RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – GalaxyCon is coming back to the Raleigh Convention Center on Thursday bringing tens of thousands of attendees with it.
Around 25,000 people will circle through the convention center Thursday through Sunday for the first time in nearly two years.
“COVID has kind of shut down all the fun across the world,” Ghost Buster Exhibitor Adam Deiulio said. “Some of us live from Comicon to Comicon. For these three or four days, we’re at this show, I get to be me.”
But the conference comes as COVID-19 cases surge, driven by the new, highly transmissible delta variant.
“That’s 25,000 people over four days and at different times of the day,” President of GalaxyCon Michael Broder said. “There’s never going to be more than a few thousand people in a place at one time.”
Despite new Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidance recommending everyone, even fully vaccinated people, wear masks in high-risk areas, GalaxyCon is not enforcing masks.
But, organizers are highly encouraging them.
“We will have masks available for them to get at the front desk,” Broder said.
Additional COVID changes include increasing isles to 15-feet wide, cutting both the number of exhibitors by 30-percent and celebrity guests by half.
“It just gets overwhelming when there’s so many people,” vendor Rachel Helman said. “I’m going to look after myself. I am going to wear my mask and do whatever I have to do.”
As for cleaning, the convention center’s director, Kerry Painter, said they will disinfect rooms in-between sessions or breaks.
“We have started doing that during the pandemic and we of course will carry that on, frankly forever — there’s no reason to ever stop,” Painter said.
The city, which operates the convention center, said it’s waiting on any new guidance from the governor before reinstating any mask mandates.
“If the governor changes the mandates we are prepared to follow suit,” Painter said. “We have already been in contact with them to tell them we have shows in town.”
GalaxyCon events will start at 2 p.m. tomorrow.