Your Guide to Tempe FanCon 2022: Cosplay, Vendors, Schedule, and More

Arizona scam season is about to begin. In the coming months, local nerd-exclusive events will return after taking a year or two off, offering local cosplayers, comic book fans and other members of the Valley’s nerd community and the chance to get out in public.

First up is Tempe FanCon this weekend, the free event outside of the Tempe Public Library that celebrates pop culture, video games, costumes, and the like. Melissa Quillard, a spokeswoman for the city of Tempe, says the scam’s geeky bent is a perfect fit for the library.

“There’s certainly a lot of synergy between the library and comics, cosplay and all those fun activities,” he says. “Comics especially take advantage of some key components of literacy. down to connect the images with what is written in the little bubbles, in a way that allows people to understand the story.”

Held over a single afternoon, Tempe FanCon is attended by geeks of all ages and features dozens of vendors, artists and exhibitors. There is also a massive costume contest for prizes.

The organizers of FanCon, which normally takes place every January, took a break last year due to COVID-19, but will host the 2022 edition on Saturday, January 29. All activities will take place outdoors to help slow the spread of the virus. (Quillard says masks are also “strongly recommended.”)

Want to know what else is in store for this year’s FanCon? Here is a guide with all the details.

When and where is Tempe FanCon 2020?

The scam will take place on Saturday, January 29, outside the Tempe Public Library, 3500 South Rural Road in Tempe. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

How much is admission?

It is completely free to attend.

Are there age limits?

No. Tempe FanCon is a family event open to all ages.

click to enlarge The Force is strong with this family.  - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN

The Force is strong with this family.

Benjamin Leatherman

What is the best way to get there?

By car, take the Superstition Freeway (US Highway 60) to the Rural Road exit, then head north. The Tempe Public Library is on the southwest corner of Southern Avenue and Rural. If you’re traveling by public transportation, Valley Metro Bus #72 connects to the light rail station on University Drive.

Where can I park?

Free parking is available at the library and a few hundred spaces will be available. That said, the sooner you get there, the closer you can park.

How will the weather be?

There will be clear skies and plenty of sunshine, but temperatures will be cool (around 57 degrees) at the start of the event. Things will heat up throughout the day and hit the mid-70s by afternoon.

Will there be COVID-19 safety rules?

Yes. All attendees are strongly encouraged to wear masks “regardless of vaccination status” due to the current increase in Omicron variants of COVID-19. However, you will not need to show proof of a recent negative test result or have been vaccinated to attend.

What kind of providers will there be?

Unsurprisingly, they will be largely of the geek variety. The library’s website lists more than 70 different vendors, businesses, artists and groups that will have tables and tents at Tempe FanCon. The selection is as varied as it is huge, including artisans (Raven’s Bazaar, Strong Leather Goods, Vixen’s Baubles ‘n’ Bling), retailers (Collectors Marketplace, Kei Collective), authors (Matthew O. Duncan, Mindy Tarquini), illustrators and cartoonists. comics (Jeff Pina, Dominic Glover) and publishers (Small-Tooth-Dog).

Will there be food and drinks available for purchase?

Yes. A few different food trucks and vendors are scheduled to appear at the event, including American Poutine Co., Culinary Sköl, and Mustache Pretzels. Plus, a local Girl Scout troop will be on hand and will likely have cookies for sale (it’s that time of year, after all). Several restaurants and places to eat are also just a short drive from the Tempe Public Library.

Will there be special guests?

Something like. Renowned local cosplayer AmberSkies will make an appearance at the event and judge the cosplay contest. Local geek groups like the Arizona Ghostbusters and the Umbrella Corporation Arizona Hive also plan to be there.

click to enlarge Local cosplayers like Spider-Man and Dr. Strange at Tempe FanCon in 2020. - BENJAMIN LEATHERMAN

Local cosplayers like Spider-Man and Dr. Strange at Tempe FanCon in 2020.

Benjamin Leatherman

Are costumes encouraged?

Naturally. Feel free to dress up as characters from comics, movies, anime, games, or any other type of geek-friendly theme.

Will there be costume contests?

Yep. In fact, there will be one for humans and one for pets. The winners of the “Wags & Whiskers” contest (which features mascot costumes that were submitted online and judged prior to the scam) will be announced at 1 pm on stage.

Anyone interested in entering the Human Costume Contest can register from 10 am to 1 pm at the Tempe Museum of History entrance. There will be four different categories (youth, teens, adults, and groups) and local cosplayer AmberSkies will judge the contestants and the results will be announced at 1:30 p.m. The winners of each category will get tickets to the Arizona Renaissance Festival in this year.

What is the schedule?

Activities will begin approximately 30 minutes after the event begins at 10 am and will continue throughout the afternoon. Here’s the full schedule of everything that’s happening at FanCon.

10 a.m. – Tempe FanCon begins
10 am to 3 pm: there will be activities for children in the north parking lot
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – FanCon photo booth will operate
10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.: Superhero Storytime takes place on stage
13:00 – Wags & Whiskers contest winners announced on stage
13:30 – Announcement of the winner of the costume contest on stage
4 p.m.: Tempe FanCon ends