Thousands of Star Wars, Star Trek, comic book and various other enthusiasts packed the Cradle of Aviation Museum this weekend for Eternal Con, billed as Long Island’s largest multi-media pop culture convention.

Fans filled all three levels of the museum for the eclectic convention, where they lined up for chances to meet celebrities ranging from sci-fi series actors, graphic novel artists, WWE wrestlers and rock stars. Just as entertaining were attendees dressed in elaborate costumes, playing the roles of their favorite characters—dedicated fans known as cosplayers, short for costume play.

“I started making costumes for my children for New York City Comic Con and I thought, this is fun, I want to do this too, so I made it a family event.” Adaina Velez, an Eternal Con costume contest judge, said. “I also love looking at all the effort people have put into their costumes and making new friends at the conventions.”

On hand to greet fans in “artist alley” were notable comic book artists such as John Romita Jr., known for his work on Spiderman, as well as upcoming artists who signed autographs, posed for pictures and, of course, sold copies of their latest issues.

Aside from the many vendors were selling countless collectibles, no such convention would be complete without the costume parade, which stepped off Saturday morning and ended in a costume contest that afternoon.

Celebrities on hand for meet and greets and photo ops included the original cast of the Power Rangers, Marina Sirtis of Star Trek, Gigi Edgley of Farscape and many others. Also on hand were several WWE wrestling celebrities including Chyna, plus Markey Ramone, longtime drummer for The Ramones.

Scheduled to appear was actress Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek series. But, the 82-year-old actress suffered a minor stroke on June 3 and had to cancel her appearance. The celebrities who made it were generous with their time.

“I adore getting to spend moments and have a proper interaction with the people who have made my passion in life a reality,” Australia actress Gigi Edgley, who plays Chiana on the series Farscape, told the Press.

Fans dressed up as their favorite characters in what is known as "cosplay." (Photos by Joe Nuzzo)
Fans dressed up as their favorite characters in what is known as “cosplay.” (Photos by Joe Nuzzo)
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