2019 Geek Out In Lancaster Guide

Anime Cookies, Star Wars Cupcakes, and Zenkaikon - March 22-24!

Our 2019 Geek Out In Lancaster City story is sponsored by Triode Media Group. Triode specializes in video production. From cinematic storytelling to live broadcast, in studio or on location their team is equipped for any project—including business videos, documentaries, commercials, instructional video, and more. Explore the website and see how Triode can shine a light on your business. 

I can’t tell you how excited I am for Zenkaikon and the festivities that come with it! This year’s convention is March 22-24—it is quickly approaching. One of the coolest aspects is how the Lancaster business community embraces the Zenkaikon theme and channels it by offering unique food and shop specials!

From Star Wars cocktails at The Imperial and a superhuman Hulk Crepe at Rachel’s Creperie, to the exciting lineup of panels at Zenkaikon and a cosplay workshop at Tellus360, we have your guide to the nerdiest weekend in Lancaster City.

Are you ready? I am!

This 4-section story features:

    1. Your guide to Zenkaikon & events—the convention with cosplay, screenings, popular panelists, tabletop gaming, video gaming, vendors, and more.
    2. Geek out with geeky food and drink specials—Sailor Moon cookies at Harvest Moon Bagel and Dragon Fries at Souvlaki Boys? Sign us up.
    3. Geek out with our printable map and checklist—Your perfect themed, easy-to-follow, detailed guide to the food, drink, and shop specials!
    4. Sneak Peek at Lancaster’s upcoming Unofficial Star Wars convention—The force is strong with this one, thanks to Rebel Cause Lancaster!

Attendees at Zenkaikon 2018 - © 2018 Star Film & Photography.

1 – Zenkaikon – All The Details You Need To Know

Zenkaikon brings around 5,000 eager visitors to participate in this fantastic anime (and more!) convention to the Mariott & Convention Center in the heart of Lancaster City!

“Our theme this year is Lucky 13, because it is our thirteenth year of Zenkaikon,” said Nai, Convention Chair and President of the Corporation. “It will be all about luck and superstitions.” 

The popular convention boasts a variety of incredible events, panelists, shopping opportunities, gaming, and more!

“Coming to Zenkaikon, you won’t be disappointed,” said Nai. “There is so much to do—there is something for everyone. There is anime, sci fi. You could be into Marvel, DC, Dr. Who, Star Trek…. we really have something for everyone and any interest!”

Included this year is the popular scavenger hunt where visitors can explore the convention looking for check points that lead to prizes, a vibrant karaoke contest, a super unique Artemis Bridge starship simulator (which is so cool), and, of course, a variety of gaming experiences. 

“We are having a new video game vendor, United Gaming League, this year,” added Nai. ” It will be even more gaming than we had last year! There will be both video gaming and PC gaming.”

But that isn’t where the gaming stops.

“We also do have tabletop games in a separate room where there will be different tournaments happening during the event,” said Nai. “Guests can go right in and sign up to be part of those tournaments.”

Mario and Luigi cosplayers at Zenkaikon 2018 - © 2018 Star Film and Photography.

Registration is currently openUntil Feb. 19 it is $50. From Feb 19-March 17 it is $60. Then afterwards for $65. $55 at the door for Saturday/Sunday. $25 at the door for Sunday.

Of course, there will be a variety of special guests at Zenkaikon—including Michaela Dietz, the voice of Amethyst on the popular Cartoon Network show Steven Universe.

“She is really big time for us,” said Nai. “We are so excited!”

Also, new this year is the partnership with PubForge, a coworking space next door to the Lancaster County Convention Center, at Tellus360.

PubForge will be doing a MakerSpace at Tellus360 on Saturday of the convention,” said Nai. “It will have workshops, a free cosplay repair station, discounted day passes for Zenkaikon members, and tutorials on how to add lights to a cosplay costume!”

LEFT:  Cosplayers at Zenkaikon 2018. RIGHT: Solid Snake cosplayer at Zenkaikon 2018. Both photos © 2018 Star Film & Photography.

Crowd at Zenkaikon 2018 - © 2018 Star Film & Photography.

Lancaster is a perfect spot for the event.

“Lancaster is very family oriented—it is not an intimidating area,” said Nai. “Everyone is friendly, and there are wonderful restaurants all around. Lancaster is a great walkable City, and we hear that from our attendees. Lancaster really has the big city accessibility with the small town feel.”

Get ready to register for this fantastic convention, explore all the events and vendors happening at Zenkaikon, and discover all the great panelists on the website.

