The 10th anniversary of Zenkaikon was in full swing this past weekend bringing in well over 5,000 pre registered attendees and hundreds more who registered day of. It was held at the Lancaster convention/Marriot Hotel in Penn Square. People wearing costumes and wielding prop weapons could be seen all about the city as they looked for cheap eats and took various photo-shoots with their friends. The event featured an entirely volunteer staff, as well as a bunch of celebrity guests including voice actors Dante Basco, Vic Mignogna, Ellyn Stern and Richard Epgar whom were all-available for autographs, selfies, panels and even hugs with fans.
Attendees entered the dealer room and artist alley with their pockets loaded and nearly cleaned out the stock of most of the vendors and artists there. In addition to great shopping, Zenkaikon was screening several popular animes in multiple rooms all day for the entire event, as well as hosting live panels and cosplay contests. There was also musical entertainment in the form of Ein Strife concerts and raves on both Friday and Saturday night. A special Moe Maid café, where the servers dressed as Lolita characters or French inspired maids, was booked solid with reservations well before April 1 rolled around. They offered hot tea and various dessert items, while providing a fun themed experience for customers. There was also and entire set up with video game consoles for various tournaments, which had prices for the winners.
The convention brought lots of business to the local restaurants and convenient stores, and put smiles on the faces of many city-goers who had not known what was going on. The parking garages downtown were full up to the highest floors and lightsaber battles happened at random. What more could the city of Lancaster ask for? The staff of Zenkaikon has already confirmed that they will be at the same location again next year on the weekend of April 28 through the 30. Fans will surely be waiting by their computer screens to pre register for their 3-day passes.