Anime Festival Draws Large Crowds In Fresno

Bright colors and characters filled every corner of the Fresno Convention Center over the weekend.

Attendees let their imaginations run wild as hundreds came out dressed head to toe as their favorite Japanese comic book and cartoon characters.

"It's more of a cultural event, to show Japan and the anime culture." said Danisha Gonzalez. "We are trying broaden out horizons with this."

Many of the anime aficionados purchased one-of-a-kind pieces of art and other valuable collectibles to support the art form that has grown in America over the last decade.

"I love coming to these events and selling my stuff because I get to participate in the fan culture, I get to see people I haven't seen in a while, make new friends and fans," said Melissa McCommon, who set up a booth at the convention. "There is a type of adrenaline that you only get when you come to one of these cons and just nerd out."

While good business for the vendor, its still small potatoes for the beleaguered Convention Center that relies on events like the ani-jam to survive.

The Convention Center has an $8 million yearly expense, an overhead that would need round the clock events just to cover.

Though expos and events like Ani-Jam continue grow, draw crowds and attract visitors to the Fresno's blighted downtown, it still isn't enough to combat the bigger issue -- money owed to Fresno taxpayers.

The Convention Center owes taxpayers nearly $700,000, according to city leaders .

To save money, city leaders are talking about possibly closing parts the Convention Center.

They will meet again on Sept. 9 to come up with a solution.