LEFT: Hamilton cosplayer at Zenkaikon 2018. RIGHT: Chewbacca and Captain Hook cosplayers at Zenkaikon 2018. Both photos © 2018 Star Film & Photography.

2 – Power Up: Geek Out With These Food, Drink, And Shop Specials

Lancaster has a booming food and shopping scene (and is continually featured as a top spot to visit in 2019). Explore the themed specials below, created just for Zenkaikon weekend!

We're loving this epic meaty Hulk crepe from Rachel's Creperie! 

LEFT: The Hulk Crepe being created. RIGHT: New Manga Mango Smoothie. 

New this year is the Manga Mango Smoothie at Rachel's Creperie. 

The epic Ham Solo Sandwich from Cabalar Meat Co.!

Harvest Moon bagel is featuring their Harvest Moon bagel sandwich and incredible Sailor Moon cookies. 

Rachel’s Cafe & Creperie

Due to it’s smashing success last year, Rachel’s Cafe & Creperie is offering a limited edition Hulk Crepe full of sliced ham, braised pork, bacon, cheddar cheese, scallions, and BBQ sauce—all wrapped in a green-batter crepe specially-made for the weekend. Also, new this year is the Manga Mango Smoothie—full of fresh orange and mango flavors! 
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Cabalar Meat Co.

Ham Solo Sandwich. We’ve got a good feeling about this! Back by popular demand, Cabalar will offer this sandwich that will make customers swoon. It features house smoked ham, caramelized bacon, bib lettuce, and zesty chipotle aioli—all stacked on a locally-sourced brioche roll.
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Harvest Moon Bagel

Don’t miss snatching their classic Harvest Moon bagel sandwich (Veggie cream cheese, roasted sweet potatoes, caramelized onion, kale, optional egg) calling attention to one of the classic video games. And if that isn’t enough, they will be offering delicious Sailor Moon cookies
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Lancaster Cupcake

Due to the popularity of last year’s themed cupcakes, Lancaster Cupcake is once again serving these out-of-this-world Star Wars cupcakes! From Yoda to Darth Vader, choose your side with these delicious chocolate and vanilla cupcakes themed to some of your favorite characters from a galaxy far, far away. 

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The Imperial

Indulge in The Tie Bomber (blackened chicken with local strawberry chutney, cilantro, pickled spring vegetable slaw on toasted local baguette, served with a Dark Side of French fries). Then cheers with either the Drink Or Drink Not (Sake, yuzu liqueur, midori, basil -served in martini that looks like Yoda’s head!), Jawa Juice (Kraken Spiced Rum, Amaro, Cranberry Juice—derived from in-universe bitter drink called Jawa Juice), Tatooine Sunset (Spicy Tequila Sunrise split into two glasses to look like the famous binary sunset), Blue Milk (Coconut Rum, Amaretto, Blue curacao, cream), Fancy Wookie (St. George Terroir gin martini – Piney/evergreen gin martini “made from the trees of Kashyyyk), and The Death Star (Jagermeister, Fernet Branca, Amaretto, splash of Coke in a rocks glass with a Death Star ice cube)—delicious themed galactic cocktails offered that weekend. 

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Star Wars cupcakes from Lancaster Cupcake!

Star Wars cocktails at The Imperial! LEFT: Port Of Storm. RIGHT: Drink Or Not To Drink. 

More Star Wars cocktails at The Imperial. We can't wait. LEFT: The Death Star. RIGHT: Tatooine Sunset. 

We are loving this Princess Peach tea from Spice & Tea Exchange. It can be served hot or iced!

Spice & Tea Exchange Lancaster

Power up with the Princess Peach Tea at Spice & Tea Exchange! These local tea makers craft delicious to-go teas (both hot or cold) to enjoy as you walk around Lancaster City. The Princess Peach Tea, featuring the Peach Turmeric Herbal Tea that combines turmeric and peaches, will be half off the whole March 22-24 weekend!

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Silantra will be giving out a new 2019 collectible card featuring one of their mascots. The cards have been very popular the last few years, each becoming an exclusive hard-to-find token commemorating each year. Don’t miss this version, unveiling soon!

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Max’s Eatery

New foodie destination Max’s Eatery will feature two specialized drinks for the weekend: Poké Pika Float (non-alcoholic pineapple dessert float) and the Zenkaikon Zombie (a classic take on the alcoholic Zombie drink)! They both look, and taste, fantastic. Cheers!

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LEFT: Zenkaikon Zombie cocktail. RIGHT: The Poké Pika Float (non-alcoholic). Both are from Max's Eatery!

The Zenkaikon Zombie cocktail and The Poké Pika Float (non-alcoholic). Find them at Max's Eatery!

