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This past weekend, the city of New Orleans took a step back into normal. After years of a COVID-19 pandemic, and with the Omicron variant present in the state of Louisiana, a comic con style event returned to the Big Easy.

Fan Expo New Orleans was a sight for sore eyes. A full blown pop culture expo at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for the first time since 2019, and it was just what was needed.

The week of the event saw celebrity guests cancel over COVID concerns and travel restrictions, but some of the biggest celebrities scheduled for the show still made it out. Including the legendary William Shatner, Ron Perlman, and New Orleans own Anthony Mackie.

And having Mackie there was a pretty big deal.

Not only is he a New Orleans native, but Mackie took over the role of Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2021. The same path his MCU character Sam Wilson took in the comics. But unlike the comic version, Mackie's real life was able to influence the live-action MCU version, shifting the character's home from New York (comics) to Louisiana (MCU).

That local influence means a lot to folks in Louisiana.

Including the winner of the Cosplay Contest at Geek'd Con 2021, Sydney Myers, who made her way on-stage to meet Anthony Mackie at Fan Expo New Orleans...

Having a local legend like Mackie in his hometown gave the event a special boost, but there was so much more happening.

Vendors from all over the state, and country, brought a ton of great merchandise for fans to shop from. Local artists, comic book dealers, toy vendors, and everything in between filled the show floor with options for fans. Something that you can't get access to without events like this.

Fans came from all over the region to spend time and money in a city, and state, who could desperately use it. New Orleans is emerging from the pandemic, and events like this are helping to move it along.

The state of Louisiana is doing the same, even if its happening in pockets. Shreveport's Geek'd Con was able to happen in 2021, in the face of the pandemic, now New Orleans was able to get Fan Expo accomplished. Lake Charles has CyPhaCon lined up for April, and the state will keep rolling from there.

This was a vary important moment for the state, to show that these type of events can happen in today's atmosphere.

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