SCRANTON — Tattoo artists and enthusiasts alike gathered at the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center on Friday night for the opening night of the Electric City Tattoo Convention.
The convention, which is in its eighth year, hosted over 165 artists from across the country, vendors and various types of entertainment, such as a pinup contest and sword swallower. The convention spanned out over the entire second floor of the Hilton, with tattoo machines buzzing throughout the evening.
Tattoo artist and event co-founder Woody Wodock was happy with the convention’s debut.
“It’s busy,” he said. “Everything seems to be working out well.”
Wilkes-Barre tattoo artist Jenna Stanish, who works at Triple6tattoos, was there with shop owner Bruce Fairchild. She said the event brings out a “sense of community” in artists throughout the region.
“It’s a good time to come together and support each other,” Stanish said.
In addition to a number of local artists, the convention hosted artists from Ohio, Texas, Massachusetts and Virginia.
Jenn Siegfried, an artist from Zanesville, Ohio, was tattooing at the convention for a second year, and lauded the work of Wodock in organizing the event.
“It’s a good time,” Siegfried said.
The convention also had a couple of tattoo removal companies, including GO! Tattoo Removal from Allentown.
Mike Panic said the company works with tattoo artists to help customers who want to do things like cover up an old tattoo with another one.
“People change their minds all the time,” he said. “We’re helping them getting the skin they want.”
And it’s not just about tattoos. The convention also hosted organizations such as Pinups for Pitbulls, a nonprofit with the goal of educating the public on the temperament of pit bulls, as well as helping all types of shelter dogs.
Nikki Hartman said this was the first year the group participated in the convention.
“It’s a great way to spread the word,” she said.
Brandon Wilson, 25, of Throop, was looking to build on a tattoo he started at the convention a few years ago. Wilson said the event “is fantastic” for the downtown community.
“It’s one of the nights Scranton comes alive,” he said.
Keiera Kisel, of Archbald, who was getting a tattoo, echoed Wilson’s sentiment.
“You make connections,” she said. “Everyone is on the same level of loving art.”
Reach Brigid Edmunds at 570-991-6113 or on Twitter @brigidedmunds