Nearly 20,000 expected at first-ever Raleigh Supercon this weekend

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) -- A little bit of everything, from anime to wrestling to comic books are on display this weekend at the Raleigh Convention Center.

It's where the first Raleigh Supercon is being held.

Downtown Raleigh transformed overnight - and it wasn't suits and ties crowding Salisbury Street, but instead costumes.

Saturday's heat also didn't slow down the fun for hundreds of people.

"We get over it. We're good," explained Brad Miculskis, of Seagrove. "I got my Hawaiian shirt on. We're good to go! I got my pineapple drink, BOOM!"

Miculskis, dressed as a Star Wars stormtrooper, may have been cool, but not everyone had the same experience.

"It's been super-hot out here and I'm totally covered head-to-toe and I feel like I'm going to melt," Winston-Salem's Hunter Hauser described.

Inside the convention center, hundreds of vendors lined up to sell their products to eager customers.

It's a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to reach a select clientele of nearly 20,000 people who are expected to flock to Raleigh this weekend.

Jake Manning from Charlotte owns and he said, it's "big business for us."

"We'll go to wrestling shows and nobody knows who is so it's important to get and interact with these fans at big events like this so you can touch the fans, talk to the fans, and show them our wears and what we sell," Manning explained.

For the City of Raleigh, it will see an economic benefit to the tune of $1.8 million from this event, according to organizers and city officials.

For first-timers at an event like this, the focus isn't so much on the dollars they spend as it is the experience.

"It's definitely crowded. There are a lot of people," said Sam, a Raleigh young man celebrating his birthday by attending Raleigh Supercon. "I mean that's a good thing. Look at how many people there are out here in costume!"

Brooklyn Morris, of Clayton, agreed.

"I like to see people dress up. I like to see them in their element," she said. "There's a lot of cosplay. There's nice costumes, good makeup so I'm kind of here for that."

The event runs through the weekend, ending at 8 p.m., Sunday.

Organizers hope to have a second-annual event in Raleigh next year.

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