What began as Chelsea Lenzner’s passion project to bring together anime and gaming fanatics for a night of meeting, dancing, and fun in the Ferguson Center is now the largest annual anime convention in the state. Each year, the three-day Kami-Con—replete with anime screenings, cosplay contests, tabletop games, dodgeball tournaments, and even a rave—boasts roughly 10,000 attendees.
“We love watching Kami-Con grow,” said Lenzner. “It grows with more attendees. It grows in size and scale. It grows with bigger performances, bigger celebrities, and, the most important thing, it continues to bring this community things it has never experienced before.”
Lenzner’s favorite aspect of Kami-Con is bringing together a loving community of fellow gamers, cos-players, and anime fanatics once a year to provide memories that will last a lifetime. She runs her own Twitch channel and loves participating in cosplay, playing the roles of countless characters such as Princess Peach, Little Red Riding Hood, and Witch Mercy. Lenzner spends numerous hours preparing for each year’s convention with her co-founder and husband, Raymond Lenzner, who she married on site at the 2014 Kami-Con.
“Kami-Con is an immensely huge focus in my life. I realize just how much I affect the lives of those who attend,” said Lenzner. “Many write that their entire lives revolved around our event, as many were fortunate to meet their greatest friends, community, and even the one they married at our convention.”