Pokemon, Asgardians, Mary Poppins, paranormal investigators, earthbenders, Waldo, and many others gathered together Saturday at the Delaware County District Library in Delaware for the third annual Great GeekFest.
GeekFest began two years ago and was originally held at the Orange branch of the library, but it was moved to the main branch last year so local businesses could take part.
The event featured panels, main stage performances, arcade games, local vendors, tabletop games, and a cosplay competition.
The event was free and had plenty of activities for children, which Genoa Township resident Evan Dick said was a big draw.
“It’s nice to have a free event for kids,” Dick said. “It draws people up here.”
Dick said his two children’s favorite part of the day was meeting some of their favorite characters like Captain America.
Kristen Watkins said she and her daughter, Elizabeth, didn’t attend GeekFest last year, but they will probably come back next year.
“We’d definitely come back,” Watkins said. “It’s cool seeing everyone dressed up.”
Strolling among the crowd in his signature hat, and red and white stripped shirt, Waldo was giving away a pin to anyone who was able to locate him during GeekFest.
Library employee Joel Wildermuth, who played Waldo for the day, said he enjoyed interacting with attendees. Wildermuth said it was fun to see kids and adults smile when they saw him in costume.
During GeekFest, two local dungeon masters were on hand to teach new players how to play Dungeons and Dragons in half-an-hour blocks throughout the event.
“I’ve enjoyed seeing the creativity in every player,” said John Daquila, one of the dungeon masters. Daquila said one of his favorite parts of the day was running a game for four preteens and an “older, rock-and-roll type of gentleman” and seeing a group dynamic form as the players had fun. “GeekFest keeps getting better and better. It’s a gift to Delaware.”
The keynote speaker was Grant Wilson, the paranormal investigator made famous on the Sci-Fi Channel show “Ghost Hunters,” who gave an hour-long presentation about his 30 years of paranormal experiences. Wilson answered questions from the audience about the types of experiences he had, and he encouraged people to be more open-minded about paranormal experiences.
After his presentation, Wilson spoke to attendees at his booth.
“I honestly didn’t know what to expect,” Wilson said. “I’m blown away by how friendly everyone is. I’m totally blown away by this place.”
Wilson said he’d been telling people that Delaware seems like “a great place to live,” and “You can tell (it’s a great place to live) because the library puts on things like GeekFest.”
“It’s amazing,” Wilson said.
The cosplay contest was held in three categories — child, teen and adult — with one grand champion being awarded out of all the contestants.
Lewis Center resident Nathan Morris, who won the grand prize for his cosplay of Skull Kid from “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask,” said he “was shook” by winning the grand prize.
“I really didn’t expect to win,” Morris, 13, said. “The others had really good costumes!”
Morris said he began making his costume last week after getting the right fabric and materials. All together, he said, it took about 40 hours to make. He said he’ll probably keep the clothes and definitely hang up the mask.
The event’s organizer, Mandy Henning, said she didn’t have exact numbers Saturday, but the event “was packed” and she’d gotten lots of positive feedback from the vendors.
“It’s such a friendly atmosphere,” Henning said. “It’s been very successful so far.”
Henning said she was already thinking about next year’s event Saturday afternoon.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.