As with any pop culture convention, vendors, comics and cosplay await those who turn out Saturday for this year’s NorCal Cosies.
But this particular con – set for its third year at the West Side Theatre in Newman – also comes with an evening cosplay awards show, complete with a red carpet.
Event co-organizer Middagh Goodwin expects about 800 people to cycle through the daytime event. Then, vendors will clear the theater for the evening Cosie Awards.
Among the highlights will be an appearance by Carma Mize, a Modesto region cosplayer who regularly appears as Rey from “Star Wars,” co-organizer Carrie Shea said. Mize also will take part in musical performances.
The convention will feature 30 vendors spread through 26 booths, Goodwin said, featuring items from comic books, artists and authors to “geeky crafters,” toys and welded goods.
Also planned is the Geek Fashion Show, a group that tours the state.
In addition, Goodwin said there will be tributes to Shea, currently battling health issues, including a limited edition Geek Fashion Show trading card featuring her; 500 will be given out at the event.
The Cosies provide a opportunity for locals to enjoy a pop culture convention – particularly those who never have been to one, Goodwin and Shea agree.
“It’s a great family friendly, fun event,” Shea said. “If you’ve been to a convention, you’ll love it and if you haven’t, it’s a great introduction – and you’ll love it, too.”
As always, proceeds benefit charity. This year, organizers selected the Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust, started in honor of an equities trader at the World Trade Center who helped firefighters rescue people trapped in the south tower after the 9/11 attacks. He died when that tower collapsed.
In the past, the Cosies have raised funds for Make-a-Wish and Haven Women’s Center-Stanislaus.
While the evening awards show has a $10 entry fee, there is no admission charge for the convention. Many pop culture conventions held throughout the state can be costly to attend, Goodwin said.
“It’s a smaller version of a con,” he said. “But it’s free. The advantage of that is that anybody can go.”
NorCal Cosies 2018
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 13: Convention 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; red carpet 6 p.m.; awards 7 p.m.
WHERE: West Side Theatre, 1331 Main St., Newman
TICKETS: Free for convention, $10 awards