Pacific Northwest’s Biggest Anime Convention

2:04 PM PDT on Sunday, June 28, 2009




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SEATTLE – Every year as the cherry blossoms come into bloom in the Western Washington region, it signals an event that several thousands of people look forward to. Presented by the Asia Northwest Cultural Education Association, SakuraCon comes to roost in Seattle.  


2009 will make the it the 12th year of operation, and they’ve expanded now to include Anime theaters, both sub’d and dub’d, gaming, cosplay, cultural panels, dances, concerts, art contests, AMV’s, industry guests, over 100,000 square feet of exhibits hall, guests of honor and even more. 


On the opening day, there was such a press of people that the average wait time in line for those who did not pre-register was about four hours-for those who DID pre-register, it was still a two and a half hour wait. But overall, no one seemed to mind – as long as they still got in.


Well over 50% of attendants were dressed up in one way or another, many in ways that could be overly embarrassing for both them and others. But, as is the trend at anime conventions, there was nothing taboo – not only were such outfits praised, but pictures were taken ^_^. Check out the Gallery in our forum, there is an album with more pictures taken. Fliers for AnimeSeed were handed out to random patrons and those who’s picture was taken.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

This year there was an estimated $13 million dollar intake, with the pre-registrations having more than doubled. Up to 20,000 people were expected to attend. In reality, the official paying member count was 16,586 – up from 13,600 in 2008. BUT, the ‘turnstile’ count was at 45,560 for the weekend, more than twice what was expected.


SakuraCon runs between late March and mid-April every year Friday-Sunday, with per-registration for 2010 already open. It is for 18+, so if there is a minor who plans on attending, a parental release form is required.


SakuraCon 2009 proved that the convention can grow while still keeping the qualities that make it special, in fact it can grow and improve at the same time. If you have a chance to go to the next one, even if it’s your first-ever anime convention, it’s an opportunity that you shouldn’t miss. And between now and then, I’ll look forward to seeing some of you at KumoriCon in Portland.