‘Anime Fiesta’ ticket sales skyrocket ahead of third convention – KVEO-TV

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(Source: Anime Fiesta Facebook Page)
by: Mia Morales
(Source: Anime Fiesta Facebook Page)
by: Mia Morales
MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The third annual Anime Fiesta Convention has nearly doubled over the years in attendees, guests and vendors.
Anime Fiesta is set to begin this weekend, with doors open Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2. The event will feature 14 popular voice actors, including Tara Strong, Bryce Papenbrook and Veronica Taylor.
“This year, we have 14 voice actors coming in and we have three featured cosplayers,” Anime Fiesta event coordinator Marla Villarreal told ValleyCentral. “But the first year, I want to say we only had like six voice actors. So from the first year until now it’s more than doubled.”
The convention started in 2019, but was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. Anime Fiesta reopened in 2021 with COVID-19 restrictions.
Last year, ticket sales boomed with almost 10,000 fans attending the convention, which featured eight voice actors.
“It’s really awesome how the community has supported the event, and its really growing much more quickly than we thought”, Villarreal said.
This year, Anime Fiesta had sold 500 VIP tickets. The demand was so high, organizers decided to add another 100 VIP tickets, which sold out in 30 minutes.
With many attendees going to the event, cosplaying will be a major part of the convention. Fans get to create, design, and dress up as their favorite characters, as well as show off their creativity skills.
“There’s a local cosplayer, and her name is Kelsey Bree, and she has the most interesting costumes to me,” Villarreal said.
Villarreal also spoke of some of her favorite cosplayers she has seen since the start of Anime Fiesta.
“I want to say it was at our comic con in April she did one, it was based on Spirited Away, which is like the Ghibli film and it had the big dragon Haku and that one was amazing.”
Vendors have also increased. Villarreal said the first convention had 70 vendors and now has 135 vendors coming from all over the U.S.
With 14 voice actors from many popular anime shows, such as My Hero Academia, Demon Slayer and Pokémon, coming to the Rio Grande Valley, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The voice actors visiting the Valley include:
“I think I am the most excited for Bryce Papenbrook to come,” Villarreal said. “He is a huge voice actor because he is the main character in Attack on Titans, he’s the main character of Sword Art Online, he’s one of the main characters in Demon Slayer, so I mean those are really really popular shows and so having a main character or cast member you know from that many different franchises is really exciting.”
Doors will open for Anime Fiesta at 9:30 a.m. for VIP and 11 a.m. for general admission on Saturday, Oct 1 and Sunday, Oct. 2. The event will be held at the McAllen Convention Center.
Tickets are still on sale and can be purchased at the door with price ranging from $20 to $35 for children and $35 to $55 for adults.
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