The seventh annual Mad Hatter's Tea Party & Cosplay Dance will be on Sunday, July 16th, at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art.
Cosplay Great Falls founder and event coordinator Marlesa Popp says that last year's tea party was the largest they have hosted, with more than 150 people showing up.
Cosplay is a form of performance art where participants dress up as fictional characters that inspire them.
Popp said that about 10 people attended her first tea party, so she is ecstatic to see interest in cosplay grow.
Popp said in a message to KRTV:
I started the tea party as a way to bring people of like minded interests together. I feel it's extremely important to have a safe and creative outlet for people of all ages. Cosplay helped me "break out of my shell" so to speak. It's amazing to see young adults that are too shy to speak put a costume on and get positive attention. You see them become confident. Really young kids love dressing up for any reason and when they see an adult in costume they fully believe they are meeting the real character. There is a simple wonder that gets lost in the bustle of day to day life. The tea party brings that wonder alive even if for just a few hours on a Sunday afternoon.
Popp has been an avid cosplayer for about six years. She is self-taught, picking up techniques and methods through trial and error, fellow cosplayers, and online video tutorials.
To find out more about Cosplay Great Falls, you can visit https://www.facebook.com/cosplaygreatfallsmt/