of community groups. A number of sponsors will have tents out there," Diaz said. "We're going to have some kids activities out there as well. I know we're going to have some bounce houses and things like that."

Visitors check out the festivities May 22 during Pensacon 2021 at the Pensacola Bay Center.
Visitors check out the festivities May 22 during Pensacon 2021 at the Pensacola Bay Center.

Several venues around the city will also house special events, such as panels, throughout the weekend. Diaz said the scheduling and topics at the special events will be announced soon, but the participating locations are:

  • Museum of Commerce, 201 E. Zaragoza St.

  • Court of De Luna Event Space, 116 E. Gonzalez St.

  • Voices of Pensacola, 117 E. Government St.

  • UWF Historic Trust Bowden Building, 120 Church St.

  • Pensacola Cultural Center, 400 S. Jefferson St.

  • The REX Theatre, 18 N. Palafox St.

The Court of De Luna Event Space will also play a key role throughout Pensacon. During the week leading up to the event, visitors can get their passes early at the venue. Specific dates and times will be released soon.

Saturday night, the De Luna Event Space will welcome a costume contest, which starts at 7 p.m. and runs for about two hours, and a 1990s themed afterparty. Joey Fatone, former member of NSYNC, will MC, and rapper Young MC will also perform.

The costume contest portion of the event will be family friendly.

"It's actually in a place where we could keep the bars away from the kids. So, we welcome all ages," Diaz said.

A trolley system will run to the various venues throughout the weekend. It is free for all passholders.

As of Friday, over 100 guests are set to attend the event:

  • Alanna Masterson: "The Walking Dead"

  • Alex Winter: "Bill and Ted"

  • Amy Jo Johnson: "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers"

  • Andrew E. C. Gaska: Author

  • Bin Furuya: "Ultraman"

  • Bobby Clark: "Star Trek"

  • Briana Buckmaster: "Supernatural"

  • C. Andrew Nelson: "Star Wars"

  • Caitlin Glass: "Fullmetal Alchemist"

  • Carlos Ferro: "Gears of War"

  • Chandler Riggs: "The Walking Dead"

  • Charles Martinet: Voice of Mario and Luigi

  • Christopher Burdett: Dungeons and Dragons

  • Clayton Landey: "The Blob"

  • Colleen Clinkenbeard: "My Hero Academia"

  • Daman Mills: "Dragon Ball"

  • Dan Molina: "Dragon's Lair"

  • Daniel Ross: "Donald Duck"

  • David Gerrold: Author

  • David Koechner: "Anchorman"

  • David Yost: "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers"

  • Denis O'Hare: "American Horror Story"

  • Donal Logue: "What We Do in the Shadows"

  • Donnie Dunagan: "Bambi"

  • Dylan McDermott: "American Horror Story"

  • Eiichi Kikuchi: "Return of Ultraman"

  • Eric Vale: "Dragon Ball Z"

  • Ernie Reyes: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"

  • Ethan Embry: "Empire Records"

  • George Takei: "Star Trek"

  • Giancarlo Esposito: "The Mandalorian"

  • Glyn Baker: "Star Wars"

  • Greg Baldwin: "Avatar: The Last Airbender"

  • Greg Cipes: "Teen Titans"

  • Gregg Berger: "Transformers"

  • Hearts of Gold Charity Stream: Gaming

  • Hiroshi Kanatani: Artist

  • Ian James Corlett: "Dragon Ball Z"

  • Ian Sinclair: "Dragon Ball Super"

  • Jasper Jacob: "Star Wars"

  • JBL: WWE Hall of Fame

  • Jeff Etter: "Space Ace"

  • Jeffrey Kramer: "Jaws"

  • Jess Harnell: "Animaniacs"

  • Jim Cummings: "Winnie the Pooh"

  • Jim O’Heir: "Parks and Rec"

  • Jim Shooter: Writer/Editor

  • Joey Fatone: NSYNC

  • John Barrowman: "Doctor Who"

  • John Ross Bowie: "The Big Bang Theory"

  • Johnny Yong Bosch: "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers"

  • Jsu Garcia: "A Nightmare on Elm Street"

  • Judge Reinhold: "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"

  • Julio Cesar Ruiz: "The Suicide Squad"

  • Kathy Coleman: "Land of the Lost"

  • Kellen Goff: "My Hero Academia"

  • Kelly Yates: Artist

  • Kim Rhodes: "Supernatural"

  • Kyla Kenedy: "The Walking Dead"

  • Lana Wood: "Diamonds Are Forever"

  • Laura Faye Smith: "Super Mario World"

  • Lisa Loring: "The Addams Family"

  • Lou Ferrigno: "The Incredible Hulk"

  • Marc Singer: "The Beastmaster"

  • Mark Maddox: Artist

  • Marta Kristen: "Lost In Space"

  • Matt Lanter: "Star Wars: The Clone Wars"

  • Melinda Snodgrass: Author

  • Michael Golden: Artist

  • Michael Rooker: "The Suicide Squad"

  • Michael Stackpole: Author

  • Mike Grell: "Green Arrow"

  • Mike Quinn: "Star Wars"

  • Morgan Lofting: "G.I. Joe"

  • Nick Carter: Backstreet Boys

  • Nick Castle: "Halloween"

  • Nolan North: "Uncharted"

  • P.J. Soles: "Halloween"

  • Pat Fraley: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"

  • Patricia Summersett: "Princess Zelda"

  • Paul Jerricho: "Doctor Who"

  • Peter Behn: "Bambi"

  • Renae Jacobs: "Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles"

  • Richard Dreyfuss: "Jaws"

  • Rob Paulsen: "Animaniacs"

  • Ron Simmons: WWE Hall of Famers

  • Ross Marquand: "The Walking Dead"

  • Ruby Soho: AEW

  • Ryan Hurst: "The Walking Dead"

  • S.M. Stirling: Author

  • Sam Irvin: "Elvira's Haunted Hills"

  • Samantha Kelly: "Super Mario"

  • Samantha Mathis: "The Strain"

  • Samantha Smith: "Supernatural"

  • Scott Innes: "Scooby Doo"

  • Simon Bisley: Artist

  • Steve Downes: "Halo"

  • Steve Whitmire: "The Muppets"

  • Tara Reid: "American Pie"

  • Taryn Manning: "Orange is the New Black"

  • Ted DiBiase: WWE Hall of Fame

  • Thom Zahler: "Love and Capes"

  • Tom Ashton: "The March Violets"

  • Tom Atkins: "Halloween III"

  • Tony Isabella: Comics Icon

  • Trina Nishimura: "Attack on Titan"

  • Vernon Wells: "The Road Warrior"

  • Wendy and Richard Pini: "ElfQuest"

  • Wesley Eure: "Land of the Lost"

  • Young MC: Grammy Winner

  • Zach Aguilar: "Demon Slayer"

This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Pensacon pop culture con returns to Pensacola February 18-20