The Boston Beach Parties were created by several Boston cosplayers who wanted to host social cosplay gatherings outside of conventions. The beach parties feature picnic food, fun games, and of course swimsuit costumes designed by the guests.
Following the success of the 2006 Boston Cosplay Beach Party, organizers decided to make the gathering into an annual event. Planning for the 2007 party began almost a year in advance, with Kyuu again selecting a date in late August which coincided with her birthday. The event was held once again at Revere Beach just outside of Boston, and included snacks, games, contests, and even more colorful and creative swimsuit costumes. Since the event was planned so far ahead of time, a lot more people were able to make plans to attend and the turnout was more than double that of 2006. Sephygoth and I volunteered to be photographers for the day, and had a blast documenting all of the fun.
I was really looking forward to the beach party this year, and despite a discouraging weather forecast which predicted rain for the entire weekend, the day of the gathering broke with bright sunshine and warm temperatures - a perfect day for the beach! Quite a few attendees decided to wear Final Fantasy-inspired swimsuits for the occasion, so I chose to recycle my Rinoa Heartilly swimsuit from Final Fantasy VIII for the event. I packed supplies for Símores to bring to the party and took the T to Wonderland station to meet up with my fellow cosplayers. When I arrived, I was amazed to see so many enthusiastic costumers had turned up for the event; the phenomenal weather, coupled with the advanced planning, allowed the party to easily double last yearís turnout. As a result, the entire swath of beach near the train station was awash with brightly-colored characters running around on the sand or splashing in the waves.
I was impressed with how much more creative and elaborate the swimsuit costumes had become this year; many included props and accessories to match their characters, and even more had, like, me, decided to risk it and wear their character-appropriate wigs to the beach. At least I had a back-up version of my Rinoa wig at home in case it got wrecked! Fellow Final Fantasy cosplayers included Dymatrex and John in their Cloud Strife outfits, complimented by Gale and Dani as a twin pair of Aeris Gainsboroughs. The Joe arrived as the oft-overlooked Zell Dincht, while Chineru game as Princess Garnet and Volar arrived as the handsome air pirate Balthier Bunanza. Meanwhile, Sephygoth and Starlightslk came in swimsuit versions of their Robin Sena and Amon costumes from Witch Hunter Robin, and another pair of cosplayers were ready to hit the beach as Link and Princess Zelda. Rhys Ifane was Maes Hughes from FMA, Crystal Clover came as an adorable Flonne, and Kyuu came as Venus from Sailor Moon. We also had a Haruko, an L from Death Note, a Haruhi, Tohru, Mikami, and too many more to keep track of!
This year, more attendees came prepared with beach supplies and games. Several umbrella areas were set up for those sensitive to excessive sun exposure, while others had floats, beach balls, and sand castle building supplies to share, and a game of volleyball got started with the inflatable balls. Someone else packed Twister, which was a lot more fun and challenging in the sand, and a race to capture the flag caused more than a few people to loose their wigs while diving for the fluttering prize and even more to become the stars of hilarious YouTube videos. We also did plenty of grilling, and destroyed another poor watermelon with prop weapons before settling down to Símores and calling it a day. I love to spend nice days out on the sand, and so often my cosplay hobby gets in the way of my beach time, be it spending a summer weekend locked away in an indoor convention hall or locked behind a sewing machine trying to finish a costume by a deadline. This event allowed me to combine these hobbies, and it was non-stop fun!