Some of the nation’s top pro cosplayers are assembling at the Tampa Convention Center on December 10-11 for Holiday Cosplay Tampa Bay, a new winter-themed, family-friendly comic convention that features anime, comics, science fiction and gaming as well as world-class cosplay. Tickets are affordable at $30 for a single day and $45 for weekend pass (note, ticket prices increase by $5 at the door).
8 big-name pro cosplayers at Holiday Cosplay Tampa Bay
The eight big-name talents collectively have more than 1 million followers across five social media platforms and have earned awards from the largest and most prestigious conventions. “It’s rare so many top cosplayers are at one convention,” said Nicole Wilcox, whose cosplay name is Avera Cosplay, and is one of the eight pro cosplay guests.
Wilcox recruited the pro cosplayers who are nationally recognized specialists in props and costume construction, armor crafting and painting, makeup and body paint, sewing and needlework as well as unique elements like wings and lights. And the pro cosplayers will be hosting panels. “This is an elite team of pro cosplayers whose panels are better described as master-class instruction,” Wilcox said.
Evil Ted (aka Ted Smith), from Los Angeles, California, is a legendary propmaker and costumer whose more than 30-year career includes work on major films and TV shows like The Fifth Element, Guyver, Hunger Games, Titanic, and Xena Warrior Princess.
Casey Renee, from Atlanta, Georgia, is an expert at historical, time-period-accurate sewing techniques like corsetry, smocking, and other intricately detailed costume construction.
Ginoza Costuming (aka Brittani Ginoza), from Columbus, Ohio, has twice represented the U.S. in international cosplay competitions and is widely known for her highly detailed painting that recreates textures.
PlexiCosplay (aka Candace Bergin), from Baltimore, Maryland, specializes in EVA foam, SFX, and armor painting as well as unique elements like wings and lights.
Tiara Bree, from Jacksonville, Florida, is known for her genre diversity using makeup and body paint with characters from Disney movies.
Gremmcos, from Orlando, is known for wig styling and makeup who portrays characters from anime and video games.
Holiday Cosplay Tampa Bay also features voice actors
The new convention also showcases six big-time voice actors who portray characters in anime shows like Sonic the Hedgehog, Genshin Impact, Re:Zero, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and Hunter x Hunter; cartoons like Young Justice, The Clone Wars, Arcane, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Marvel Future Avengers, Danny Phantom, and Thundercats; and video games like Marvel’s Avengers and Final Fantasy V.
Comic artists at Holiday Cosplay Tampa Bay
In addition, there are five nationally known comic creators who have illustrated for Marvel titles like Spider-Man, Venom, Black Panther, The Avengers, and X-Men as well as for DC titles such as Batman, Superman, Flash, and Justice League of America.
More than 50 Hours of Programming
The event features a wide range of programming from contests and panels to idol groups and a Spider Verse prom. The genre-spanning entertainment line-up has more than 50 hours of offerings hosted by experts and fellow fans. Also, there will be specialty rooms including a video gaming room, tabletop gaming room, even a movie viewing room to relax and watch nonstop holiday films.
There will be $2,000 in cash prizes for the contests! There are two cosplay contests (‘Craftsmanship’ on Saturday, and ‘Runway’ on Sunday). The one-of-a-kind TikTok film festival celebrates the platform’s artform. In addition, the lip sync competition will get your blood pumping, hips moving, and hands clapping. Meanwhile, the fan art contest will showcase the best fan artists.
Panels, Idol Groups, and a SpiderVerse Prom
Pro-cosplayers will offer master-class instruction, celebrity guests will appear for Q&As, and fellow fans will host panels only geeks and nerds can appreciate. In addition, Winter Wonder Fest Idol Festival is headlined by RESO, a Florida-based group that will give fans the chance to watch dynamic performances up close as well as meet real idols. Also, if your Spidey-sense is tingling, it’s the SpiderVerse Prom all weekend that features music, games, and prizes, hosted by Spider Verse of FL (fans are encouraged to attend as their favorite SpiderVerse characters).
Best Holiday Shopping in the Universe and Curated Spaces for Unique Holiday Photos
Making the event even more spectacular is the holiday shopping! Comic, anime, science-fiction, fantasy, and video game fans no longer need to purchase their holiday gifts at a local mall or online for outrageous shipping fees. Holiday Cosplay Tampa Bay will host nearly 200 genre-specific vendors that will create the best holiday shopping in the universe for geeks and nerds! Action figures, art prints, cosplay accessories, light sabers, and more will all be available throughout the weekend.
In addition, there will be lots of nerdy spaces for fans and cosplayers to snap unique holiday photos! For instance, there are numerous Christmas tree settings (including a pink xmas tree!) as well as several photos spaces ranging from Frozen to DC Universe to Spider-Man. And there is a pro photographer snapping free photos, too.
Most importantly, Santa will be there! And he’ll be surrounded by a holiday setting for great photos! All children are welcome to deliver letters and wish lists to Santa himself at the convention, or leave their correspondence at his mailbox.
Holiday Cosplay Tampa Bay Organizer
The event is brought to you by the organizers of St. Pete Comic Con and Anime St. Pete, which as first-year cons drew large crowds of 3,500 and 3,700, respectively. Holiday Cosplay is expected to have more than 5,000 attendees. Additionally, the organizer, who loves to bring great conventions to the St. Petersburg area, recently announced Sunshine City Scare, a new horror con in St. Petersburg on May 13-14, 2023.
If you’re interested in attending Holiday Cosplay Tampa Bay, tickets are only $30 for a single day, $45 for a weekend pass, and children nine and under get in for free. Tickets are available for purchase on the Holiday Cosplay Tampa Bay website now.
Holiday Cosplay Tampa Bay sponsors include Gallery Panda, Level 10 Certification, Florida Comic Cons, Florida Cosplay Digital Magazine, I Love the Burg, That’s So Tampa, Creative Loafing, Jamie’s Pup Grooming, and Comic-Cons.xyz.