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This year’s notable names other than Hayden Christensen  — Darth Vader himself — include John Cena and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s” Tim Curry. Did you listen to Aly and AJ growing up? Fan of the Disney Channel Original Movie “Cow Belles?” If so, you will be happy to know AJ Michalka will also be in attendance at this weekend’s show.

ECCC returns after two years of cancelations and postponements. The annual convention usually occurs in the springtime, drawing thousands from near and far to Seattle. In 2020, the show originally slated for March was pushed out several times before ultimately being canceled.

Emerald City Comic Con 

Suzi Pratt / Contributor / Getty Images

In the spring of 2021, amidst news of the delta variant and new COVID safety measures, ECCC was once again postponed. After much waiting, ReedPop — the company behind ECCC and the infamous New York Comic Con — was finally able to plan a December edition of the beloved Seattle convention.

At this weekend’s show, visitors will find events and activities spread out all over the Washington State Convention Center. The Conference Center at Convention Place will house gaming and fan meet-up spaces, registration and health checks will take place at the Grand Hyatt, and the Sheraton Seattle Hotel will host celebrity autographs, photo ops and the show’s main stage. 

Want to find your way around #ECCC before the show opens? Check out our maps: https://t.co/K2otfrnw0W pic.twitter.com/6hCGvo1G70

— Emerald City Comic Con (@emeraldcitycon) December 2, 2021

Unique this year are the entrance requirements. Before entering ECCC at any of the above-mentioned locations, everyone (fans, artists, celebrities, employees) must undergo state-mandated health checks. This includes providing proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 24 hours.

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To ease this process, ECCC has partnered with CLEAR, whose health passes are required for entry to events at Climate Pledge Arena. Once you have passed your health check, you will be given a wristband that permits entry. More information on entrance procedures can be found on ECCC’s website.

Other health and safety measures this year include enforcing the state and county-mandated mask requirement. The Convention Center will also be sanitizing surfaces and touchpoints frequently and will be providing hand sanitizer and handwashing stations.

The layout of this year’s show has also been reworked to provide greater distancing, and directional arrows have been placed on walkways to keep traffic moving in consistent directions. Additional information can be found here.

Scenes from day two of the 2019 Emerald City Comic Con at the Washington State Convention Center, Friday, March 15, 2019.Scenes from day two of the 2019 Emerald City Comic Con at the Washington State Convention Center, Friday, March 15, 2019.Genna Martin

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Tickets for this weekend’s show went on sale in the summer. Now, please know that the author has absolutely indulged in the luxuries and chaoses of Emerald City Comic Cons past. As someone who has sat at her computer waiting for the exact moment tickets and passes hit the website, only to find them sold out in a matter of seconds, it’s astonishing to know they’re still for sale on the first day.

Maybe it’s the (short) guest list or switching the show from the spring to the holiday season that detracted regulars. Whatever the reason, select tickets can be purchased online or at the door upon arrival. Perhaps a less-crowded con is the best way to experience all the joys of ECCC. 

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