Nov 20, 2019
Terrathen Spurling, 4 years old, jumps in excitement to see Pikachu at FresCon outside of the North Gym on April 2, 2107. (Khone Saysamongdy/The Collegian)

Heroes and villains geek out at FresCon

A sea of people with multicolored hair, extravagant costumes and peculiar props gathered in the North Gym at Fresno State to celebrate their shared love of all things geeky.

FresCon, Fresno State’s own two-day, multigenre entertainment and comic convention, celebrated its third year on campus with a variety of events for all guests.

The event was held in 12 rooms across campus, from the Satellite Student Union to the North Gym. Each room featured different activities for guests such as live music and anime viewing.

On Saturday, students gathered in the University Student Union for a video games tournament featuring three games: Pokkén Tournament, Street Fighter 5 and Super Smash Bros. 4.

“I get tired of playing my brothers every day,” said Jesus Herrera, a fifth-year philosophy and religious studies major, who came to FresCon purely for the Super Smash Bros. 4 tournament. He initially came to compete with the other guests but looked around other aspects of the convention as well.

While many people came for just one event like Herrera, FresCon offered a wide range of events and vendors that appealed to all age groups.

Megan Barrow was one of the vendors with her booth “Megan’s Mess,” where she sold her handmade crafts such as crocheted hats, stuffed animals and recycled crafts.

“Conventions like this are nice because they’re smaller, so they’re more family-friendly [and] you don’t have to worry,” Barrow said. “Everyone gets to have fun; I feel like that’s a really good thing, especially for families that they have more outlets than just what’s readily available at home.”

Many vendors and attendees echoed those sentiments regarding the family aspect of smaller conventions like FresCon. Throughout the many events and lectures, such as a cosplay workshop, parents who accompanied their children were just as engaged in the events as the kids.

FresCon was also a way to bring more people onto the Fresno State campus. While many students did engage with the events, even more families and people came to the convention.

“FresCon is one of my favorites because it’s my local school, so I want to come support and represent here,” said Esther Yang, a third-year business major selling her handmade jewelry.

The two days culminated with a panel featuring Erika Harlacher, a voice actress from Los Angeles, on Saturday and a live performance from the Super Soul Bros. on Sunday.
“We’re building a community here,” said Oliveri. “That’s the most important part about this: having a geek kind of setting but also being more family-friendly and community organized.”

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