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In short, it’s a massive geek-fest, very much in the same spirit as its sister event, Phoenix Comicon.

Fan Fest is put on by local company Square Egg Entertainment, the folks who also produce Comicon each year. But according to spokesperson Kristin Rowan, Fan Fest is a different sort of animal.

“It's going to have a more intimate feel to it. And much more of a local feel with more local creators and authors,” she says. “It's also more of a nostalgic show, a collectibles show, a geekier show.”

Organizers have attempted to differentiate Fan Fest from its big sister since launching in 2014. The first two years were at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, for instance, while last year’s event included more of a focus on professional wrestling fandom.

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“We’re always trying new things with Fan Fest,” Rowan says. “It’s always evolving and changing.”

And this year's Fan Fest will include plenty of nostalgia, as illustrated by many of its celebrity guests. “If you look at our guest list, we've got the kids from [Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory], Ernie Hudson from Ghostbusters, Mara Wilson from Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire,” Rowan says. “So it really is about the classics.”

Other special guests include voice actors from cartoons like Steven Universe and Bravest Warrior, as well as a few sci-fi/fantasy character actors.

Fan Fest 2017 will also include a local focus, particularly when it comes to the artists and vendors in the exhibitor hall.

“We've got all these local artists, creators, and companies with their works for sale and on display,” Rowan says. “It's got a little something for everything.”

Square Egg will employ a new wristband system at Fan Fest as opposed to the badges used at previous event. Each wristband will contain a RFID (or radio frequency identification) chip, which will be scanned upon entry.

“If you pass it over a reader, it gives off a sound that the RFID wristband band is legitimate, that it has been activated, and it's good for that show,” Rowan says.

A local cosplayer at last year's Fan Fest.EXPAND A local cosplayer at last year's Fan Fest., Site News current daily serving News today and the latest news about politics until News lifestyle and sport.

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