Denver Pop Culture Con Goes Patriotic Fourth of July Weekend in 2020

Fans saluted patriotism back at Denver Comic Con 2013.
Fans saluted patriotism back at Denver Comic Con 2013. Danielle Lirette

If you’re one of the 100,000-plus pop culture fans who enjoy partaking in the nerdy goodness that is Denver Pop Culture Con (formerly Denver Comic Con) every year, you can start planning now. The date of the 2020 Denver Pop Culture Con will be the weekend of Independence Day, July 3 to July 5. Organizers are saying that it promises to be “Colorado’s ultimate Fourth of July party,” so get your patriotic cosplay ready.

This isn’t the first time that Denver Pop Culture Con has fallen on a holiday weekend. It’s been held on Father’s Day several times since its inception in 2012. Fans were divided on whether or not that was a good idea. Some made the convention part of their traditional Father’s Day festivities; others felt that it got in the way of the other less-geektastic ways of celebrating their dads.

If Facebook comments are any indication, fans seem initially divided on the 2020 date falling on Independence Day weekend. Many posters complain that they already have commitments with non-comic-con family members and won’t be able to attend. Others say that they’re always out of town that weekend. Still others warn that downtown is already a complete and utter mess with the heavy crowds for the Fourth (fireworks, other festivals, etc.), and that DPCC will get lost in the chaos.

Other fans see a bright side to the news. “At least I’ll have extra time off,” says attendee Paul Ballew, a fan who has attended all eight iterations of the convention so far. “Either I’ll have Friday off, which means I can attend day one without taking a vacation day, or I’ll have Monday off, which means I’ll have a day to rest up after the event. It’s win-win.” Still, others don’t care about the date. Brandon Lilly posted on Facebook that he was “100% going to attend. I don’t care what weekend it’s on!”

It’s significant to point out that the DPCC organizers don’t get to choose the dates on which the event falls. According to a DPCC spokesperson on Facebook, “We actually don’t have much control over our dates” and that it’s “Visit Denver who oversees this.”
click to enlarge Will Captain America be involved in DPCC 2020? - THOMAS AT FLICKR
Will Captain America be involved in DPCC 2020?
Thomas at Flickr
One unknown draw for DPCC 2020 that organizers are as-yet keeping under their cowl is the plan for working the spirit of the holiday into the established fun. So far, the only detail they offer is that the weekend will afford the opportunity to host “guests who play or create characters that celebrate America’s birthday (hint, hint).” Stay tuned for more as that hint develops. Captain America seems like a natural fit, and Chris Evans would definitely be a huge get for Denver’s convention. But there are other possibilities, too: Hayley Atwell (Cap’s true love, Agent Peggy Carter); Sebastian Stan (Cap’s buddy Winter Soldier), Anthony Mackie (Falcon, and the inheritor of the shield). And that’s just Marvel.

Superman is a possibility, as well, what with his whole “Truth, Justice, and the American Way” stuff. There’s war comics, too, and many other star-spangled tie-ins. Patriotism and comic books go way back.

Exactly how DPCC will once again reinvent itself to help celebrate the birthday of the United States is still an open question, but clearly the intent is there, and it’s the fans who stand to benefit.

Denver Pop Culture Con is scheduled for July 3 to 5, 2020. For more information, see the DPCC website.
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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen