Anime fans donning capes, masks, wigs, and furry tales filled the rooms and hallways at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center this weekend.
While it was about comic books, board games, and costumes, the big draw was finding a sense of community at the 5th Annual SoDak Anime Convention.
"I enjoy putting this on, I do it for the attendees," said convention founder and Executive Director Shareece Tatum. "I love seeing them so happy and feeling like they're welcome and safe here."
For three days, Tatum had the pleasure of doing just that.
"We're just a great big happy family," said Tatum.
Anime fans weren't the only people beamed in for the convention, all kinds of out of this world characters also made their way to Rapid City.
Trekees, gamers, artists, and all sorts of people came together to enjoy everything the convention had to offer, and express themselves.
"Especially when you dress up like this," said Shawn Peters of Rapid City. "It's showing characters that you love, and that you want to emulate."
According to Tatum, the convention was the only one within 500 miles of Rapid City this entire month, this brought in over 3,000 people, nearly 50 percent being from out of town.
And the weekend was about more than arts, crafts, and costumes, Peters says the best thing is hanging out with people just like him.
"Just getting together with people and conversing about your shared interests," said Peters. "We all like similar stuff so we get along great."
A camaraderie that tends to bring the same people back year after year
For those who want to go either again, or for the first time next year, tickets are already on sale for the price of only $20.