Geek Fest 2.0 brings the fun for Bay Ridge

The ‘geeks’ were out in full force once again in Bay Ridge.

Popular neighborhood store Gotham City Games, 503 84th Street, which sells retro and contemporary games and toys, hosted its second annual Brooklyn Geek Fest on Saturday, April 7 and Sunday, April 8.

During the growing tradition, lovers of games, comics, toys, cosplay and more gathered at the Best Western Gregory Hotel, 8314 Fourth Avenue, to celebrate the geek in them.

According to organizer and owner of the store Ralph Pugliese, this year’s event was extended to two days to add to the gaming fun.

“At first I was worried about doing the two days because I wasn’t sure if there would be enough interest for both days, but I think the way it turned out, it was the best thing to do,” he said. “It worked out great. It gave us more time to spread out the events. It allowed us to focus more on the kids and the contests. They loved that part.”

Similar to last year, cosplay was the biggest hit of the weekend. Both adults and children dressed as their favorite movie and gaming characters for this year’s festivities.

Photo by Thomas Peruggia

“During the contest, the adults and the kids probably had at least double the participants compared to last year,” Pugliese said, adding that everything was better sorted. “The tournaments were better organized, packed and had their own separate rooms. Each tournament had at least 30 people play in each of them.”

This year’s event also saw an uptick in vendors.

“We also added five new vendors we somehow fit in there,” said Pugliese. “We had more variety in purchases. We really diversified in terms of comics, video games, toys and collectibles this year.”

As far as big winners, a youngster won the popular Nintendo Switch.

“A kid won it in the mystery box and he was really excited about it,” Pugliese said. “He didn’t have one and really wanted one which was awesome, and it didn’t go to someone that already had one. He wanted one for his birthday.”

As far as the costume contests, attendees were once again creative, many of them returners from last year’s Geek Fest.

“The guy who won was dressed as Wesley Snipes from ‘Blade.’ It was awesome,” Pugliese said. “A guy dressed as the Predator came in second. It was just a great outfit. We had 50 people just spectating.”

As far as the kid’s contest, which took place on Sunday, everyone walked away with a prize.

“The grand prize winner was a girl dressed as Deadpool and she won a spending spree,” he explained. “She got $50 to spend at any venue she wanted, but we only gave her one minute to spend it. It just added to the fun.”

Pugliese is thrilled with the growing success of his events and hopes to keep the tradition going strong.

“It’s amazing. We’ve been owning a shop for over four years and you see the same people and you’re friends with them,” he said. “The hundreds of people that came I know on a first-name-basis and their family. I know a lot about them and have a lot in common because Bay Ridge is a great community and a great gaming community.”

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