Happening at the Cox Convention Center this weekend is the Tattoo Arts Convention.
This is the second year for the convention to be held in Oklahoma City. It will not look anything like it did before due to precautions being taken to lessen the spread of COVID-19.
The Tattoo Arts Convention is the first event to be held there at Cox since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Oklahoma City was one of the better places to hold the convention, according to the event organizer. After cancelling in Dallas, organizer Troy Trimpel said Oklahoma has a lower amount of COVID cases.
Wearing a mask during the weekend event will be mandatory.
This pandemic has affected everyone, including Amy Funkhouser from Pawnee.
“It is nice getting out with other people again,” said Funkhouser.
Funkhouser got a tattoo at the Oklahoma City Tattoo Arts Convention. Wearing a mask, she said, is no problem.
“I don’t mind wearing one, I don’t wear one at home,” said Funkhouser. “If I have to be out, I’ll wear one.”
Organizers said they’ll keep a close eye on health and safety this weekend making sure masks are worn.
“I must (have) redone the floor plan eight different times and studying the different traffic flows, how to not bottleneck any areas,” said Trimpel.
Booths are extra spaced out this year. Eight-foot dividers have been installed to reduce odds of airborne infection. Hand sanitizer and double the amount of hand washing stations are available. Everyone’s temperature will be taken at walk in.
With more space than last year, social distancing is made much easier.
“What we did (at the stage area) is we spaced all the chairs out into kind of socially distanced family units,” said Trimpel. “Some of them are groups of four, some are groups of three, two.”
“From the minute they get out of their car, to the minute they go into the gate to get into the event, to how they disburse through the event,” said Trimpel. “Social distancing is really taken into consideration for every step of the way.”
It is, no doubt, a lot to get used to. So far, organizers say, many are cooperating.
“Proceeding cautiously and safely is a big part of resuming everyday life,” said Trimpel. “It’s not jumping into a swimming pool. We’re easing into that water.”
There are less tattoo artists this year because some had to cancel due to travel restrictions in their own state when coming to Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma City Tattoo Arts Convention runs from July 10 – 12. Tickets are $20, $40 for a three-day pass.
Hours are Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.