Pony Con full of friendship

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Bronies and “My Little Pony” fans gathered in the Radisson Hotel in Salt Lake City on July 17–18 for the third annual Crystal Mountain Pony Con. More than 800 fans sold homemade merchandise, did cosplay, visited a game room and took in scheduled events for discussion and learning. Bronies is the term used for grown-up fans of the popular kids animated show “My Little Pony.”

Ari Davis
The annual My Little Pony Con was held up in Salt Lake City.

Erin Wilson, a BYU student studying animation, said, “Friendship is magic.” Wilson is a member of the “BYU Bronies,” an unofficial club that meets on the BYU campus every week. She helped design posters and other merchandise that was sold at Pony Con to help fund the club.

“You need to be open to everyone,” said Wilson, so anyone is invited weekly to watch new episodes of the show, socialize and meet others in the community that share their same passion through the BYU Bronies.

Vendors sold everything from earrings, posters and printed blankets to published fan fiction books, mugs and plush pets. All the vendors participating sold handmade items to share their love and passion for the pony community.

Many attendees bought new clothes to add to their cosplay, already dressed for the occasion with painted hair, unicorn horns and ears atop their heads. Some fans made tails and wings to look like the characters that are categorized into ponies, pegasi and unicorns.

Dressed fans could play in the game room or sit through discussions and panels about the show and share their stories of involvement. Fans played versions of Super Smash Brothers, Rock Band and Super Mario Brothers modified by fans so ponies appeared as characters.

Matthew Wilckin, BYU graduate, led one of the scheduled event presentations. He taught about video game modification and sprite art. Also called pixel art, spriting is the creation of 2D graphics for hobbyists who want to create their own modified pony video game.

The fans were friendly and inviting to others and were excited to tell about their conversion to the pony community. Steven Moritc, a brony going to Weber State College, invited all to “come to the ponies, we have plushies.”

Scott Wege, current president of the BYU Bronies, got re-introduced to the new and improved “My Little Pony” after the re-branding in 2011. “I just love the community,” Wege said.

Most fans love the community because the members are like-minded. Even if you aren’t a diehard fan, they are more than welcoming. Many fans said they simply loved the show because of the way it “brings people together” to form friendships.

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