Superheroes unite: Costumes to help Red Bandana, First Presbyterian bring cosplay to life

Two Milford-based groups are counting down to the annual Comic- Con in Dover with a special event in July hoping to prepare families fora fun time.

Milford’s Red Bandana will be hosting a Comic-Con prep event with First Presbyterian Church of Milford in July. Co-owner Katie Coenan is shown above during the Avengers Endgame Marvel Premiere in California earlier this year with her friend Sharon Rose dressed as Captain Marvel.

First Presbyterian Church of Milford has been hosting its Second Friday events for more than a year now and sought out the help of Red Bandana for its July event.

“I started this a couple of years ago because a friend in church did a performance by the Nanticoke Indian Tribe, and it was just fascinating. We’ve been trying to do somethings of interest ever since,” John Huntzinger said. “We’ve had Eugenia Sparks with the Irish Shop and had almost 100 people at that. Downtown Milford, Inc. picked it up from the town perspective. Joan Lofland gave a talk about the shipyards in town once. The Milford Museum now doing a series of speakers of local history, so I guess some of the stuff we’re doing is spinning off and encouraging other people to do things.”

Recently, the church hosted the Music School of Delaware for a special Second Friday recital when they didn’t have enough space.

“It brought back memories of being in Europe where every night you could go somewhere where there were cultural events. That was really neat,” he added.

Mr. Huntzinger said he’s been visiting local businesses and organizations to see who might be interested in teaming up for the effort and found success with Red Bandana.

“We have a double header with Red Bandana. It’s a countdown to Comic-Con,

and the Milford Parade’s theme is about cartoon heroes. So, it’s a double header with them. It’s a joy to work with them. There’s so many nice businesses in town to work with,” he said.

Together, they will present their event Friday, July 12 at 7 p.m. at the church located at 101 S. Walnut St. in Milford. Attendees of any age will be able to meet some comic conventioneers and get ideas about how to get the most out of the convention which will be held Aug. 17 in Dover.

The youngest listeners will be able to make a super-hero cape with the Milford Community Parade in mind. That theme is “When comic book heroes come to life.”

“It’s important for us to be a part of the community. If it weren’t for the community, we wouldn’t have made this now second expansion. Community is everything to us. We often do things like donate to the school raffles or hold events here during town festivals just so that the community has a place to come and kind of nerd out. The community is always the most important aspect of what we do. Because without them, we wouldn’t be here,” Katie Coenan of Red Bandana said. “It’s a little unusual to think comic shop church, but they are such a pillar in the community, and community is so important to us that if there’s a way to utilize those two things, that was the goal. I feel like both sides are reaching a whole new possible demographic.”

The Countdown to Comic-Con event is free to the public, like Dover’s Comic-Con, she emphasized.

“It was important for us that, if we were going to do this, it was open and very welcoming. Our shop has a strict ‘don’t be a butthead rule.’ We’re a very accepting shop; this is a no judgement zone. When you’re here, you should only be focused on the things that you love, so we wanted to work with an establishment that is the same way,” Ms. Coenan said. “We have a lot of young people who come in here, a lot of people sort of on the fringe of society, and we want people to feel welcome wherever Red Bandana is represented.”

Both Red Bandana and the church say that events like these encourage community involvement.

“It helps build relationships within the community, informs people, helps the community know where we are because we’ve been there for 170 years and people still ask where the Presbyterian Church is, which -always find funny. It allows us to be good neighbors and spread hospitality,” Interim Pastor Dianne Deming said.

For more information or a list of other upcoming events, visit First Presbyterian Church of Milford online at www.fpcmilford.org.

Reach staff writer Jennifer Antonik at jantonik@newszap.com

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