If you did not know that Comic-Con 2022 is now taking place in San Diego, it would still be obvious as you walked through the Gaslamp Quarter that something big is here.
Tall buildings are wrapped with advertisements, cherry pickers are lined up like cars before a Padres game – I saw one even going inside the Pendry Hotel – elaborate sand castles are being built, parking lots are being converted into special events areas and there is a general buzz around the area that indicates something big is about to happen here.
Lines of people blocks long to get into activations are part of the scene.
This is Comic-Con and it’s back to near pre-pandemic levels. This is the first time it’s being held on its usual third weekend in July in three years and there are approximately 125,000 people registered for it. There’s probably another 25K or so who are in town just to be part of the atmosphere.
To get that atmosphere one only needs to walk around the Gaslamp, in particular lower 5th Ave., which is the unofficial Main Street of Comic-Con San Diego. The street is blocked off and characters pose for photos. Servers in the bars and restaurants are dressed in costumes – there are a lot of colorful colors and capes – and it truly overtakes this part of the city.
@pubclub.com Comic-Con San Diego 2022 prep. Event os thos weekend! @ComicBook.com #comiccon #comiccon2022 #pubclub #sandiego ♬ original sound – PubClub
There is a huge law enforcement presence throughout the Gaslamp, a reflection of today’s times in America.
For 2022, masks are required at the convention but for people in superhero outfits and wearing Darth Vader and Star Wars storm trooper suits that’s no problem. A negative COVID test or proof of vaccination is also required to attend.
Currently, San Diego has no outdoor mask mandate (or an indoor one for that matter, except for kids in summer school) but it’s always a good idea to have one handy with you.
And so, let the force be with you.