On an annual basis, wizards, superheroes and anime characters flock to downtown Indy to attend Gen Con for the best four days in gaming.
While a fantasy world of tabletop gaming and LARPing will be ongoing at the Convention Center, the average downtown office workers still have to show up to their daily grinds. We at Pattern89 love the fun that Gen Con brings to the city, but we also know that it takes a little extra time and patience for downtowners to go about their routines. So we put together a list of survival tips on how to make it through the week, and also have some fun while you’re at it.
Bad News: Parking will be crazier than usual.
Arrive to your parking lot early, because your spot will get taken if you arrive at your normal time. Over 60,000 extra people will be packing into downtown, so parking spots will be as rare and precious as dwarven mithril.
Bring your lunch to work, but go grab coffee to people watch.
Your favorite lunch spots will also be packed, offering specials and con-themed menus. If you have the time to spare, we highly recommend dining at Scotty’s to see cosplayers gather over wings and beer. Sadly, most of us won’t have the hours to spare for a long lunch, so brown bagging is optimal.
Instead, go for a walk when you grab your afternoon coffee. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to see your fill of Harley Quinns and Harry Potters going about their days.
Avoid the corner of Maryland and Capitol, if you can.
This intersection serves and the point where everyone travels between the Convention Center and the rest of downtown. It’s a bottleneck during Gen Con, and you don’t want to get caught in its crossfire.
Georgia Street will be slammed.
Between Capitol and Meridian, Georgia Street will be open to the general public, but insanely crowded. The city’s best food trucks will be parked there, and attendees will be increasing their health and mana between gaming sessions. The food is great, but potentially not worth waiting for.
Good News: A costume parade is held on Saturday at 3.
If, for some reason, you decide to stay holed-up in the office during Gen Con, but still want a piece of the action, come back downtown on Saturday to see the costume parade. All parking, street closures, and crowd notices will still apply, but you will definitely see the best of the best cosplayers. Is it worth the trip into town? Yes. Is it a pretty quick event? Yes, so don’t look away and don’t blink.
Gen Con is coming, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it. Here’s to a week of celebrating what makes you happy– whether that’s tabletop gaming, binge watching anime, or strolling around the city in a Gandalf costume.
We’re so excited to welcome all out-of-towner attendees, and we wish fellow downtowners a good week too! Hopefully this guide comes in handy as you boldly to to the office you’ve gone to several times before.