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The Sacramento pop-culture convention season kicks off this weekend at SacAnime

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Coming off of their successes in 2013, the locally based event production company, Sac Conventions, is ready to present its newest convention this weekend, starting today, January 3rd, and running through Sunday, January 5th, at the Sheraton Grand Hotel and the Sacramento Convention Center.

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Sac Conventions has been producing dynamic Sacramento area pop-culture events since 1986. SacAnime has been held twice a year up to this point, and this weekend will be the maiden voyage for this new winter event. SacAnime was started in 2004 and has since grown into one of the largest Japanese animation conventions in California.

A wide lineup of voice and live-action performers will be headlining the event as well as artists, writers, and other luminaries, including Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario from Super Mario Brothers series from Nintendo; Jeremy Shada, the voice of Finn the Human from the animated series Adventure Time; Dante Basco, the voice of Prince Zuko from the animated series Avatar: the Last Airbender and General Iroh II from Legend of Korra; Tony Oliver, the voice of Rick Hunter from the classic series Robotech; and Bruce Thomas, the motion capture artist for Master Chief from the video game Halo 4.

Other celebrities in attendance will include Steve Downes, the voice of Master Chief from the Halo video game series; Jen Taylor, the voice of Cortana also from the Halo video game series and Princess Peach from Nintendo’s Super Mario; Steve Blum, the voice of Amon in Legion of Korra and Wolverine from Marvel Comic’s X-Men in animation; Vic Mignogna, the voice of Edward Elric in the anime Fullmetal Alchemist; ADR Director and singer Brina Palencia, the voice of Mad Moxxi from the video game series Borderlands, and Ashly Burch from the web series “Hey Ash Whatcha Playin?” and the voice of Tiny Tina from the video game Borderlands 2.

Beyond the industry talent in attendance, there is a wide range of special events, panels, and workshops, ranging from a costume masquerade and music video contests, Q&A panels, artist tips, voice acting, and even a daylong series of dance workshops

There are a few add-on events, notably on Saturday, including a Starlight Ball, which has a $6 ticket price, and is a fancy dress ball (giving attendees a great opportunity to make use of those recently learned dances from the earlier workshops – which are free, it should be noted).

As with all Anime events, cosplay will be in huge abundance and is both welcomed and encouraged, but is by no means required. You’ll see characters from manga, television, film, and American comics all striding alongside each other. With the recent move to the Sacramento Convention Center, there’s plenty of space to move around with large-scale costumes and props.

Online registration has already closed, but tickets can be purchased at the event itself (the registration area will be in the Magnolia Ballroom of the Sheraton Grand).

Children 8 years and younger are free when accompanied by a paid adult admission.