Japanese Animation, Film & Art eXpo makes move to downtown Grand Rapids

And now for something completely different.

The Japanese Animation, Film & Art eXpo (JAFAX), is set to open at its new event location, the DeVos Place Convention Center and The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel on June 24-26.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the convention, which celebrates attendees dressed in costumes of popular Japanese animation characters, Japanese cultural seminars, and local artists who will exhibit at booths throughout the weekend.

JAFAX was last held in 2014 on the campus of Grand Valley State University. After drawing a crowd of more than 5,000 people during the course of the weekend event, GVSU could no longer host the skyrocketing number of attendees.
 
Rae Morris, the promotions director, says the event has come a long way.
 
“This is our 20th anniversary,” Morris says. “We started at Kendall, showing anime films. Then we were at GVSU in Allendale for 17 years until we outgrew the location.”

JAFAX eXpo highlights include:
 
Artist Alley and Vendor Exhibits         Cosplay Costume and Performance Skits  
  • Sunday, June 26 4:30—6pm
  • DeVos Place Convention Center
  • Ballroom D
The Maid Café - Family-friendly, dining experience with a Victorian Japanese aesthetic, featuring interaction between attendees and actors.
  • Saturday, June 25
  • 11:30am – 6pm
  • Sunday, June 26
  • 11:30am – 3pm
  • Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Atrium Room (Reservations are strongly recommended.)
Other activities include guest script reading, cosplay photo shoots, game shows, a video game tournament, and a brand new dance on Saturday evening. JAFAX is also partnering with Michigan Blood in hosting a blood drive during the weekend’s events.

Morris says the general public is welcome and encouraged to come experience the culture at JAFAX, as well as learn more about this educational nonprofit organization.
 
For more information about JAFAX and to purchase tickets, visit www.JAFAX.org.
 
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor
 
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