Pop culture comes to San Diego by the thousands.
San Diego just experienced record-breaking crowds at the Pride festival and now another mass of people are expected to infiltrate the city at the Convention Center for San Diego Comic-Con International (SDCC).
This time downtown and the Gas Lamp Quarter will get the brunt of the crowds although Hillcrest always has a few things going on during the massive pop culture event.
On Friday, July 20 San Diego's own drag super-geek Kickxy Vixen-Styles is gonna catch them all at the Pokeball at Rich's. Then on Saturday, she's bringing the good and bad together for her annual cos-players delight: Heroes Vs. Villans at Rich's.
Weekly events in Hillcrest such as the Acoustic Ales & Art Night at the Porto Vista Hotel on Friday and the always colorful Glitz & Glam at Lips will keep people in the spirit of Comic-Con.
As for those who are going to Comic-Con, there are a few things you should know before you go, especially if this is your first time. As you can imagine there will be street closures, massive crowds, and parking issues.
First of all if you don't have a ticket, you're not going to get one. But the good news is all of the Gaslamp Quarter and the surrounding areas have events outside of the Convention Center.
One rule of thumb is to take the Green Line trolley if you can. It may be packed but it beats trying to find parking on the fly.
If you do decide to drive ABM Parking is offering visitors paid parking which can be purchased online beforehand. Of course, there is always the ACE lots scattered around the vicinity which offer spots for a premium fee.
If you are a badge holder staying downtown, Mission Valley, or in hotels near the airport and Shelter and Harbor Islands, a free shuttle will pick you up every 15 to 30 minutes. Just check the front desk for information.
Shuttle service is provided by SDCC and begins July 17 at 3 pm to midnight and again July 18 - 20 from 5 am to 1 am, and July 21 from 5 am to 7 pm.
Despite news that some big studios won't participate in SDCC this year, there are still some power hitters that are going to promote their films. Namely Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Natalia Reyes, Mackenzie Davis, Gabriel Luna, Diego Boneta, and director Tim Miller for "Terminator: Dark Fate."
Marvel Studios is expected to dominate the Con with plenty of breaking news and visiting cast members.
One of the greatest things about Comic-Con is the free swag. But even after your bag is filled with free stuff there are other vendors who offer exclusive merchandise at reasonable prices if you hunt around.
A list of vendors and their spots on the floor can be found HERE.
Comic-Con is July 18 - July 21 (Preview night: July 17) at the San Diego Convention Center, 111 W Harbor Dr., San Diego.