The Southern California Cosplay Spring Gathering is the one of the most anticipated cosplay events in California. On May 8, 2010, over 500 cosplay fans showed up to this event. Even folks from the Bay Area drove down to see what was happening down south. The SoCal Cosplay Gatherings are hosted by a group of cosplayers that typically hold the event in an Orange County location. Last year, the event was held in Irvine. This year, the event was held at Craig Regional Park in Fullerton. The park was bigger, and many of the attendees loved the vast amount of shade from the trees. The area made great woodland backdrop for cosplay photos.
The Scarlet Rhapsody team attended. Stan and Deb went as characters from Black Cat and Jared and I went as the mommy and daddy from Card Captor Sakura (just in time for Mother's Day). Caitlin joined the pack of the many Pokemon cosplayers present; trainers and humanoid forms alike.
First of all, Craig Regional Park is huge. There were several different parking lots, but luckily, park rangers were very helpful in guiding us in the right direction. What amused us the most was that security recognized what series Stan was cosplaying from!
On the way to the gathering, we met the folks who ran the SoCal Cosplay: Plan B. This was another gathering at the same park that targeted those who forgot about the deadline to pay for the gathering. The gathering was run by Ebay Sniper.
We arrived at the main site for the gathering. We checked in and got our wristbands. Luckily, the staff let me wrap my wristband around my purse. Though it was 12:30PM, there were plenty of cosplayers on site.
We ran into Big Jarod. Jarod and Stan were discussing plans to cosplay as Bulk and Skull from the Power Rangers series.
And then there was a gathering of the Jareds; all two of them.
What was the most popular series at the gathering? Jared and I were surprised by the minimal amount of Shounen Jump characters (Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, etc). We found that Street Fighter and Pokemon were the most represented series at the gathering. While I have no problem seeing cosplayers from popular shounen series, it was refreshing to see a little bit of everything at the event.
One of the highlights at SoCal Spring was the Rock Band set up. There was a line for those who wanted to be on vocals. I noticed there was a line up of Lady Gaga songs. Because Jared, Stan, and I were watching this review prior to the gathering, I decided to sing "Bad Romance." Since PMX 2009, it has been tradition that I have to do Lady Gaga karaoke at an event. Deb sang "Still Alive" from Portal. In addition to Rock Band, someone brought a chess set. Now cosplayers can play chess for real!
The gathering was very pet friendly. Someone had brought a pure breed pug cosplaying as Percy from Pocahantas. It was a very relaxing gathering. I enjoyed time sitting down in the grass and people watching.
The food was your standard hot dogs and burgers. Anime Los Angeles brought their supply of pink lemonade as they do every year. Many thanks to SoCal Spring Gatherings for bringing a great amount of food to keep us all going!
Ejen, author and editor of a cosplay book called "Cosplay in America," appeared to the event. The book was passed around at the gathering. I noticed some familiar faces in there. What I liked about this book is that it had a great range of amateur to veteran cosplayers and it did not have any biases to a person or a series. There was a great variety of costumes and cosplayers featured in the book. Check it out if you can!
As Iron Cosplay went on, a few of us decided to watch it from afar. Jared decided to take a nap on me. Stan took part in Iron Cosplay as a model.
As mentioned at the beginning of the report, the event attracted a few people from the Bay Area to drive down to the event. Charie, Jonelle, Eve, JR, and Kei have heard great things about this event and they decided to check it out for what it's worth. Good to know that this gathering is attracting the out of towners!
Then it came time for the raffle. Prizes included swag from various gathering sponsors, generous donors, and gift certificates from Cosworx. None of us came home with anything, but some of our numbers came pretty close.
After the raffle, Deb, Jared, and I decided to wander to the creek area for photos.
I cosplayed as Nadeshiko from Card Captor Sakura. I joked around being the ghost mom from the series. Jared cosplayed as Fujitaka Kinomoto, Sakura's father. We had fun cosplaying as the December-May couple. The woodland background allowed for romantic types of shots between the two CLAMP characters. Many thanks to Deb for the photos!
Deb cosplayed as Saya from Black Cat. Though it would have much more appropriate to have an urban setting for the character, the woodland background had a classier, exotic feel juxtaposed to Deb's yukata.
Caitlin also had fun with sticks. The wild Cleffa used pick up. It appears that Cleffa is holding something.
The gathering was coming to an end as the sun was getting ready to set. I ran into some of my old time friends; Nessa, Postman, and others at the last minute. Postman wanted to do a quick photo shoot as Maguma was rounding up the base crew for an after party at Island's.
Overall, it was a very nice gathering. It was very well run. True, it was hot, but we had cool breezes and plenty of shade to make up for that. What impressed me is that this event had many representatives from plenty of SoCal events. Mikomi Con's chief was promoting their two big events of the year. Anime Los Angeles had their usual lemonade stand. Pacific Media Expo was looking for cosplayers to feature for an article for a local publication. The gathering reported 521 in attendance. The gathering did feel bigger, and the location was well loved by many. The only complaint I had was the long walk from where we parked to the gathering site. Otherwise, I gotta tip my hat to the ladies of SoCal Cosplay Gatherings. It was well worth the $10 price of admission.
Maguma held the after party at Island's. It was a stone's throw away from the gathering site. We had a pretty big crowd occupying the eating establishment. Suffice to say, the bleu cheese burger did not satisfy Stan's taste buds. Deb and I went with our usual mushroom burger. The great thing about Island's was the endless amount of fries. Of course, the base crew was up to their usual shenanigans. It was cool hanging out with people after the gathering.
Many thanks to everyone who made this gathering possible! Let's keep this going on for years!
Pictures are copyright by Scarlet Rhapsody. If I took your picture, feel free to use it on your site or cosplay gallery. While you're here, do sign the guestbook. This site was brought to you by the font Pixie. Many thanks to Chaz Boston Baden for the image resizing and watermarking program.