ESCONDIDO — From the far ends of the universe, the nerds came out in force.
Thousands geeked out last weekend at the second annual Nerd-Con at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. It was a record draw for the new convention, as the success of its first year allowed Nerd-Con to take over the whole facility.
“How can you go to a convention in your hometown and not go?” said Mark Fuga of Calico Gaming. “Last year it was great, fantastic. This year … they are using the entire grounds for Nerd-Con. A lot more people have heard of Nerd-Con.”
The three-day convention began on Aug. 26 with a badge pick-up and VIP party. Saturday and Sunday showcased a spectrum of vendors, fashion shows and cosplayers.
Since Nerd-Con embraces all walks of nerd, the convention cast a wide net. From “Ghostbusters” to a mock Delorean from “Back to the Future” to the lesser-known magical worlds of comics and anime, the event had something for everyone.
One such hit came in the form of four wizards dressed as the Beauxbatons, the all-girls school from the novel and movie, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”
Sarah Beard, along with Anna, 12, Grace, 11, and Lilly Hurlbert, 9, were a hit with convention goers, stopping to pose for photos and speak with those impressed by their cosplay.
Beard, who babysat the girls when they were younger, said the four opted for the wizards after finding it difficult to lock down four separate, strong female heroes. So, since they all are big fans of “Harry Potter,” they decided on the Beauxbatons.
“It’s a lot of fun and a lot of people in costume,” Beard said. “We got to hear some fun conversations. Here you get to be whatever kind of nerd you want to be.”
The philosophy behind Nerd-Con provides an open forum for everyone with interests from gaming to fantasy and comic books to movies.
Fuga said the video game store attended last year’s Nerd-Con and had its best-ever sales day.
“Last year, Nerd-Con was doing fantastic marketing,” Fuga said. “We paid for a spot, and literally, the best day of business we had was the last Nerd-Con. We just like going to conventions. This whole thing started because we are a bunch of nerds.”