UltimaCon was an upcoming, first year anime convention that was making its first time appearance in New Orleans and had many cosplayers excited to have something new to attend to. It was to be located at the Sheraton in New Orleans the weekend of May 25th through the 27th, however, there was a setback in which the Sheraton decided to cancel UltimaCon’s reservations of the venue two weeks prior to the event. With it being so last minute, there was no venue available in the short amount of time for the convention to take place, so as a result, the convention was canceled, and will instead hopefully make its grand opening in 2013. However, three girls – Angie Maser, Jessica Higgins, and Megan Mobley – saved the weekend by putting together a meet-up at the Aquarium in New Orleans where cosplayers who were planning to attend UltimaCon could go. Due to their efforts, our hard work put into cosplay was not wasted.
Not only were we on an adventure, but the aquarium meet-up meant reconnecting with old friends we have not seen in a while since the last cosplay meet-up or convention. Honestly, the aquarium was a beautiful setting for a meet-up. It was, in a sense, wonderful and magical. Being able to see characters from different anime and games mingling together just brought a sense of joy, and it isn’t often you see over fifty cosplayers all grouped together in public, much less at an aquarium.
Thanks to the creators of the event, new friends were made, and unforgettable memories were created. There were times when there was chaos and we continued to have to move so the tourists and locals could get by. To me, it was a bit funny to have tourists and locals ask why we were all dressed up, however, it’s to be expected because not everyone knows about cosplaying and conventions. Although one tourist, at the end of the day, agreed to sign a petition to the Sheraton for canceling on the creators of UltimaCon, so we got through to at least one person. As we continued to walk through the city towards the River Walk, we were greeted with more questions, comments, and stares. It made me wonder – aren’t we in the city of New Orleans, where strange things occur every day? Should this really be so unusual?
Since the event was such a success with the high number of attendees, the organizers are working on making this event a twice a year occasion. That way, for those who did not get a chance to go this time, they’d still have the next time around. The suspense of another Aquari-con is thrilling, and I can’t wait to hear the official news and date when the event will be.
Over all, it was a grand and fantastic event. I personally had a wonderful time and believe it was a huge success. From stingrays to the sharks and even to the jellyfish, it was a wild adventure under the sea with all my fellow cosplayers. It was a beautiful and memorable day, and it was a fantastic substitute to UltimaCon.