Thousands of fans, including many dressed as their favorite  characters, helped kick off the 2013 Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo on Friday night.

Over the weekend, about 60,000 people are expected to gather at Stampede Park to see their favourite stars, writers, artists and more.

The expo is a chance to shop, mingle and, well, nerd out over video games, comics, TV shows, movies and anime.

The event started with hundreds participating in a cosplay parade, which ended at Olympic Plaza. Cosplay is when fans dress up and act like their favourite characters.

Many of those same people will compete in a costume contest Saturday

Tickets for the event sold out months ago.

hi-comic-con-parade-6col

Hundreds marched from Eau Claire Plaza to Olympic Plaza on Friday morning to kick off the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. (Jenny Howe/CBC)