St. Petersburg is getting a first with Anime St. Pete, the city's first-ever anime convention

St. Petersburg is getting its first-ever anime convention, aptly titled “Anime St. Pete.” The two-day celebration – on September 17-18 at the Coliseum – will honor anime and the cosplay it inspires.

“We want to give fans an opportunity to dive into Japanese media and bond with the community,” said Dewey Caruthers, Anime St. Pete convention organizer.

“St. Petersburg, the state’s fifth largest city, deserves an anime convention,” he said, noting The Sunshine City is the only major Florida city to not have an anime convention. Metrocon in Tampa is Florida’s largest anime convention. Jacksonville has numerous anime conventions like WasabiCon and Bold Matsuri. Orlando also has multiple anime cons, including the popular Bold Matsuri. And Miami has Otakufest.

Anime St. Pete is brought to you by the organizers of St. Pete Comic Con, which drew 3,500 attendees, earned positive fan reviews, and labeled a “super-success” by local media.

And the event is sponsored by Florida Comic Cons, a news media website that covers conventions and cosplayers; and Florida Cosplay Digital Magazine, which spotlights the state’s best cosplayers from the experts who win competitions to the beginners who show promise.

general policies

Anime St. Pete welcomes folks of all races, ethnicities, ages, abilities and orientations – though in costume any of this may be difficult to identify. We embrace all humans! But in full transparency we like the weird ones better (makes us feel at home).

Children ages 9 and under are admitted free with adult supervision.

Anime St. Pete is a rain or shine event.

No refunds under any circumstances. If the event is cancelled due to public health or other emergencies, tickets will be transferred to the rescheduled date. Refunds are not issued for changes in talent, hours of operation, scheduled dates and venues.

There is free parking. Overflow parking is available next to the free parking lot at a low cost.

Reentry is allowed with badges, which must be kept on. No badge, no entry. 

No unauthorized selling of any kind.

No alcohol or firearms of any kinds are allowed, per the venue.

No pets, per the venue. 

Smoking/Vaping are not permitted inside The Coliseum. 

cosplay policies

No inappropriate physical contact. Inappropriate physical contact is any physical contact that is initiated without consent, excluding accidents. 

Cosplay is NOT consent. Ask before taking photos, filming, or engaging in human-contact with Anime St. Pete attendees, guests, and staff. 

This is a family-friendly event. Nudity is not a costume. Footwear must be worn inside The Coliseum. 

Everyone and everything is subject to search at all entrances and exits.

All cosplay weapons and accessories are inspected at entry and are allowed per the discretion of Anime St. Pete. 

Not allowed:

  • Any weapon that could harm someone, including weapons that fire projectiles of any kind. 
  • Any weapon that can be confused as real. 
  • Blunt weapons like bats, clubs, hockey sticks or similar items. 
  • Sharp weapons like knives, swords and similar items. 
  • Loud props such as whistles, horns, etc.

Allowed: 

  • Prop weapons if composed of cardboard, foam, or something similarly light.
  • Prop firearms only if they cannot be mistaken for real weapons.
  • Prop bows if all arrows have soft tips and will not be shot.

COVID-19 POLICIES

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19, an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death, exists in any public place where people are present. Senior citizens and those with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable. By attending Anime St. Pete, you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19, and you expressly waive and release the owners, organizers, employees, and contractors from any and all claims arising from or otherwise related in any way to COVID-19.

Policies regarding masks and temperature screenings will be developed as necessary.

CELEBRITY GUEST POLICIES

Celebrity guests charge for photos and autographs. Pricing varies based on celebrity. Patrons are allowed as many photos and autographs as desired, keeping in mind celebrity guests charge per photo and per autograph. Patrons can bring items from home for celebrity signatures and photos.

HARASSMENT POLICIES

At Anime St. Pete, we are a polite society where folks treat each other with dignity and respect. The event is widely inclusive and does not allow any harassment or stalking of any kind. Harassment includes, but is not limited to, verbal comments related to gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, and religion. Stalking includes repeated unwelcome attention and following as well as unwelcome and inappropriate photography and sexual attention.

If bullying, harassment, or other inappropriate behavior is reported to Anime St. Pete staff, the convention reserves the right to revoke the entrance ticket of the perpetrator to Anime St. Pete and future Florida Comic Con sponsored events.