Irving—On ‘Seinfeld,’George Costanza once lamented that “worlds colliding” was a bad thing. However, at the Fan Expo Dallas Holiday Market, a pop-up event celebrating the holidays with a geeky twist at Irving Convention Center on Saturday, Dec. 11, worlds colliding was a thing of beauty.
Where else could attendees pose for a picture with Santa Claus alongside those in costume from other genres like Buddy from ‘Elf’ fame? There was also a cosplay red carpet where attendees in costume were introduced, much like in a fashion show, and posed for photos while being loudly cheered.
Plenty of vendors sold everything from artwork and collectibles to vintage video games. One local vendor from Plano sold t-shirts sporting characters from the sci-fi cult classic ‘They Live’ and classic modern western ‘Tombstone,’while a couple from Tyler offered original vinyl records, which also drew a considerable crowd.
“It’s a good, solid turnout,”show director Sharon Donaldson said. “I think people know they’ll get a quality event when they come to a Fan Expo event. I also think the [fans like the] curiosity of what will they do to make it festive?
“We have [held this event] in Canada. Toronto and Calgary both have long histories with this format, which is why we decided to bring it to Dallas. We love being in Dallas. We know the fans are always up for a fun time. We’re trying this format for a fun time here, and we’re really pleased with it.”
Maybe the finishing touch for these worlds colliding is the fact that amid everything going on, the entire event was set to Christmas music, leading several vendors to get into the holiday spirit by lip syncing and dancing to holiday classics like “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee.
Having fun while offering an environment where all are welcome and celebrated are two objectives Fan Expo has for every event.
“One of my favorite things on the red carpet is you see kids who probably don’t get to celebrate themselves a lot in life,” Donaldson said. “They come from that nerd culture, but it’s such a welcoming space at these shows. When you see a kid that probably doesn’t get a lot of high-fives in the hallway at school, but here, everybody’s cheering and applauding for them, I think that’s a really special thing to have in these diverse and inclusive spaces where everyone can be themselves.”
Helping small businesses, which like Fan Expo have had a rough go of things over the last few years because of the pandemic, is another thing driving these events.
“We look at all these vendors here as small businesses, and we want them to be here for the long haul. We want our fans to come and support them,” Donaldson said. “A big part of the reason for today was small businesses,a place to go shopping with no shipping hassles.You pick it up today, have some fun and make merry for an afternoon.”
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