San Diego’s world-famous Comic-Con has announced dates for their first in-person event since the coronavirus pandemic hit the region in 2020.
"The Comic-Con Special Edition" will be held as a three-day event on Nov. 26 to 28 -- Thanksgiving weekend -- at the San Diego Convention Center at a much smaller scale, barring any major setbacks to the state's reopening plans.
"Currently we do not know whether having this event in November is even feasible as we are still in the midst of the pandemic and while we are optimistic about Q4, we have not been privy to any specific information on large gatherings," Comic-Con said. "However, it was our desire to have something in place for our fans who have longed for an in-person event."
The beloved event that attracts thousands of people from all over the world to America’s Finest City was canceled in 2020 for the first time in 50 years due to the pandemic. Instead, it held a free virtual event called Comic-Con@Home.
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This year, it will be doing the same from July 23 to 25, the convention announced but the fall event will allow fans to gather together on the West Coast for the first time in more than a year.
Comic-Con first announced in March it had plans to host an in-person fall event on a smaller scale. Details on how many people would be allowed at the smaller-scaled event, badge cost, and other information were not immediately released.
"The Fall event will allow the organization to highlight all the great elements that make Comic-Con such a popular event each year, as well as generate much-needed revenue not only for the organization but also for local businesses and the community," Comic-Con said in a statement.
Comic-Con said Thanksgiving weekend was the best dates available this year at the convention center for the event they've envisioned. The event is meant to be a slow approach to their summer event.
"There are still many factors that are unknown to us at this time, including space accommodations, travel restrictions, capacity restrictions, and required safety protocols," Comic-Con said. "While open to all and with the hope that we will be able to accommodate fans from all over, we understand that due to potential travel-based restrictions and challenges, Comic-Con Special Edition may be an event attended mostly by fans more easily able to travel to San Diego."
In a statement released Monday, Comic-Con said their decision to hold an in-person event was a balance of gathering and taking COVID-19 health protocols into account.
"Our decision to hold an in-person event in 2021 was driven by a number of factors," Comic-Con said. "Our primary hope was to be able to gather in-person as a community, something we have not been able to do since early last year. Another was to try to determine how best to effectively and safely produce events in light of current health concerns with the least negative impact on attendees."
Comic-Con had previously said it is are working on an option for those wishing to transfer their badge or exhibitor deposits/payments as full or partial payment towards the November event.