Each year Silantra unveils a new collectible card featuring one of their unique mascots. This year's version is Chickpea!

The Souvlaki Boys specials are spicy, delicious. 

LEFT: Eye Of Sauron bowl. RIGHT: Dragon Fries. 

LEFT: Captain America Waffle! RIGHT: Hulk Smash Smoothie. Both can be found at Commonwealth on Queen!

Souvlaki Boys

All you Game Of Thrones loves can try the Dragon Fries: fresh hand-cut fries topped with feta, jalapeños, and hot sauce. And for those who want to destroy the Ring of Power for good, they better watch out for the Eye of Sauron Greek bowl special: a Greek bowl that has a rice pilaf base, gyro meat and chicken, tomatoes, red onions, tzatziki, a fried egg with hot sauce, and two pita wedges.
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Commonwealth On Queen

Save the world with these superhero treats at Commonwealth! Try the Hulk Smash Smoothie (protein-packed green smoothie featuring spinach, avocado, banana, chia seeds, and vanilla protein powder) along with the Captain America Waffle (red, white, and blue rings of strawberries, blueberries, and delicious whip cream). We are ready to take on the villains with this power duo!
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The Pop’d Shop

We are so pumped for the assortment of Pickle Rick specials,  from Rick and Morty, at The Pop’d Shop! Stay tuned for more information coming soon!

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Farbo. Co.

Explore games, cosplay items, miniatures, board games, collectibles, card games, and more, at Farbo Co.—your one stop shop right here in Lancaster City! Farbo Co. is also sponsoring the prizes awarded during the Zenkaikon Cosplay Contest. 

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Items from Farbo Co. 

3 – Your Printable Guide To The Geekiest Weekend In Lancaster City

Click the map below to download, print, save, and explore!

4 – Star Wars Sneak Peek: Rebel Cause Brings The Galaxy Far, Far Away to Lancaster

Many fans of Star Wars long to travel to the annual Star Wars Celebration—usually held in cities like Tampa Bay, San Diego, and, this year, Chicago. But those looking for a similar event will be happy to hear there will be an unofficial version right here in Lancaster City April 13 at Tellus360!

Presented by local philanthropic Star Wars-themed organization Rebel Cause, this unofficial celebration event will be fantastic.

“Essentially what we are doing is giving you the Star Wars Celebration experience in the backyard of Lancaster,” said Kaden Patrick, Founder of Rebel Cause and coordinator of the event. “There will be vendors, artists, lightsaber combat training, live podcasting, live streaming of Star Wars Celebration Chicago, and so much more.”

The event will be free admission, and the entry ticket will be good for 10% off at Farbo Co.—local gaming and collectible shop right on King Street. Also, there will be opportunities to purchase raffle tickets with the proceeds going back to Water Street Rescue Mission, the organization that Rebel Cause often supports at events. 

“The raffle tickets are only a dollar each and the prizes are awesome,” said Kaden. “You could walk away with storm trooper helmets, lightsabers, and other great themed items.”

The event is the first of it’s kind in the area and looks to draw a lot of Star Wars fans—both die hard followers of the series and new fans growing to love the story a galaxy far, far away provides.

“It will be a great opportunity to bring a bunch of Star Wars fans together, while also helping the community,” said Kaden. “We will be teaching sword fighting combat techniques that can be incorporated in a lightsaber battle. There will also be a gaming section, a variety of tables with vendors like The Comic Store, and a virtual reality experience for people looking to really immerse in Star Wars!”

After the event ends on April 13, there will be a ticketed VIP afterparty that night at new Lancaster restaurant The Imperial (specifically chosen based on the similar it has with the Dark Side in Star Wars lore!) in the Hotel Lancaster. This is paid admission event promises to be quite the celebration.

We will have a ton of awesome stuff at the after party,” said Kaden. “We will have some delicious food, music, and a bar complete with Star Wars themed cocktails.”

There will also be discounted rooms at the Hotel Lancaster for guests to stay for the duration of the celebratory event. This community is the perfect spot to launch the event.

Lancaster is always supportive of helping people and having fun,” said Kaden. “It is exciting to see Lancaster growing and becoming even more amazing. It is ‘The Force’ at work.”

You ready? Let’s party!

Your Geek Out checklist: 

Our 2019 Geek Out In Lancaster City story is sponsored by Triode Media Group. Triode specializes in video production. From cinematic storytelling to live broadcast, in studio or on location their team is equipped for any project—including business videos, documentaries, commercials, instructional video, and more. Explore the website and see how Triode can shine a light on your business. 

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