As a little girl growing up in Alaska, my favorite store was Sanrio Surprises. We had one in the fancy mall located about 30 minutes away from my house. Visiting the store was a special treat. Every time my mom went to the nice mall, I would tag along just so I could visit Sanrio. My favorite characters were Hello Kitty and Badtz-Maru. I had notebooks, photo albums, pens, and everything else offered at Sanrio with these characters on them. It was my go-to when I had money.
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When I heard about the Hello Kitty Supercute Friendship Festival I instantly knew I wanted to attend because it was an opportunity to re-connect with my favorite childhood fandom. Advertisements on TV depicted a cute, fun event and like-minded bloggers gave the impression of an event that could not be missed.
Day of the event came and you could cut the anticipation lingering around the convention center with a knife. The adorable Hello Kitty themed trailer only added to the excitement. It was like a glowing neon sign saying you made it.
People of all ages were lined up almost an hour early to get in. Fans donned cat ears, large bows, and wore lots of Hello Kitty inspired apparel. Looking at the entry line was like looking at a sea of cuteness: adorable and magical.
Sprinkled throughout the building were life-size scenes featuring characters ready for fun photos. It felt like walking through Hello Kitty’s world! You could tell that tremendous thought and care was put into each photo-op. The detail was incredible! A few of the photo-ops included Purin, Kiki & Lala, Hello Kitty in a large cup, Badtz-Maru, and Keroppi.
Another fun photo event was the opportunity to meet Hello Kitty herself! Children and adults alike excitedly waited for the opportunity to meet the iconic character. Sanrio had an adorable backdrop to pose in front of and a really nice volunteer to help take photos for you. They made sure everything was taken care of so you could enjoy the experience.
Swag-wise they had a few activities that were free and a few merchandise booths. They had a temporary tattoo parlor where you chose from nine different designs, one for each character and one of everybody together. If you couldn’t choose just one, and were willing to wait in the line again, you could get more. The tattoos looked amazing and a few people even thought they were real!
Another free activity was the face painting station. An adorable lady rocking pastel hair had a cute little booth where you could choose to have your face painted as either Hello Kitty or Keroppi. Along with the face painting you received a paper headband to complete the transformation into your favorite character.
The merchandise booths had a few event-specific items and some more general items. A few of the special items included a commemorative pin, event t-shirts, and an event poster. They also had a place for you to buy kitty ears, hoodies, slap bracelets, key chains and more. Near the merchandise booth was a place to buy Hello Kitty themed Spam. It was pretty interesting.
The festival included performances that were going on periodically throughout the evening. The performers sang and danced to cute little songs about friendship. The cast sang original songs and covers all while keeping it super-cute. The performances were adorable but definitely more aimed at children, which some may say about the entire event but we will just brush past that.
Overall I really enjoyed the event. It was a fun way to spend a Saturday night and really brought me back to my childhood days. If Hello Kitty Supercute Friendship Festival comes to a town near you I definitely recommend checking it out.