Wednesday, December 7, 2022

NorCal Spring Cosplay Gathering

Kofuku from Noragami, cosplayed by Neeka Cosplay. Photo by AnimeCraft Entertainment.

Cosplay is all about having fun, and what better way to do that than at a gathering surrounded by friends?

That’s why the NorCal Cosplay Gatherings, held seasonally at various locations near or around the Bay Area, have become a huge draw for cosplayers and photographers from all around. It’s a great time to meet new friends, catch up with old ones, and get photo-shoots in a scenic location in the Northern California area.

Yaki, Core Stalker from Magi-Nation, cosplayed by Ryoga Rocket. Photo by Eurobeat Kasumi Photography.

The Spring gathering was held in scenic Kelley Park in San Jose, which has a beautiful Japanese tea garden. Suffice to say, that garden was a prime spot for photo-shoots, but while it may have been crowded by cosplayers, they were respectful of the non-cosplaying park visitors, many of whom seemed to enjoy seeing all the costumes around.

As the gatherings have been growing from year to year, the Spring gathering reached a new record, with over 500 attendees. Food and drinks were provided to those who paid a $5 fee either ahead of time or upon arrival, although those who paid ahead of time were also given raffle tickets to try and win gift cards. Food was grilled and served by volunteers, who took the time to ensure everyone at the gathering left with a full stomach and a smile.

Final Fantasy’s Lightning, cosplayed by Adel Cosplay. Photo by Thymehadder Photography.

The attendees were cosplayers, photographers, and other fans who wanted to have a day of fun in the wonderful Spring weather. Everyone was there to have a good time; no stress, no pressure, just fun with friends, and that’s what they got. Anyone new to the gatherings had plenty of new friends to meet, and old faces had plenty of friends to catch up with.

The new Ms. Marvel, cosplayed by Lava Alley Cosplay. Photo by Logically Sound Creative Works.

Of course, with the growth of the gathering, there was more room for trouble, but it was mostly averted nicely. There were some stories of certain attendees mocking others for not meeting their costuming standards, and some cosplayers getting a little too in-character, but those cases were a tiny minority in a gathering of hundreds, and their behavior was frowned upon. Far more often than not, all the attendees were happy, friendly, and a pleasure to be around.

Crusty from Log Horizon, cosplayed by Viktoria Rygg. Photo by Jackie Lo.

As the day went by, the cosplayers and photographers spread around the park, finding spots for photoshoots. They covered characters from anime, comics, movies, and even obscure card games from a decade ago, as well as webcomics, television, video games, and so on. The tea garden was the usual go-to location for shoots, but there were plenty of areas around that made for great scenery.

Despite its size, the gathering went smoothly, and was ran expertly by Bekalou, who checked everyone in and organized the event. The volunteers also helped ensure things ran smoothly, and helped divide the work among everyone so that those attending and helping out could enjoy the gathering to the fullest.

Cosplayers hang out and enjoy the gathering. Photo by Jackie Lo.

As always, the NorCal Spring Gathering was a huge success. The Summer gathering will be held August 9th, and many of us have already began clearing our schedules to make room for it.

Robbie is a lifelong nerd and a familiar face in the Northern California convention-going community. In addition to writing convention reports, interviews, and nerdy news updates for G33k-HQ, he’s an ENnie Award-winning adventure writer, and a comic/TV show reviewer at Multiversity Comics.

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