COSPLAY BEACH PARTY August 11th, 2007
Location: Revere Beach
Event Year: Second
Shiva's Costumes Worn:
Rinoa Heartilly, Final Fantasy VIII
The annual Cosplay Beach parties were created by several Boston cosplayers on Cosplay.com who wanted to both organize social gatherings outside of conventions and take advantage of the emergence of the swimsuit cosplay trend. Following the success of the first Beach Cosplay Party in 2006, organizers decided to make the gathering an annual event. Planning for the 2007 party began almost a year in advance, with Kyuu selecting a date in late August which once again coincided with her birthday. The event was held at Revere Beach just outside of Boston, and included grilling and picnic food, beach games, contests, and colorful and creative swimsuit costumes designed by the guests, inspired by their favorite characters. Sephygoth and Shiva volunteered to be photographers for the day, documenting all of the fun.
Shiva's Event Breakdown:
After having such a wonderful time at this event last year, I was really looking forward to going to the beach party this time, and with plenty of advance notice I considered making a different swimsuit costume. However, quite a few attendees posted in the Cosplay.com thread that they were going to wear Final Fantasy-inspired swimsuits for the occasion, so I chose to recycle my Rinoa Heartilly swimsuit from Final Fantasy VIII instead. Despite a discouraging weather forecast which predicted rain for the entire weekend, the day of the party broke with bright sunshine and warm temperatures - the perfect day for going to the beach! I packed ingredients for símores to make at the party, as well as my deflated Angelwing inner tube and plenty of beach supplies, and set off for Revere.
I took the T to Wonderland station and walked to Revere Beach to meet up with my fellow cosplayers. Since the event was scheduled 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. When I arrived, I was amazed to see the entire swath of beach near the train station awash with brightly-colored characters running around on the sand or splashing in the waves. There certainly was no way to miss where the cosplay party was happening! I set up my own spot near several friends and put on my wig and blew up my inner tube; Sephygoth once again was kind enough to paint my Rinoa wings on my back for me.
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 Full Metal Alchemist, 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!
In addition to some excellent beach attire, attendees came prepared with plenty of 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. A game of volleyball was started with the inflatable balls, which turned into quite the cardio exercise when the balls were caught by the wind and we took turns racing down the beach, chasing them. Someone else started up a round of Twister, which was a lot more fun and challenging in the sand. A race to capture the flag caused more than a few people to loose their wigs while diving for the fluttering prize, including Dymetrex, who spent quite a bit of time trying to remove sand from his Cloud wig. Several of the races made the participants unwitting stars of hilarious YouTube videos.
For food, there were several small grills set up to make hamburgers and hot dogs, and plenty of fruit, chips, crackers, and other snacks to go around. We destroyed another poor watermelon as cosplayers hacked away at the fruit with kantana, keyblades, mallets, and all sorts of prop weaponry before settling down to eat the remains. As the afternoon wore down we toasted marshmallows on the grills and made delicious s'Mores and sang a round of Happy Birthday to Kyuu before calling it a day.
Overall, this was another successful and fun event, and a wonderful opportunity for cosplayers to not only socialize, but get outside and enjoy the summer weather! Everyone was incredibly welcoming and mixed well, and everyone left with strengthened friendships and social connections within the community. I can't wait to go again next year!