I remember the days when Anime Expo hosted picnics. It was then, Mike Tatsugawa roasted weiners and volleyball was associated as a sport, rather than video game eye candy. Of course, that was as far back as 2001. Anime Los Angeles sponsored a few cosplay picnics throughout the year to promote Anime Los Angeles 2009. On October 11, 2008, Hazel Chaz, the ALA chair, hosted a cosplay picnic in Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley, CA. About 90 people showed up for the event. This was their largest cosplay picnic to date.

Carolyn, Stan, Deb, and I left bright and early on Saturday morning en route to Fountain Valley. We had no problem taking Euclid from Fullerton all the way down to Mile Square Park. On the way, we saw a Luigi cosplayer waiting at the bus stop.

There is a reason why the park is named Mile Square Park. We found that out the hard way. Stan parked on the curb and we thought it would be a hop, skip, and a jump to find the Anime Los Angeles party. We were dead wrong. Though it was a nice and scenic walk in the park, it was a long trek to get to our destination. Suffice to say, when we spotted Chaz and company, I grabbed a few refreshments to cool down. It's not easy being a French revolutionary.

Stan and Deb abstained from cosplay. They were waiting until Pacific Media Expo. However, Carolyn and I believe in pre-PMX cosplay. I wore my Lady Oscar (Rose of Versailles) that I bought of my friend Char.

Of course, there were many other cosplayers present. Most were Mikomi Con 2008 alumni. A majority of them were new faces to the cosplay hobby - faces that I had the whole day to be acquainted with. Nothing breaks the ice best when you start talking about American cartoons you have grown up with. Yet, I did ran into an oldie, but a good - Rob Miles. Every con needs a little bit of Rob Miles. The anime convention veteran is currently working on revamping Anime Los Angeles' website.

There was plenty of food to pass around. You had your choice of burgers or hot dogs for sustenance and candy and chips for munchies. The lemonade that I grew to love at the Southern California Cosplay Spring Picnic.

Tiffany, Fer, and I were comparing our wigs from Cyperous. We did a test run of Fer's Princess Kakyuu wig in the windy and cold weather. It was able to sustain wind without tangling. As Tiffany said, "A+! Would buy again." Carolyn and I were wondering why everyone was on their Nintendo DS and laptop at a social event.

So, Carolyn and I decided to do our own thing - take lovely photos by the lake. This was my first time wearing Lady Oscar. It's not as complete as I'd like it to be, but at least I finally got to wear it! Here are the best shots Carolyn took of my Lady Oscar:

Of course, at any event, there were more random antics. You did not have to be in costume to appreciate the sporadic shenanigans.

You know when your AMV (Anime Music Video) program is going to be awesome when the head of the department is cosplaying as Rick Astley.

The picnic was great publicity for Anime Los Angeles. Not many local Southern Californian conventions have events scattered through the year to do something nice for their attendees. It also felt like an Anime Los Angeles members appreciation event. If you wanted to volunteer or become a staff member for the con, you could also inquire within.

The favorite spot for the cosplayers to play was the playground. No puns intended. Several of us decided that the playground was our main base of operations to take over the park. For the most part, we just chilled in the gazebo breaking the ice and getting to know each other a little bit more. This was a good group of people that did not believe in randomly whacking people with rowing instruments.

I ran into Shane and his girlfriend. They were dressed as Shinji and Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion.We also talked about tons of old skool anime, considering that I was dressed as Lady Oscar. Great to know that other people appreciate Nadia!

Cy-chan was randomly drawing pictures of people in costume. Carolyn was telling me about her crazy photo shoot adventure as two passing strangers stopped to stare during.

The cosplay picnic was finally striking down. Chaz requested that there will be one final group picture before everyone decides to go home.

Deb, Stan, and I stayed around for a while. Deb wanted to get this one guy's phone number before leaving. It was still 5PM. The day was still young. Fer and Matt Matt wanted to hit Camelot. Seeing that many of us have not been there in a while, we decided to go.

After about an hour of taking side streets, we arrived to the silly place to play silly games. Stan and Deb went on the traditional arcade route - fighting games and shooting games. A round of House of the Dead III ended much too soon. Fer was disapointed that there wasn't Typing of the Dead. I spent most of the time with Tiffany and Carolyn. Carolyn was on a mission to collect as many tickets possible by playing the easy, idiot proof games. The best one was the alligator game where you had to whack them to score points. Tiffany and Carolyn set the high score (116).

Deb and Fer - OTP? Or Vic, Deb, and Fer - OT3?

After a round at Camelot, Stan, Deb, and I went to Mimi's Cafe in Anaheim. It was a very nice day in the park with new faces and old time buddies. Many thanks to Chaz for putting on an event well done! As simple and quaint as this event may be, it brought back the magic of Autumn.

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