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GalaxyCon is returning to Raleigh for a weekend of celebrities, comics and cosplay

The (Raleigh) News & Observer logo The (Raleigh) News & Observer 7/26/2021 Aubrey Gulick, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

Jul. 26—It's safe to say many of us would love to meet a celebrity, even if it's just for a few minutes.

Well, breakout the cosplay costumes and face paint, or just go as yourself, because GalaxyCon might make those dreams a reality.

GalaxyCon, which will be held at the Raleigh Convention Center July 29-Aug. 1, will be bringing in celebrities like Giancarlo Esposito ("Breaking Bad" and "The Mandalorian"), several cast members of the "American Pie" films, Stephen Amell ("Arrow"), cast members of the CW's "Superman & Lois," Grammy winner Young MC and William Shatner. Shatner, at 90, is one of the last surviving cast members from the original "Star Trek" series.

Plus there will be creators, cosplay artists, and wrestlers.

The event has taken place annually since 2017, and is back after being canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, if you're eager to go, reserve tickets quickly since they're limited to reduce crowds.

Here's what you need to know about going. For more details, go to galaxycon.com/pages/raleigh.

First, what is GalaxyCon?

GalaxyCon is a four-day fandom event that brings in celebrities, creators, voice actors, cosplayers, entertainers, fan groups, gamers, panelists and streamers. Other locations include Richmond, Va., and Minneapolis, Minn.

What kinds of events are there?

Events include photo meetups, talks, Q&As with guests as well as performances like improv and stand up comedy and cosplay contests. You can check out the schedule here.

How can I meet someone famous?

GalaxyCon provides opportunities for fans to buy tickets for celebrity "experiences," including photo opportunities and autographs. Prices range between $40 to $180 to take a photo or get an autograph, depending on the day. But a meet and greet with Lana Parilla, of "Once Upon a Time," is $500.

Some group photos, such as with the CW's Superman and Green Arrow, or the cast of "American Pie," start at $120.

Most autographs will only be sold at the event.

What celebrities will be there?

As of July 23, celebrity guests at GalaxyCon include Giancarlo Esposito, Tyler Hoechlin, Elizabeth Tulloch, Alexander Garfin, Lana Parrilla, Matt Lanter, William Shatner, Corey Taylor, Barry Bostwick, Jason David Frank, Tara Reid, Shannon Elizabeth, Chris Owen, Thomas Ian Nicholas and Marvin Young.

Voice actors will include Matt Lanter, Ashley Eckstein, Christopher Sabat, Jodi Benson, Jim Cummings, Kevin Conroy, Justin Briner, Monica Rial, Jason Liebrecht, Bret Iwan, Roger Craig Smith, Dana Snyder, Nina Bergman and Carlos Ferro.

Guests often are subject to change. Organizers announced Friday that film star Brendan Fraser no longer would be able to attend due to a scheduling conflict.

Although many celebrities will be there all four days, not all will, so it's a good idea to check their schedules.

What creators will be there?

There will be 31 featured creators at GalaxyCon in 2021.

What cosplay guests will be there?

GalaxyCon is hosting six cosplay guests including Kainosaurus, Oh my Sophii, Handsome Jordan, Morgan Le Foy, Silverheart Cosplay, and FanDames Initiative.

There will also be 12 entertainment guests at the event, including Staff Sgt. David Bellavia, an Iraq veteran who received the Congressional Medal of Honor. He will be in Raleigh July 31 at 12 noon for a Medal of Honor panel.

What are the hours?

Exhibition Hall Hours are Thursday: 2-8 p.m., Friday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Event Hours are Thursday: 2 p.m.-12 midnight, Friday: 10 a.m. — 12 midnight, Saturday: 10 a.m.-1 a.m., and Sunday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

What are the COVID precautions?

GalaxyCon will be more limited in attendance than in past years. There will also be increased sanitation and cleaning protocols as well as policies prohibiting physical contact with guests. Certain programming tracks, including video game and tabletop gaming rooms will not be available this year.

Is there a virtual option?

Yes. There will be live streams and virtual offerings throughout the event.

How can I get tickets?

Tickets are available for purchase on the GalaxyCon website. Admission, photo ops and autograph tickets are all available separately. Tickets will be limited since attendance is capped lower than usual.

What if I had tickets last year?

Tickets from 2020 are valid for the 2021 event, and can even be shifted to attend the 2022 event.

Where do I park?

Parking is available anywhere in downtown Raleigh. Public Parking garages are located on Lenoir Street between Salisbury and McDowell streets, as well as on McDowell Street between Carbarrus and Davie streets, and on Salisbury Street between Cabarrus and Davie streets.

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