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Pop-Fest draws many cosplayers

Shamus Smith, dressed as Space Ghost, interviews attendee Brian Kelley at Monroe Pop-Fest Sept. 14. Smith walked around interviewing and talking to event goers. Smith has been cosplaying characters such as Batman and Deadpool for years.
Ash Gaal, an artists from Oak Park, Mich., smiles as she attends her first Monroe Pop-Fest. Gaal has been attending conventions for over a year and currently runs Art by Ash.

The Monroe Pop-Fest took place on Sept. 14 and transformed the Monroe Bank & Trust Expo Center into a hub of pop culture, attracting visitors from in and out of town.

Lots of attendees appeared in costume, called “cosplay,” ranging from a nine-tailed fox to the Predator and Batman.

Whether in costume or not, many visitors came for a similar reason: to embrace pop culture and meet those who share their interests.

Some of the cosplayers made their costumes entirely by hand, meticulously crafting each and every accessory and article of clothing to bring their character to life.

The Pop-Fest even incentivized the craftsmanship with a cosplay contest, featuring a grand prize of $200 for the best costume.

Those without a costume could also find enjoyment in the Pop-Fest as well, oftentimes through the costumes of others with a quick picture or a compliment on their handiwork.

Many visitors said this was the main focus of their visit.

“It’s a cosplay heaven,” one guest said.

The event also featured celebrity actors such as Steve Cardenas, the Red Ranger from “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” and Amber Nash from the animated show “Archer,” as well as artists.

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