For most of Saturday afternoon, the gray, wintry streets around the Sacramento Convention Center downtown were brightened by the bursting color and oddity of the Star Wars cantina.
Thousands of anime fans, video game enthusiasts and devotees of science fiction -- many wearing exquisite costumes -- flocked to the convention center, where the SacAnime festival kicked off yesterday. The festival will end late tomorrow afternoon.
More than 10,000 people were expected to attend the festival, whose popularity has risen quickly - so quickly that it necessitated a move from a local hotel to the convention center this year.
One of the more professionally done costumes belonged to 36-year-old Ron Garrido, a postal worker who came from San Jose.
Garrido was dressed, head to toe, as King Boo from the Mario Bros. video game franchise. "I make all my costumes," said Garrido. "I'm semi profesional."
The costume took Garrido 60 days to complete.
"I usually only do the larger cons like Comic-con... but I wanted to check this one out."