Anchorage-based Senshi Con 2016 kicks off Saturday morning

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - What started as a small gathering when a group of high school students were enrolled at West High School has become an entire convention that attracts thousands of people from around the world each year.

"It's anime, it's gaming, basically anyone who's interested in any kind of fandom - we celebrate all together," said Casey Rychetnik, Senshi Con Tech Coordinator.

Senshi Con is an annual anime gathering in Anchorage that was founded more than a decade ago. Throughout the weekend, there will be vendor booths, video game tournaments, and guest presenters, as well as a cosplay contest.

"What's really going on is a bunch of nerds, geeks and people who like a lot of stuff within that spectrum are going to be together in one place," said David Sullivan, Senshi Con Events Manager. "It's just fun to do, and it's something to share with people."

Senshi Con coordinators insist that attendees are not required to dress up.

"Be in character, or just show off fandom for things," Sullivan said.

The kickoff for this year's event is at 11 a.m. Saturday, but event organizers suggest people arrive a couple of hours early as they've had thousands of visitors in past years.

"It's absolutely amazing," Rychetnik said. "People come out from all over the place, including out of the state. It's amazing for us, especially here in Alaska, for people to come up and be excited to celebrate with us."

Tickets are $25 for Saturday and $30 for Sunday with a discounted rate if both days are purchased. Children under 6 years old will be admitted at no charge.