The turn of a new year indicates that Lunar New Year soon approaches, and with it comes countless fairs, festivals, and events that all celebrate this cultural tradition. However, no other event brings everything all together quite like the Asian American Expo. Now in its 36th year, this event returned to the Fairplex in Pomona this past weekend to deliver the expansive world of Eastern culture. This all-ages expo featured just about everything revolving around Chinese culture and Asian pop culture in general, from the fashion to the fiction to the food to the art to the music and so much more. Attendees would encounter art, music, dance, entertainment, cosplay, fashion, anime, manga, comics, video games, merchandise, accessories, food, drinks, treats, and tons of other things that could keep one occupied for more than just a weekend. Many attendees went all out and dressed for the occasion, while other fans simply attended to check out what this expo has to offer, and believe me you could spend more than a day here.
While the Asian American Expo covered a great portion of the Fairplex, the expo consists of more than just its own vendor expo – the event incorporates Anime Impulse as well as The Silk Show, both of which took place in its own expo hall. The Silk Show took place in one of the expo halls and basically contained vendors for apparel and shoes. For most of the expo’s action, we turn to Anime Impulse. This annual event for all things Anime & Manga attracts exhibitors and fans from across the globe for a huge gathering of like-minded people. Attendees would find artists, designers, vendors, video game developers, technicians, actors/actresses, voice actors, models, musicians, singers, cosplayers, and much more. Within the layout of the Asian American Expo, Anime Impulse took up an expo hall and a half, splitting a second expo hall with part of the overall expo. Anime Impulse also utilizes a lot of the open space as well, as many of the cosplayers and anime fans spread out around the area, most of which looked for a good spot to take photos at. However, most of the action took place inside the main expo hall, filled with all the vendors as well as the indoor stage. A special Maid Café event took place in the back corner; however, this required an additional admission fee to check out, mainly for those who actively participate in those kinds of events.
Even to those not interested in the anime or manga or video games, everyone should attend an anime expo/con just to see everyone dressing up in costume. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into a staple for any sort of expo in this industry, and the fans proudly donned their best gear for this expo. Observe some of what you may expect to see in cosplay at an anime event:
The Asian American Expo, in conjunction with Anime Impulse and The Silk Show, operates annually right before Lunar New Year. While it will take another year for this particular series of events to return, plenty of Lunar New Year events will take place all the way up to the actual Lunar New Year. Check out my blog every Monday morning for a post about the following week’s events to see if one will come to your area. In the meantime, get social with the Asian American Expo by liking them on Facebook. You can also get social with Anime Impulse by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter. The same goes for The Silk Show: check them out on Facebook and Twitter as well. If you missed out on visiting the Fairplex this past weekend, fret not – Anime Los Angeles will take place at the Ontario Convention Center in less than two weeks from now.