TACOMA — Washington State Summer Con is back at the fairgrounds in Puyallup.
Summer Con is a three-day comic convention with toys, autographs and celebrities, including “Star Trek” legend William Shatner; Ian McDiarmid, who is known for his role in the “Star Wars” franchise; and co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Kevin Eastman.
Summer Con, which was started by Steve James with the help of a friend, began as a toy show in 2017. Drawing inspiration from other events, James realized the event could grow and that he could invite celebrities.
“We wanted to build something that was for the whole family. A lot of the Comic Cons are not as kid-friendly as they could be because they are very expensive and outside of shopping there is not much for kids to do. So we tried to build in an element of attraction for kids … I was wanting to create an event that kids would enjoy, something parents would enjoy, and actually it would bring something magnificent to the city of Puyallup,” James told The News Tribune.
Visitors can attend celebrity panels, take a photo with McDiarmid in the emperor’s throne room like the one from the final battle of “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi,” and meet the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
There also will be cosplay special guests, including Alyson Tabbitha, who’s best known for her Wonder Woman cosplay. Those who attend Summer Con are welcome to dress up as their favorite characters, but must follow the convention’s cosplay rules and regulations.
There will be a cosplay contest, with prizes, for guests ages 12 and older.
Summer Con will be held through June 19. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
The event will take place at the Washington State Fair and Events Center in Puyallup.
Tickets are available online and are $34 for adults and $15 for kids on Sunday.
James said those new to Summer Con can expect to have fun.
“A lot of smiling faces. A lot of happy people … watching people come in the gate and meet their favorite person, when they get their photo op, that almost faint look on their face. You get to have fun and that’s the whole premise,” he said.
Visit www.wasummercon.com to view the schedule.