Over 500 attend Augusta’s Toy and Comic Show
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -The pandemic didn’t stop the third year of Augusta’s Joefest Toy and Comic Show. This year, the two-day convention moved to the Augusta Convention Center for more space to allow for social distancing.
There were over 300 vendors set-up, more than 500 people in attendance, and several superheroes to see.
James Morgan attended the event.
“I think everybody really wanted a chance to get away and do something fun, do something that we enjoy,” he said.
“Yeah, we’ve been looking forward to doing a convention for a while,” Chris Scott, another attendee, said.
The pandemic stopped many big events, but organizers say they made sure this event could take place safely.
“If we were going do it, it was going to be safe,” organizer Ed Schumacher said.
In addition to moving to the 40,000 square foot convention center, they added other safety measures too.
“This year we got six-foot distance between each vendor. We’ve got a minimum 13 foot between aisles. We acquired the second half of the convention center to socially distance, we got one-way aisles, masks are required. Everything that CDC recommended, we’ve done,” Schumache said.
Other convention cancellations have put a strain on many vendors and artists sales. Shelby Puckett has been selling her art at comic conventions since 2016, this year she said most were canceled or turned to virtual conventions.
“I was really scared because I had a lot of medical stuff going on, I had lost my job from the pandemic. So, this was a big thing for me” she said. “I’m still ecstatic that we were able to all come together and have a fun day as a community.”
The show even brought in people from across the county. Like Morgan, who traveled from Chicago, and his new friend Scott from Orlando.
”It’s good to be able to interact with people of diverse backgrounds, from all different parts of the country in a time and a place where we seem a little bit divided. We can find something that we can all come together to enjoy each other’s company and a brand that we love,” Morgan said. “Yeah, and we just met last night,” Scott said.
In the stress of the pandemic, there’s no better way to put a smile on people’s faces than with comics and toys.
“Hang in there America, we’re going to get over this together. And after that, we’ll be free from all this and back to our normal life” Augustus Cho, G.I Joe: Retaliation actor, said.
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