In Arts & Entertainment

Anime Milwaukee runs all weekend at the Hyatt Regency and Wisconsin Center.

10,000+ geeks expected to attend Anime MKE 2019

This weekend, Anime Milwaukee – the largest anime convention in Wisconsin – celebrates its 11-year anniversary. For those not completely sure, anime is Japanese hand-drawn or computer-generated animation.

More than 10,000 people attended Anime Milwaukee in 2017, which runs again this weekend, Feb. 15-17 at the Wisconsin Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave., and the Hyatt Regency, 333 W. Kilbourn Ave. Another record-breaking crowd is predicted.

All attendees must purchase a badge to enter. Badges are available here or at the door.

"It's definitely a unique experience that brings all kinds of people together," says Vic Walter, the media division director for the event. "Like many other Anime Conventions around the U.S., we have grown into more of a general geek culture event."

Anime Milwaukee features video gaming on various consoles and arcade style games, a tabletop gaming area, massive vending and artists' area, concerts, manga library, cosplay combat chess, dances, a charity ball, anime viewing rooms, film festival, children's events, panels and more.

"We encompass a lot and provide a safe place for people to be able to express themselves in their own way, freely without judgement, and that means a lot to people," says Walter.

Anime Milwaukee started as a club at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

"It was started as a safe place for like-minded 'geeks' of anime and Japanese culture to hang out," says Walter. "Evolving the club into a not-for-profit event created so many opportunities to do great things and grow into what we are today."

Anime Milwaukee fans range from, aptly, anime enthusiasts to video and tabletop gamers and cosplayers – which is when attendees dress up as their favorite fictional characters.

"We also bring in an array of guests," says Walter.

This year, the expanded event will occupy all three floors of the Wisconsin Center which will allow for a larger video gaming room and extra space for panels.

View the three-day schedule of non-stop action here.

Last year, Anime Milwaukee brought more than $1.2 million into the city over the weekend.

"It's not just about filling up hotels, but our attendees walk Downtown, go into the restaurants and take in the great city that is Milwaukee. I myself make sure I find time to step out to The King and I every year for a quiet dinner," says Walter.

To register for Anime MKE go here.


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