Photo by Sydney Cromwell.
Attendees enjoy the first annual Magic City Con.
The Magic City Con is relatively new on the Birmingham scene. The convention has decided to move to the Hyatt Regency in Hoover this month for its second year of games, costumes, comics, panels and more.
Organizers Rita Houston and Jamie Phelps said about 3,000 people attended the inaugural Magic City Con at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center last year. With tickets already sold in around 40 states and a few other countries, they said this year is going to be bigger and better.
For those who have been to a convention before, some elements of the June 10-12 event will be familiar, including shopping at the booths of over 90 vendors and attending panels on a wide variety of topics.
There are a few things that make Magic City Con unique from other cons in the area, including their focus on gaming, cosplay (costume play) and voice actors. 2nd and Charles will sponsor a tabletop gaming room again this year, including volunteers to teach people how to play, and there will be video gaming rooms set up as well.
Houston said there will be professional cosplayers at the convention and they will hold a cosplay “date” auction, where attendees can bid on costumed characters to attend Saturday’s Masquerade Ball with them. The money raised will be donated to Extra Life Children’s Charity, and Danny Shorago, the voice actor for Hancock in “Fallout 4,” will be auctioned off dressed as his character.
Attendees can also participate in a costume contest and, if needed, Houston said Magic City Con will provide a “coat check” to hold costumes or accessories and a “first aid” station to repair any costume mishaps.
“It kind of gives them a place to show that off because that’s the whole point of cosplay is you spend all these hundreds of hours making something, why not enjoy it?” Houston said.
Voice actor Jennifer Hale, known for her work on “Mass Effect,” “Metroid Prime,” “Bioshock Infinite” and other video games, will be giving her first voice acting class at the convention. She is a returning guest from last year.
Several panelists and vendors are returning, Houston said, but they all have been asked to bring something new to the table.
“Basically we brought back everything that everybody thought was popular, except we tried to make it a little bit different and interesting,” Houston said.
One of the most popular aspects last year was KidCon, a Saturday morning set of activities just for children. This year’s KidCon, Phelps said, will include an interactive Star Wars academy and Hogwarts School. There will also be a Lego bricks company, balloon artist and face painter and a fencing demonstration.
“It’s really important to get the whole family involved,” Houston said.
Other new introductions to Magic City Con this year include a Fear Factor competition, a “side quest” throughout the convention benefiting Blanket Fort Hope and after hours events, including the Masquerade Ball and a replica of the Mos Eisley Cantina from “Star Wars.”
A full schedule and information about Magic City Con can be found at magiccitycon.com.
Magic City Con
- WHERE: Hyatt Regency – The Wynfrey Hotel
- WHEN: June 10-12
- SCHEDULE: Friday: 4 p.m.-midnight; Saturday: 8 a.m.-Sunday 1:30 a.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
- WEB: Magiccitycon.com