The first Comic Con event is coming to the Alerus Center on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-29.

Hours for the event, titled “River Cinema Grand Forks Comic Con,” are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Attendees should use entrances 1 and 7. Inside, they can expect to find comic books, toys, art, cosplay, a costume contest and much more, said Riley Simenson, the Alerus Center’s director of marketing.

Local artists and vendors also will be on site during the event, Simenson said.

Grand Forks’ HB Sound and Light will set up its LEGO display, he said, and “thanks to Rock 30 Games, we will have a gaming area with both tournament and open gaming options.”

Costume contests will be held at 3 p.m. each day, adults on Saturday and kids on Sunday. Contestants can sign up as a group, team or individually, and will be graded on factors such as originality, accuracy, extent of hand-made versus store-bought elements, and audience reaction.

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Cash and other prizes will be given to winners of each contest. First prize for adults is $200 and for kids is $100.

Comic cons are popular because “they are ‘the’ thing going on right now,” said Clint Randolph, founder of Comic Con. “Look at TV shows, movies, etcetera -- what’s popular? Comic book-based movies and shows. Comic cons let fans meet other fans.

“There are hundreds of comic con events a year, not just in the U.S.,” Randolph said.

Admission is $13 on Saturday and $11 on Sunday.

Kids under 9 years old are admitted free.

Ticket sales for this event are going well, Simenson said. They may be purchased at the door or in advance at the Alerus Center box office or online at www.Ticketmaster.com.

The center’s “normal security measures will be in place, along with metal detectors,” Simenson said.