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The return of Katsu-Snow-Con

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Katsucon 20

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There has been several years in the history of the Katsucon convention, where snow has become an important factor in how the weekend turns out. In 2003, the snow fell on Sunday, leaving convention goers stranded at the hotel for an extra day. That year, the convention extended events into Monday to accommodate the stranded convention attendees. In 2011, heavy snow the week of the convention caused concern for travelers but the city managed to get the roads clear for Thursday travelers. In 2014, snowfall predictions had many attendees hitting the road at least 24 hours ahead of schedule to beat a storm that was scheduled to hit on Day 0 of the convention. The storm caused flight delays and cancellations, leaving many cross country attendees stranded at airports across the country. Poor driving conditions on Wednesday and Thursday had many drivers delayed until Friday as they tried to avoid the worst of it. But even despite that, Katsucon surged forward. The convention posted in advance that it would not cancel and it was true to its word.

The Gaylord hotel on the other hand, was not as prepared as the convention was for the sudden increase in residents. A pharmaceutical convention which had been taking place before Katsucon, was still occupying the rooms that anime fans were hoping to swoop into. As the previous convention dealt with delays in leaving, those that arrived on Thursday for Katsucon were left to deal with a delay in getting to enjoy the comforts of a room. Luggage and people littered the hotel lobby as they waited upwards of 8 hours for their rooms to open up. This was the first year that the convention was not supposed to be sharing space with any other events and would have complete use of all facilities in the hotel and convention center. But the weather made things difficult in the beginning as the two events merged together.

Weather continued to be a factor throughout the weekend as snow and sleet continued to come down each day until late Saturday. Sunday was the only day to dawn bright and clear, which was good for those intending to leave that day. There was hardly a quiet moment as events took place late into the afternoon on Sunday. The Gazebo and Fountain areas were constantly swarming with attendees. This year a new policy was put into place that required that convention attendees have a badge if they wished to take photos at the Gazebo on the second floor. This is always a popular spot for cosplayers and this year was no exception even with the new rule in place.

Attack on Titan, Final Fantasy, Doctor Who, and many other newer series were well represented by cosplayers throughout the weekend. One of the most cosplayed of characters was Elsa from "Frozen" as many cosplayers of the movie saw opportunity in the many inches of snow on the ground outside. Other popular snowy characters included Fai from "Tsubasa", and Jack Frost from "Rise of the Guardians." Even despite the cooler temperatures, the outdoor gardens and waterfront were popular places for photoshoots to take place.

Although many panels were moved or canceled because of panelists being unable to attend the convention, there was still plenty to chose from in the programming. Many cosplay panels were held featuring world reknowned cosplayers Yaya Han and Kamui. There were also several cosplay events throughout the weekend that drew decent sized audiences as well as participants. The Hall Cosplay contest saw over 100 entrants over the course of the two days of judging, giving it its largest participant total to date.

The Agents of Cosplay once again showed their versatility and showmanship as they took home "Best in Show" at the cosplay Masquerade on Saturday evening with their "Godzilla vs Mothra" skit. Buildings that were able to be broken in half, a destructible Tokyo Tower, and impressive costumes made it a clear front runner for the top prize. Other winners included a Full Metal Alchemist skit which took home three awards and had unique flame effects as well as unique costuming techniques that impressed the judges.

Katsucon has already announced its dates for next year. It will once again be taking place in the Gaylord National Hotel from February 13-15, 2015. For more information on the convention you can visit their website at http://www.katsucon.com

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