The lower end of Wollongong's CBD will be a flurry of fancy dress on Saturday as thousands of pop culture fans turn out for the seventh annual Comic Gong festival.
From 10am to 4pm, four areas will have an array of free fun for youngsters and adults.
The Wollongong Town Hall will be bustling with more than 70 artist, exhibitor and comic merchandise stalls. There will also be a new quiet space for anyone who needs a break.
The Arts Precinct will host sword fighting demonstrations, Rock'n'Roll Wrestling, light saber lessons and music by The Con Artists.
Wollongong Library will have merchandise, a games floor, badge making, face painting, Project Bucephalus Lego robots, pinball and arcade games (including Dance Dance Revolution), virtual reality.
Wollongong Art Gallery will host cosplay competitions from 11am - categories include ages 0-12, 13-17, 18+ and open groups.
The official cosplay parade will leave the gallery at 1:15pm and flow into the Arts Precinct before looping back to finish at the town hall.
The gallery will also feature two panel discussions, as well as a Draw-Off with illustrators Marcelo Baez and Queenie Chan.
Heroes off the Page at Wollongong Art Gallery's Education Centre, 10:30am
With the death of industry giant Stan Lee, we've been thinking about our Comic Book heroes. Not the ones in tights! The ones behind the page. PANELLISTS: Queenie Chan, Matthew Groom, Darren Koziol and Julie Ditrich.
Living the Fandom Life at Wollongong Art Gallery's Education Centre, 2.15pm
A son of Obiwan / A cosplayer / A medieval re-enactor / A LARP enthusiast and A wrestler give an insider's look into what it takes to live the fandom life. PANELLISTS: Jason Zimmerman, Bess Gilmore-Lim, Luke Boyton, and Luke Potter, Tadd Lyons.
It can be difficult for some to enjoy large events with crowds and noise a potential problem. The Quiet Space at the Town Hall is for anyone who needs a break when at Comic Gong.
The Quiet Space will have:
- Chairs to sit
- Maps of the event layout and accessible points of interest
- Tepee with sensory toys
- Magnifying glass
- Ear defenders to borrow
Wollongong Train Station is around a 20-minute walk away from the participating venues.
The free Gong Shuttle will operate throughout the day and stops outside the train station and Wollongong Library.