Burlington County Library to celebrate pop culture during Fandom Fest on July 29

Library officials describe the event as a ‘mini-comic con’ for teens and adults.

The Burlington County Library will celebrate comics, anime, television, movies, video games and more during the third annual “Fandom Fest” for teens and adults set for Saturday, July 29.

Presented by BCLS and the Friends of the Burlington County Library, officials describe Fandom Fest as a mini comic con, with the event set to run from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the library in Westampton. Admission is free.

Building on the success of the first two festivals, the 2017 program will feature even more fandom fun, including return appearances by Yumy Odom, founder of The East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention, and comics’ writer, author and podcaster Amber Love. The two presenters will team up to host a panel discussion about diversity in comics past, present and future. In addition, animator and illustrator Philip McNulty and Ryan Brady of Camden’s Comics will lead a discussion about getting into the comics business.

Once again, visitors are encouraged to show off their cosplay enthusiasm by dressing as their favorite characters to explore the “convention” floor. The annual Fandom Fest Cosplay Dating Game for those looking for love is set for 11:30 a.m. and the annual Cosplay Parade will begin at 3 p.m. in the library auditorium. Attendees are asked to register their name and their character’s name in advance and report to the information desk between 11 and 11:30 a.m. to check in for the Dating Game, and between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. for the parade.

Also, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., there will be a special Friends of the Library book/media sale featuring more than 1,000 science fiction and fantasy titles, with prices starting at just $1 per item.

Other 2017 Fandom Fest attractions include:

· A fun “Retro Gaming” area in the library’s Teen Zone for visitors who want to sample some classic video game action.

· A Pokémon Trading Card Game Tournament for Pokémon trainers ready to test their skills and compete for fun prizes. (Register for the tournament in advance to guarantee a tournament slot, or sign up the day of the event.)

· An “Away Team” from USS Challenger, an Ocean County-based Star Trek fan group that volunteers for fundraising events, will discuss harnessing the power of fandom for charitable work.

· A return visit by members of the 501st Legion, an international group of “Star Wars” fans that participates in charitable endeavors.

· An explanation of the Harry Potter-inspired sport quidditch from representatives of the The Team Who Must Not be Named, a community quidditch team that practices in Hamilton.

· A challenge to Escape the Room before the clock runs out.

· A panel discussion about the famous tabletop game Dungeons and Dragons focusing on everything needed to know about getting started.

· A 3D printer demonstration and discussion about the potential use of 3D printing to create pieces and props for cosplay.

· Displays by local artists who are creating crafts, props and other works.

· A discussion about how to attend a big comic convention with tips from veteran conventioneers.

· A Digital Scavenger Hunt for those who want to break out the cameras and complete challenges for a shot at 3D-printed prizes.

During the event, visitors will also have an opportunity to check out the library’s impressive collection of graphic novels, manga, DVDs and video games.

All of this year’s Fandom Fest visitors will also be eligible to win one of three raffle baskets: a comics-themed basket, an anime/manga basket, and a Star Wars basket.

The Burlington County Library is located on Pioneer Boulevard off Woodlane Road in Westampton. For more information about Fandom Fest, or to register for an event, go to www.bcls.lib.nj.us or call (609) 267–9660.