Awesome Con returns to Washington Convention Center this weekend

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Awesome Con (Part 1)

You might see comic book, movie, TV and video game fans on the Metro later this week.

Awesome Con returns Friday to Sunday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

“We’re excited to be back,” Director of Marketing Lauren Dabb told WTOP. “We were scheduled for last May and we actually postponed to December, postponed again to this May, and here we are in August, so we’ve gone through a couple rounds of changes. … We’re either in our eighth or ninth year depending on whether we count 2020 or not.”

This year’s lineup includes the blockbuster stars of “Back to the Future.”

“We have Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd coming,” Dabb said. “There’s photo ops and autographs available with both of them. Christopher Lloyd will also be doing photo ops with the DeLorean. … We also have an afternoon with ‘Back to the Future’ Sunday afternoon. … It is a ticket required event … so if you’re interested in that panel session at the main stage, go to our website.”

What’s in store for fans of “Star Wars” and “The Mandalorian?”

“We have Carl Weathers and Giancarlo Esposito, so two really super cool guests that we’re really excited about,” Dabb said. “In addition to that, we have Destination Cosplay as a new feature. As part of that, we are doing tons of fan meetups. One will be ‘Star Wars’ themed. Then of course we have our ‘Star Wars’ fan groups in the backlot this year, so tons of offerings for ‘Star Wars’ fans.”

You can also meet several stars from “The Lord of the Rings.”

“We’ve got Billy Boyd and Sean Astin this year … doing photo ops and autographs,” Dabb said. “In addition to that, we are doing a second breakfast on Saturday morning for a small group of people. It’s a really cool, exclusive opportunity to be with those guests. They are also celebrating an anniversary this year. In addition, there will be cosplay meetups, ‘Lord of the Rings’ panels.”

Fans of “Star Trek” will be able to meet Captain Kirk and Sulu.

“We’ve got George Takei and William Shatner, photo ops and autographs available for both of them,” Dabb said. “They each have their own main stage session. … Of course, we’ve got the cosplay meetups and ‘Star Trek’ programming, so we’re trying to hit on all the big fandoms.”

Who are some other famous guests that will be there this weekend?

“We have two nostalgic guests that I’m super excited about,” Dabb said. “We’ve got Christina Ricci and Jon Heder. Ricci is from ‘Addams Family’ and ‘Now and Then,’ which is my favorite movie of hers, then Jon is of course from ‘Napoleon Dynamite.’ That’s a classic.”

What do you need to know about COVID-19 safety protocols?

“The convention center is a mask-mandatory building,” Dabb said. “Even if your cosplay has a mask covering your face, you still need need a face covering in line with CDC guidelines. We have temperature checks. … It’s all done automatically through a system that’s up in a camera, so the only thing is that you need to have your forehead clear and we need to be able to see your eyes.”

Tickets range from $40 from to $160, depending on whether you want to come for the day or for the entire weekend. Children ages 3 to 10 are $15 per ticket for a single day or the weekend.

You can pick up your badge early at a kickoff party at Wunder Garten on Thursday night.

The most recent Awesome Con drew 72,000 attendees in 2019.

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Awesome Con (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

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Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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