Skip to content

Kalamazoo County Expo Center

April 22, 2023

  • 2900 Lake Street
  • Kalamazoo, MI 49048
  • (269) 383-8778
  • Website
  • Menu

Every year, I have a friend in Grand Rapids who says to me, “You should come to Comic-Con.” Every year, I tell him I don’t think it’s worth my time. I’m not in to comics and it’s fairly expensive to just go and look around for a few hours. Add in the hour drive, and I’ve always politely declined.

This year, Grand Rapids Comic Con ran in to a little bit of an issue with their spring show. Their venue closed.

The show as supposed to be at the DeltaPlex in Walker, but that venue was sold last year and is now a warehouse. The only venue they could find was in Kalamazoo, so they dubbed this year’s spring show a “Road Trip.”

With the show being in Kalamazoo this year, I had less of an excuse to say no. I aske the kids if they wanted to go and both enthusiastically said yes. I messaged my buddy and told him we were in.

The show was held at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center. The 90,000 square foot convention center is part of the Kalamazoo County Fairgrounds on Lake Street in Kalamazoo Township. The Expo center is inside the gate so you enter off Lake Street and the road takes you back to a large parking lot. We got there pretty early in the day and it was a good thing we did. By the time we left around 1:00, they were parking cars behind the building in the grass lots used for the fair.

We beat my buddy there and I didn’t wait in the car so we set off to explore until he got there. I had already purchased our tickets on line so it was just a matter of heading over to the ticketing area that was set up in the parking near the entrance to get our wristbands.

The Expo Center is divided in to three large event space rooms. The main Expo Hall and the information desk is right in front of you when you walk in. The other two rooms are off to either side. The rooms can either be separate spaces for different events or they can be opened up to make one large event space. Comic Con took all of the space the Expo Center had available. There are some smaller rooms used more like conference rooms behind Expo North that they were even using for panels and lectures.

We headed towards Expo North when we first walked in. I figured we’d just make loops around all three to see what everyone had then double back and start buying things. When we got there around 11, it was pretty easy to walk around.

By the time we left around 1:00, the hallways were packed.

The event space at the Expo Center is pretty large and pretty open. It’s really nothing more than a metal barn and concrete floors. All of the available space was being used. The main Expo Hall and venders lined up in three rows then had the autograph booths off to one side.

We walked through the first hall while waiting for my buddy to arrive. We found some cool things but I told the kids that we’d come back to buy. I wanted to see everything first then decide how we were going to spend our money.

My buddy texted me as we were walking out of the North Hall. I told the kids we were going to go wait in the lobby. They both said they were thirsty and asked for something to drink. We walked right next to a concession stand where there was no line so we hopped over to grab something.

The concession stands at the Expo Center, which there are two, have some pretty decent options. I grabbed a Pepsi for myself, a Gatorade for the girl and a water for the boy. I asked about food and both said they weren’t hungry. My idea was the come back later and grab some sandwiches before heading home but unfortunately, the lines got way too long. It’s really too bad because they had some good options. In addition to typical concession foods like soft pretzels and nachos, they had cheeseburgers, polish sausages, salads, and even some breakfast options like biscuits and gravy, and breakfast burritos.

At that point, we met up with my buddy and made our way through the entire Expo Center. My son all of a sudden got in to Anime and wanted literally everything. My daughter looked at some graphic novels but didn’t see anything that really interested her. We played a Virtual Reality game which, of course, my son loved and we browsed through comics and toys looking for what we were going to take home with us.

My buddy offered both kids $50 to buy whatever they wanted. My daughter politely declined saying there was nothing she needed and didn’t want to waste his money. The boy, however, wanted everything. We settled on a pack of Japanese Pokemon cards, some anime posters for his room, and some kind of anime character statue. There was also an LCD Mario Bros backpack he wanted but it was way out of his price range.

We spent about two hours there and the kids were hot and ready to go. My buddy and a friend that came with him are much more in to the Comci Con scene than we are so I thanked him for his generosity and said our goodbyes so he could go enjoy the show without babysitting us.

This is really the first time I’ve been in the Kalamazoo County Expo Center when it was full like this. I had been to a Pinball the Zoo in the past and I’ve been there a few times for work but it was a much different experience seeing a full on show like this. The space is massive for Kalamazoo County and things seemed to run pretty smoothly. It’s a great event space for something like this where a sterile environment doesn’t actually matter. It’s what goes in the space that counts and there are so many options for what can be at this convention hall.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: