Home Conventions SDCC 12: Parade nixed, but Balboa Park may be in the works

SDCC 12: Parade nixed, but Balboa Park may be in the works


by Bruce Lidl

Is San Diego Comic-Con getting even bigger? A story in the SD Trib reveals that locals and con organizers are thinking of expanding all the way to Balboa Park.

Word out of San Diego is that the previously rumored “a nationally-televised parade that would kick off or end Comic-Con” will not happen after all.  San Diego City Council President Tony Young tweeted yesterday that the Con organizers were dead-set against it, likely fearing the logistical and bureaucratic challenges it would face.  Parades at comic book conventions are hardly unknown, though, with Atlanta’s DragonCon holding a justly famous parade each year on the Saturday morning of the show.

Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer did say, however, that the Con is interested in working with the city government to possibly organize some off-site events in San Diego’s Balboa Park, targeting comics and pop culture fans that have not been able to gain entrance for the main event.  Nothing solid has been planned yet, but organizing Comic-Con events in Balboa Park has happened in the past, including a softball charity game between Marvel and DC stars.  The park and the convention center are not all that close physically, definitely not walkable for most, but finding events that can capitalize on the overwhelming interest in the Con among the public, even as actual passes for the show become ever harder to obtain, surely has appeal to both the organizers and San Diego.

  1. The Orange Line runs from the Convention Center to Balboa Park. Or shuttle buses could run along Park Boulevard.

    The Angoulemization of CCI? (Comic-C’Angoulême) Or will it be Mardigras-ed? (Comic-Carnival) Or a hybrid: Comic-Cannes!

    Why not have someone organize a 10-K walk/run with costumes? Tokyo, Boston, and New York have the occasional costumed marathoner, so why not something similar for San Diego?

    Partner with the Competitor Group, which runs the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon in June. Make it a fundraiser… “Cause-Play”™ Use the trails and gateways in Balboa Park!

    Hmmm… Directly south of Balboa, right between the park and the blue/orange trolley stop is… San Diego City College! Not as glamorous as Balboa Park, but the buildings could be used for programming. Or use San Diego High School. Which has a “School of the Arts”…

  2. Torsten, those are some damn good ideas. And I know some people at Competitor Group, so I will for sure spread the word.

  3. I’m all for additional activities outside the con. Even as an experienced con goer it’s nice to have places where you can still be involved in the vibe. Balboa does seem far though. Even though surrounding spaces keep getting eaten up by brands I was actually pleased with some last year, like the food trucks surrounding the South Park area.

    As odd as it may sound I think there’s a market for “normal” geeks out there. Perhaps that entails cocktails and laid back areas who are willing to have that little more (Tr!ckster)

  4. Think about what would have been in a Comic Con parade. Just a bunch of floats advertising upcoming movies and cars featuring TV and movie stars. It would have been one more thing the comics crowd would have complained about that’s taking the spotlight off comics.

    Even worst, a parade that closed the Gaslamp District just when people are trying to park and get to their hotel rooms on Wednesday! It’s tough enough checking in!

    They could maybe do an art show at Balboa Park, but no one with badges would make the trek there. More likely, this would be more of a community outreach thing, to get local San Diegans involved that didn’t get badges.

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