Annual Florida PolyCon bringing fandom fun to Lakeland

Mar 14, 2023
Students enjoy a past Florida PolyCon

Attendees of the 2022 Florida PolyCon cosplay as Venti, a character in the game Genshin Impact, and Tanjiro Kamado, the protagonist in the manga series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. The 2023 Florida PolyCon, an annual comic-con-like celebration at Florida Polytechnic University, will take place on Saturday, March 18 at the University campus in Lakeland, Florida.

Anime characters, Jedis, and superheroes will pour into the Florida Polytechnic University campus on Saturday, March 18, for Florida PolyCon, a daylong annual community celebration of comics, anime, and all things geek.

Up to 2,000 people are expected to attend the seventh annual event, which for the first time ever will include a professional fireworks display.

“As students, this is a big showcase of the culture of Florida Poly,” said computer science junior Brandon Townes, the event’s president. “We know we have a lot of geeks on campus, and a lot of esports people and people who love Marvel and DC Comics, so this is a showcase for all of that as well as allowing our clubs to display what they do best in a big and wide format.”

Another Florida PolyCon first is the addition of a theme, which students voted to be “fantasy.” The theme will largely take shape at Fantasy Fest, a renaissance fair-type area on the Florida Poly lawn. This will be complete with archery tag, ax throwing, and a display from a historic martial arts group.

Attendees will also be able to participate in and enjoy a cosplay contest, Dungeons and Dragons and Warhammer 40K gameplay, Nerf battles, trivia, vendors, a talent competition, a Star Wars-inspired saber display, and educational sessions on topics such as armor making, cosplay marketing, and facing cosplay fears.

“I really like the energy at PolyCon,” said business analytics junior Dove Leatherwood, the event’s marketing coordinator. “People come extremely excited in their costumes and it’s very high-energy and fun. You don’t really feel that anywhere else.”

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Lydia Guzmán
Director of Communications