The Tulsa Pop Culture Expo is going to the mall.
A third-year pop culture convention that benefits Tulsa Pop Kids, the Tulsa Pop Culture Expo is relocating to a new and interesting site.
It was announced during a Tuesday press conference at Woodland Hills Mall that the 2019 Tulsa Pop Culture Expo will be held Nov. 2-3 at the vacated Sears store at the west end of the mall. The move gives convention organizers an unprecedented amount of floor space (both levels of the former Sears store; approximately 150,000 square feet), a surplus of free parking and an opportunity to attract the attention of mall shoppers, who can access the convention from inside the mall.
“One of the amazing things about doing it here at the Sears location is the blessing of size,” said Daniel Blankenship of Tulsa Pop Kids. He said positive things about past locations but indicated the space inside the former Sears store will provide the growing convention with additional room for con-related use and activities.
The Tulsa Pop Culture Expo was launched in 2017 at the Wyndham Hotel. The convention moved to the Renaissance Hotel & Convention Center last year.
Speaking on behalf of Woodland Hills Mall, director of marketing and business development Eileen Neighbors, said, “We are super excited to partner with community groups. We feel that’s a great opportunity for the mall and an opportunity for them to be able to have their convention here.”
Neighbors said attendees can come to the mall and enjoy the shops when not at the expo. A security checkpoint will be set up so cosplayers can get masks and props checked.
For tickets and vendor applications for the 2019 convention, go online to tulsapopcultureexpo.com.
Celebrity guests will be announced beginning in August. The 2018 Tulsa Pop Culture Expo lineup included Butch Patrick, Brandon Routh, Katie Cassidy, Adam Baldwin, Gil Gerard, Felix Silla, C. Thomas Howell, John Schneider, Zach Callison, Sean Gunn and Erik Estrada, Larry Wilcox and Robert Pine of “CHiPs.”
The Oklahoma Museum of Pop Culture (OKPOP) and Microsoft at Woodland Hills Mall are partnering with Tulsa Pop Kids for the venture. Tulsa Pop Kids Inc. was created to advance literacy and education through pop culture and entertainment. Tulsa Pop Kids Inc. uses a variety of resources to further its mission, including donations of comic books and visits by cosplayers to hospitals and elementary schools.
On Friday, Nov. 1, the day before the convention begins, celebrities who will be part of the convention will make appearances at local schools, the Saint Francis Children’s Hospital and other organizations within the community.
In conjunction with the convention, Microsoft will host a Minecraft community event where kids of all ages can experience Minecraft on Xbox and PC, and participate in Hour of Code learning with Minecraft.
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