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Ticket sale increases show people are excited for the return of comic cons and other pop culture events

The excitement was in the air at the Monroe Pop Fest on Sunday as comic cons and other pop culture events begin returning in person.

MONROE, Mich. — Comic book artists, actors, and pop culture fans all met up this weekend for one of the first pop culture events in our area to be held since the pandemic began in the U.S. in March 2020.

The excitement was in the air at the Monroe Pop Fest.

"Just to see all these faces. Whether they have masks on or not, just to see them smiling. You know they're smiling so it's a good feeling," said Monroe Pop Fest owner, Gary Pillette.

The Monroe Pop Fest is one of the first in our area since the pandemic began. It has both fans and actors ready for more.

"Just getting back to the normality of coming out, getting to see people live their lives and also getting to see people from different parts of the city, like from Michigan, West Virginia, Dallas," said Power Rangers Beast Morphers actor, Jazz Baduwalia. 

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Jazz's fellow actor from the show, Rorrie D. Travis, agreed.

"It's one of those things we look forward to. Coming and seeing you guys, the opportunity we actually get to interact with our fans. I don't know, it's a blessing, really," said Travis.

The Monroe Pop Fest is in its ninth year. After COVID forced it to take the virtual route last year, ticket sales this year picked up where they left off.

"This has grown every year. We average around 2 to 3 thousand people on a Saturday and this year we expanded it to a half-day on Friday to give everybody a little preview of it," said Pillette.

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The owner, fans, and special guests all say the great turnout and lines for autographs are a testament to people ready to attend conventions again.

"Being an actor for 35 years, getting out and meeting the fans who have been watching my work over those many years have been really a treat for me," said Star Trek Discovery actor, Doug Jones. "To meet the people who have been consuming what I've been making all those years, I missed that for the last year and a half."

The next big comic and pop culture event in the area is the Motor City Comic-Con. It's scheduled for October in Detroit.