Aliens and Pink-Haired Girls

I talked with the parents of one of the event’s half-dozen organizers, who is only in his mid-20s.  They said he’d been into anime since he was a pre-tween, and that three years ago he and a few of his friends decided to start this event to connect with others with similar interests.

It grew from a couple hundred to more than 800 attendees in that time frame.

But for the most part, attendees were just young men and women having fun.

So the thought struck me: I wonder if any parks and rec departments are using anime as part of their programming?

Knowing that the 13- to 18-year old, non-athletic bracket is a programming challenge, this might be an interesting area.

You could have local anime clubs featuring character and costume development, amateur anime productions, anime film festivals or maybe create a regional club with other area rec departments.

These anime cons are held all over the country, all over the world, really. So maybe a local rec anime club could work on costumes and cosplay with the intent of traveling to a nearby conference. Awards are generally given for best costumes and other categories.

There are probably anime enthusiasts, like the young people who put on the Atlanta conference, who could be good instructors for a local rec program.

Or maybe these recreation anime clubs already exist and I’ve just never heard of any.

What do you rec pros say? Is this an idea worth pursuing? Is someone out there already doing it?  Share your thoughts and experience here…

Randy Gaddo, a retired Marine, who also served until recently in municipal parks and recreation, lives in Peachtree City, Ga., and can be reached at (678) 350-8642 or email

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One comment on “Aliens and Pink-Haired Girls

  1. Randy on said:

    Wow, I am a bit surprised there were no comments on this one, pro or con. Helloooo, anybody out there? Is this a genius idea or a stupid one? I thought it was a bit outside the box and hoped someone would agree…or disagree…either way it could be a shared learning process. It’s not too late to comment:-)

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