Rhode Island Comic Con kicks off in Providence
The fourth Rhode Island Comic Con officially kicked off in Providence on Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony using light sabers.
This year, two venues are expecting more than 60,000 people during the course of the three-day event.
"It was our ultimate goal to just increase and get bigger and bigger every year," said Susan Soares, a public relations director.
Fans of fantasy piled into the Convention Center and the Dunkin' Donuts Center. All of them were confident that there will be no capacity issues keeping people shut out like last year.
Organizers said plans are in place to accommodate the event's explosive growth rate.
"We're going to have separate entrances based on what type of badge you have," said Soares.
General admission badges, VIP badges, and day badges, all have a bar code that will be scanned so officials have an up-to-the-minute capacity count.
Last year, hundreds of people were turned away. It spawned outrage when the Convention Center reached capacity.
But this year, fans are confident those problems will be gone. They said a second venue is helpful.
"(It) gives people more room to move around," said Josh Yarborough of Woonsocket. "(There's) more room to spread out, so it really gives people more room to do what they want to do."
Others shared similar sentiments.
"It's growing," said Rocky Haggard of Mansfield. "It's huge, and it crosses gender boundaries."
Another venue means more people, more days, and more fun for everyone, including vendors.
"I've been to some big shows, but this one's shaping up to be like the Super Bowl of shows," said Sly Egidio of Beantown Collectibles.
Mayor Jorge Elorza agreed.
"This is becoming extremely, extremely big, and we're proud to host them," said Elorza, who was flanked by the Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno, and General Manager of the Dunkin' Donuts Center and the Convention Center, Larry Lepore, during the ribbon-cutting.
Most people should have their tickets already. If you bought tickets online and need to pick them up at will call, there are signs directing you to the box office.
Carrie Fisher, who is most known for her role as Princess Leia, canceled due to illness. For those who bought passes to meet her, you will be refunded automatically through the web portal.