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It’s that time of year again! If you’re like me, you’ve broken out your sewing machines, hot glue guns, and makeup kits to get ready. You’re starting to assemble your schedule of events. You’re watching for the confirmations for your favorite film and television stars, your favorite comic book artists, and your favorite vendors.
Denver Pop Culture Con is almost here! And I’m thrilled to be able to take part again! Read on for some of the planning information you’ll be needing for the May 31st – June 2nd event.
Why the Name Change?
This event had previously been called Denver Comic Con since it had first launched in 2012. Due to a combination of factors, most visibly Comic Con International’s move against other conventions that use the “Comic Con” name, the controlling organization, Pop Culture Classroom, decided to preemptively change the name.
Good idea. I have seen evidence of similar moves in Phoenix and Dallas. By choosing the name “Denver Pop Culture Con”, the Pop Culture Classroom is able to insert into the event name a reminder of what this event is all about: using comic and pop culture themes to celebrate art, build literacy, and incorporate diversity and community for youth.
Where is Denver Pop Culture Con This Year?
Same place it’s always been: the Denver Convention Center in the heart of downtown Denver.
It’s an easy walk from quality lodging, the famous 16th Street Mall, and Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies who will be hosting the Toronto Blue Jays that same weekend.
If you live in the area and are planning day trips (like my family), be sure to take advantage of the light rail system to save on stress from finding and paying for parking. The Theatre District/Convention Center station will drop you off front and center with a very short walk to the entrance.
Are Tickets Still Available?
YES! According to their ticket sales website, the only thing so far that’s sold out is the “Speed Pass.. But regular 3-day and single-day passes are still available as of this writing. I consider the tickets to this event among the most sensibly-priced of any con I’ve attended (granted, not that many). Keep in mind that the ticket sales include a 10% Denver “FDA” tax and a 12% service fee for using the website to purchase. If you’d like to avoid the service fee, local visitors can buy tickets in person at the Denver Coliseum.
Since the mission of the Pop Culture Classroom is to bring pop culture to local youth, it goes without saying that the tickets for youth will be less than for adults. But how about 10% of the cost of adult admission? For less than the cost of a movie ticket, kids 12 and under can enjoy all 3 days at the event.
3-Day Adult: $93.50 + 12% service fee ($10.45) = $103.95
3-Day Child: $8.25 + 46% service fee? ($3.80) = $12.05
Any Tips on How to Survive the Day? Especially With My Kids?
Now that my sons are teenagers, the considerations won’t quite be the same. I plan to give them each lunch money and send them on their way this year.
However, when our family attended Dragon*Con in 2012, my sons were only 7 and 9. I wrote about our family experience. Luckily, at Denver Pop Culture Con, the rules are a little different and parents of young children won’t have to worry as much about risqué cosplay.
Some other quick tips based on my past years at Denver’s event:
- Wear comfortable shoes. If you have special shoes for the event, be sure to break them in a bit. You will be walking a LOT. I had some new red flats for my Marge Simpson costume in 2017 and my feet were hamburger by the end of the day.
- Don’t forget a spare cell phone battery — maybe two? The 100,000+ crowd will cause cell phone networks to work overtime to keep everyone connected. This will drain battery considerably.
- Don’t be afraid to venture outside of the building for food. The 16th Street Mall is just a couple blocks away and is a lovely reprieve from the crushing crowds — and costs — of the Denver Convention Center food courts.
- Try the Con Brew, at least just once. This year’s con brew, by Breckenridge Brewing, is a maibock that won the title “Bocks Machina”, paying homage to the Critical Role team being featured at this year’s event.
- Pay attention to the cosplay rules. Denver’s is particularly strict, mainly to keep it rated PG-13. Remember, they’re trying to make the event fun for everyone, so let’s keep it safe and enjoyable for everyone.
- The con venue, Denver Convention Center, is BIG. Allow plenty of time to get from one location to another. Be prepared to stop and either be photographed (especially if you’re in costume) or you may want to stop to photograph others.
- Program in plenty of time to wait in lines for panels and special events. Use the DPCC Programming Guide to plan your weekend. In my experience, you shouldn’t need to give up more than an hour for the biggest-ticket items, and maybe 30 minutes for the less-well-known events.
Where Can I Find You?
To be honest, I don’ t know quite yet. My sons and I need to decide on what panels to visit still. The Back to the Future and Cary Elwes* panels are topping the list. I’m sure everything else will build around it.
The jury’s also out on what costumes I’ll be in. I am probably going to recycle some of my favorite Mom characters from previous years, Mrs. Incredible and Marge Simpson, but I also put together a circa 1966 Lt Uhura outfit as well, since my husband got a 1966 Spock costume.
If you find me, come up and say HI and I will adorn your badge with a GeekMom / GeekDad sticker!
*Okay, I’m going to reveal a little secret here: while others my age might have been crushing on New Kids on the Block and Tom Cruise when I was a teen, I’m afraid Farm Boy was my big celebrity crush. Meeting Cary Elwes will be a dream come true for me, even after 24 years of marriage and two kids!
Will you be at DPCC? Drop a note in the comment and let us know your plans for the weekend!