Nearly 20,000 anime and animation aficionados are expected at Fanime, San Jose’s popular anime convention.

The event—one of the largest anime conventions in Northern California—returns for its 18 year May 25-28 at the Convention Center.

Fans from all over the United States will visit to attend events such as a black and white ball and a MusicFest with performers from as far as Japan. An Artist Alley will feature artwork for sale, autograph sessions with their Japanese and English guests of honor and more.

“FanimeCon is unique in that we are a convention that is by fans, for fans,” says Deborah Wang, assistant head of marketing for Fanime. “All of the FanimeCon staffers are volunteers, and practically all of us started staffing because we wanted to help out the convention we loved attending. Some of our major programming began from ideas suggested in our forums and we always ask for input for future Guests of Honor and MusicFest performers.”

This year, Fanime has partnered with the website Ridejoy, a ride sharing website that will allow attendees to link up with other attendees in their area and carpool to the event. Social events will take place as well, such as speed dating, meet ups and video rooms showing the latest and greatest anime from Japan.

Along with the events, people are welcome and encouraged to dress up as their favorite anime character and many places around downtown San Jose will have special events and even discounts for attendees.

Fanime was founded in 1994 when anime clubs from different Bay Area colleges got together to watch anime together.