Alabama Fanaticon back in Dothan

DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - The Alabama Fanaticon is in Dothan this weekend at the Civic Center.

Close to 1,500 people from around the Wiregrass were in attendance Saturday afternoon.

The convention features informative panels, video game tournaments, and a few celebrity guests.

Director Phil Chalker started Fanaticon six years ago after hearing the distances people had to travel just to attend similar events.

“We said ‘why don’t we have one in Dothan?’ And so we put it on in 2013 and we’ve been doing it ever since” Chalker said.

He saw an opportunity to help his community.

“As a small business owner, I want to promote the local economy” he explained.

With visitors coming from all around the Wiregrass, he knew Fanaticon would keep money here.

“A lot of day trippers are coming to Dothan. A lot of weekend stays. The hotel business does well, and it incorporates a lot of the downtown food" Chalker said.

Getting people to attend the convention wasn’t a hard task.

“Sci-Fi convention in Dothan. That was it. I was signed up that day” Fanaticon attendee Chris Wren said.

A big part of Fanaticon is the cosplay that people take part in.

Bobert "The Balloon Guy" explains “It’s costume play. You play dress up, as an adult or as a kid, you just get to play dress up and have fun.”

Cosplay has no limitations.

"you can cosplay anything you want. It doesn’t matter your gender, your weight, your height, anything like that. If you want to do something you can do it" Bobert said.

Chalker hopes Fanaticon can show business owners that there is a market for all businesses.

“Dothan is growing great and fanatics and Fanaticon loves to be a part of that growth and keep pushing people to stay here. Don’t move away to another city, stay in Dothan and grow your business here. Bring something that we don’t have yet, you know? Be a part of it" Chalker exclaims.

Fanaticon wraps up Sunday at the Dothan Civic Center from 9 to 3pm.

Visit AlabamaFanaticon for Sunday ticket prices and schedule.