While the rest of the US is out blowing up fireworks on July 4th, we’re crammed shoulder to shoulder into a convention center with people that we didn’t even know a week prior.

While people attend con for many different reasons, such as meeting their favorite Artist or selling merchandise, many of us go for a single reason: the opportunity to interact with a great community. This past weekend was the 15th consecutive July 4th weekend that I’ve dedicated time to see people who have become some of the most important people in my life. Some of these people have been at it for 25 to 26 years. I come from the side of staffing and volunteering, but others are content creators, cosplayers, or just fans.

No matter what our background is, we keep coming back because these people we’ve met at con are truly some of the most important people in our lives. Not many people have experienced their relationship with another person go from stranger to best friends within 3 days.

I didn’t get to see everyone this weekend, but I’m looking forward to the next time our paths cross.

I didn’t get to take many photos this year, but I happened to snap this one of these fine folks by LP1. I should collect photos with more people next year. Also, those of you with keen eyes will notice the AX03 pin, which I didn’t get in 2003, but it was my first con. Also wearing my AXOps lanyard from when I first started staffed, which was 10 AXes ago, which was the first year AX was at LACC.

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