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Tampa Bay Comic Con Moves Forward With July Dates, METROCON Cancels

A group of six women in punk versions of Sailor Moon costumes pose in the convention hall at METROCON.
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media
A group of Sailor Moon cosplayers pose at a past METROCON convention. Organizers decided to cancel until next year over coronavirus concerns. Other conventions have decided to mvoe forward with plans.

Tampa Bay Comic Con announced on Facebook it still plans to hold its annual convention at the Tampa Convention Center from July 10-12, with mixed reactions from fans.

Organizers say the con will move forward with temperature screenings, hand sanitation stations, one-way walkways, occupancy restrictions, and increased cleaning and disinfection procedures.

On the convention’s Facebook announcement, comments ranged from excitement that the con is still happening, to dismay and accusations that organizers were disregarding public health.

"Con crud," the tendency for people to get sick after being crowded into convention spaces and panel rooms with a  lot of people, was a concern pre-pandemic. Now, some are worried the coornavirus will excerbate that.

Read their full statement here.

Meanwhile, METROCON, the state’s largest anime convention, has canceled its July 23-26, 2020 convention in the same location.

“At this time COVID-19 continues to be a public health risk of gross proportions, and it is irresponsible for us to encourage not only patrons, but merchants, performers, voice actors, volunteers, and staff to put their health and safety on the line to make this event happen.”

“Additionally, with attendance/capacity restrictions, a lack of confidence in the travel and public event industries in general from attendees, hesitation from merchants and celebrity guests alike – not only do we feel that there’s no way we could bring you the quality you deserve from a METROCON event, but we could be in a position if we do move forward that we dig ourselves into a hole we can’t climb out of, and METROCON goes away forever.”

Read the full statement here.

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.