Schweinfurth Art Center will host its second annual family-friendly Cosplay Invades Auburn! event 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 30, at the art center, 205 Genesee St., Auburn. The event, a chance for cosplayers to fine-tune their outfits before Syracuse's Salt City Comic-Con on July 7 and 8, will feature live music by local band Late Earth; vendors selling comic and cosplay items, food, and drink; and a costume contest.
Start the fun early with a hearty meal at New Hope Mills, which is offering special Star Wars themed pancakes and waffles from 2 to 4 p.m. at their café, 181 York St., Auburn.
More than 100 cosplayers turned out for last year's event, and this year is shaping up to be even better, with more vendors and music, said Ed Catto, pop culture expert and marketing consultant for Syracuse's comic-con. "Auburn and the Finger Lakes have always been rich in creativity and passion," he said. "So it was just fantastic to connect the dots between Syracuse's Salt City Comic-Con and the Schweinfurth Art Center."
Among the vendors participating this year are:
Deirdre Aureden, director of programs and special projects for the Schweinfurth, said cosplayers came from as far away as Watertown and Binghamton last year. "We were thrilled with the number of cosplayers and spectators who attended," she said. "We hope even more people will come this year."
Entry to the event is free; registration for the costume contest is $5 per person. Registration will be between 4 and 6 p.m., with the contest starting at 6 p.m. Costumes will be judged by a panel of geek culture and creative experts, including cosplayer Kate McKay, comic artist Evan Bujold, and Syracuse University professor Chris Wildrick, who cosplays as Savage Opress, Two-Face, and Molecule Man.
Cash prizes of $100 will be awarded in each of four categories:
Cosplay Invades Auburn! is sponsored by the Senator John A. DeFrancisco Live Events in Cayuga County Program, Auburn Public Theater, Salt City Comic-Con, and the New York State Council on the Arts.