BRANSON, Mo. — If you’re in Branson this weekend, don’t be alarmed if you notice a lot of people dressed in classic comic, movie, or television characters. “Visioncon” 2018 is here and this year, the Branson Convention Center is hosting the event.
Just ahead of Branson’s main tourist season, thousands are expected to converge on the center. But, while this event brings a lot of fun to the city, it also brings a big boost to the city’s economy.
“For this hotel, they’ve got about 250 rooms occupied.” William R. Tirone is General Manager at the Branson Hilton. “But, I’ve heard estimates, that they’re expecting over 3300 people for the convention over the entire weekend. So it’s obviously filling, not just my hotel, but other hotels in the marketplace.”
Keegan Connor Tracy, who plays the “Blue Fairy” on ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” took part in Visioncon this year. She shared her theory on why the event is so appealing.
“Especially in times like this where there is a lot of turmoil..theres economic turmoil and just social turmoil. A show like ‘Once Upon a Time’ that deals with fairytales and beautiful costumes and you know, it’s a lighthearted take on it all.. and when they come to meet us.. I think it just gives people an escape.”
Actor Casper Van Dien, best known for his role in “Starship Troopers,” agrees.
” People used to say to me what do you think of those people who go to cons and they dress up and everything? Isn’t that weird. And I go..I do that for a living. So I kind of nip it in the bud that way. I think its fun. I think any chance that we can do something positive makes us feel good, is always.. can only enhance your life.”
For true Visoncon fans, being called weird doesn’t phase them one bit. Edward Johnson says he started out doing Halloween contests. Now he’s graduated to “Zatana,” from DC Comics “A Justice League.”
“One day I did a Lady Gaga and someone said..hey Edward why don’t you come out and go to a convention with that costume and I said..yeah I think I can do that.”
Visioncon is a non-profit charitable event. All proceeds this year will go to Habitat for Humanity.