Share & Connect
Just in time for the holiday season, the third annual festively themed convention known as Holiday Matsuri occurred the past weekend December 13-15, at the Embassy Suites Orlando – Lake Buena Vista South in Kissimmee, FL. Holiday Matsuri is a multi-genre convention that celebrates pop culture, video games, music, anime, sci-fi, celebrity guests, cosplayers, artists, costume & cosplay contests, dances, parties, and more.
The convention began early in the afternoon with the opening ceremonies which introduced the hosts and guest of the convention while welcoming convention attendees. With the opening of the con, there were many informative and entertaining panels, events, a Maid Cafe, and gaming which held attendees’ interest. The Great Anime Openings panel which was hosted by the Fab Tri-Stars, discussed and introduced new and classic anime openings to guests.
In the main events room, the event Who’s line is it aniRAGE? hosted by the improv and sketch comedy group aniRAGE,brought laughter to attendees with their humorous sketches which blended the group’s love of comics books, video games, anime/manga, and tech. Later in the evening, the convention hosted a Butter Lettuce party which was fun despite it starting an hour later than it was supposed to. There was also lots of amazing artwork, anime items, food, and clothing for con goers to purchase and enjoy at decent prices.
There were also guest signings so attendees could meet and greet their favorite voice actors, performers, and Cosplayer, YouTube and TV personalities. Fans were able to meet voice actors Chris Sabat, J Micheal Tatum, Sean Schemmel, Christina Vee, who were very gracious to their fans and held entertaining Q&A panels throughout the three days of the con. Mike Reed of SyFy’s Fangasm was also in attendance in addition to musical guests Jaxon, the Soundbytes, TheWalleh, Chii Sakurabi, and Richie Branson.
Convention events and panels continued to go on well into the early morning with programming for the over-18 crowd. The burlesque group the Pleasure Pixels put on a hot and steamy entertaining show for fans while the Yaoi Pajama Party and Trivia and the Dub that Hentai! panels were interactive and fun for attendees.
The fun continued on the busiest day of the con. With so many panels going on, there were more than enough to satisfy the interests of attendees. The Morning Christmas Specials Presented by Shadowfax had viewings of both classic and modern Christmas specials to satisfy con goers. The Ultimate Kamehameha Contest!!! was an interactive and fun event in which attendees participated to find out who gave the best Kamehameha impression and was judged by the voice of Goku himself Sean Schemmel.
The Learn Japanese and Understand Anime panel hosted by HipHop Sensei, informed and taught the reading, writing and conversation of Japan so fans would have a better understanding of anime. Attendees also had a chance to give back to the community by attending the Holiday Matsuri Toys for Tots benefit ball. Each year Holiday Matsuri puts on a formal benefit ball which supports a local charity and rather than a separate admission fee, the conventions collects donations for the charity. This year, the convention collected toys from attendees.
Late night events such as aniRage’s Who’s line is it aniRage?, had attendees laughing while the Holiday Rave Presented by DJShadowfax had adult guests dancing the night away as well as playing games, relaxing, and being entertained in the ‘Adults Only’ casino style inspired event in Holiday Matsuri’s Gaming and Entertainment ballroom. Called the Peppermint Parlour, guests were dazzled and charmed by bunny Girls and parlor Gentlemen who provided attendees company. The Pleasure Pixels also provided special entertainment.
Holiday Matsuri ended on a high note with more fun panels, games, and events which included the as annual AMV Contest, a Christmas Special all guest panel as well as a cosplay contest and the closing ceremonies. Despite some cancellations of some panels and the late starting times of a few, the convention was a huge success. The volunteers, ambassadors, security, and emcees did an excellent job in making the third year of Holiday Matsuri a fun, exciting experience for con goers who are looking forward to next year with high anticipation.
Image credit: Holiday Matsuri via Facebook