Geek Expo draws thousands to downtown Wilmington

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Wilmington Geek Expo made its big return this Saturday with thousands of fans eager to get through the doors.

“I love the community that you get whenever you come to places like this,” said Evelyn Mae, who cosplayed as DC villain Harley Quinn. “A lot of us who are into nerdy things or cosplay were never really part of the popular kids when we were in high school or college, so we get to come here, geek out and be ourselves.”

After a successful first year in 2019, organizers were ready to plan another Geek Expo in 2020. The pandemic forced the plans into hiatus for three years but organizers say the fans patience is finally paying off.

“Months of planning, months of advertising, getting vendors together, artists together-- we just wanted to get the show to be exactly what Wilmington needed,” said showrunner Philip Murray.

Many came decked out in their best cosplay.

“We like being creative,” said Carly Hass, dressed as Leona from League of Legends. “I’m an art teacher, so [I like] being able to do some creative things on my own--just being able to push the medium and try different things.”

It’s not just a great time for superhero and anime fans but the artists and businesses they’re supporting.

“I’ve been super excited,” said Jose Gonzales, who works at Memory Lane Games. “I’ve been bugging the guys to let me work the convention since before we even knew we were doing the convention.”

The one day event ended at 4:30 Saturday but many fans are already looking forward to the next convention in the Port City.

“I think this has great roots and a lot of possibility,” said Mae. “I look forward to seeing where it goes in the future.”

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Kassie Simmons

Kassie Simmons

Kassie Simmons joined the WECT team in January 2021 as an anchor and multimedia journalist. After graduating from Virginia Tech, Kassie worked at WOAY in southern West Virginia as an anchor and reporter. Kassie has a passion for local news and loves talking to community members about the good going on in their hometown.