Last weekend, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit Pensacola, FL to experience and photograph Pensacon on behalf of our marketing team! Pensacon, or Pensacola Comic Con, is an annual comic and pop culture convention that has grown so rapidly over the past several years that the entire city of Pensacola participates. Pensacon’s mission is to create the best multi-genre convention that is both a safe and welcoming environment for all types of fans, and unique to the Pensacola community. From my experience, I think they’ve done just that!
The first thing that struck me about Pensacon was the effort put forth by every part of Pensacola to be a part of the event. When I first landed in Pensacola, even the airport was decked out, with its name changed to Pensacola Intergalactic Airport!
The convention itself was spread across several venues, having already outgrown its central hub of the Pensacola Bay Center and Pensacola Grand Hotel over the course of a few short years. While much of the gaming, photo ops, autographs, vendors, and artists were housed in the Bay Center and the Grand, other events like guest panels and Q&A sessions took place in venues downtown, including the Saenger Theatre and the Pensacola Little Theatre. Speaking of Q&A panels, the John Barrowman (of Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Arrow fame) panel was definitely the highlight of my weekend! He is incredibly entertaining, and his TARDIS dress and heels more than kept the audience’s attention the whole time.
But the fun didn’t stop there! After the convention ended each night, the fandom fun kept going at several participating bars and restaurants throughout the city. Decorated with themes ranging from Harry Potter, to Game of Thrones, to Star Wars, you’d be hard pressed to find somewhere not basking in the Pensacon atmosphere. On my first night in Pensacola, our Event Operations Manager, Katie (also working on-site to assist the event staff with registration), an awesome group of Pensacon volunteers, and I went to The Pensacola Fish House and enjoyed selections from a Hogwarts-themed menu, including a burning “Goblet of Fire” cocktail presented in a massive goblet!
Pensacon is a unique convention experience because it really does evoke a powerful sense of community throughout the city of Pensacola. It’s just about impossible to walk down the street without being enveloped with the permeating spirit of fandom! Whether you’re an absolute die-hard or a casual fan, if you ever have the chance to attend Pensacon, do it. There is, quite literally, something for everyone!