The Electric City will be buzzing with needles at the sixth annual tattoo convention
SCRANTON — Getting a tattoo is not breaking news. However, it seems the trend has made its way from servicemen and convicts to girls at Starbucks and bearded men at breweries. Everywhere you look someone has some ink.
According to the U.S, Food and Drug Administration, more than 45 million Americans are inked. Capitalizing on this mainstream trend, The Electric City Tattoo Gallery is holding its sixth annual tattoo convention at the Scranton Hilton Hotel and Conference Center.
“Before we owned our own shop, we had gone to our fair share of conventions,” said Woody Wodock, co-owner of the shop. “It never felt like they cared about the tattoo industry, just the money. Our convention is smaller and more personal.”
The convention will feature more than 70 artists from all over the world including Japan, Florida and California, in addition to artists from Northeastern Pennsylvania.
“It is going to be like going into a large tattoo shop,” Wodock said.
Admission is $15 at the door, a minimal cost considering the talent of the artists at the convention, Wodock said.
“We are taking the travel costs out it,” he said. “Last year we had someone travel eight hours to get tattooed.”
Instead of traveling to get inked by the famous Takashi Matsuba of Runin Tattoo, convention goers can get his signature tattoos in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
“It is cool to introduce people to artists that they would have never come in contact with,” said Nick Frenchko, a tattoo artist from Electric City.
Among the 76 tattoo artists, there will be two piercers, Dave Carlson from Resurrected Tattoo in Syracuse, New York and Eli Gerrity from Electric City.
Whiskey Kittens, a group of burlesque dancers based out of Philadelphia, will perform at 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 18. There are five performers and each girl will have a solo dance. There will also be a duo act with Talia Zatanna and Beatrix Deranged. It is the group’s first time in Northeastern Pennsylvania
“We are heavily tattooed and a few of us might get some new ones,” said Bette Machete, a dancer in the group. “We are really excited to see the area so we are going to be hanging at the convention on Sunday.”
The convention will also have a sampling of a specialty beer by 3 Guys & a Beer’d from Carbondale. The specialty blonde ale was named “A Rose of No Man’s Land.”
“The beer is named after a World War II tattoo,” said co-owner Johnny Waering. “Soldiers used to get this tattoo for a nurse that helped them or saved them in the war. It was how they payed homage to war nurses.”
Waering said rose hips and sweet orange peels give the beer a citrus punch. It will only be available at the convention on Friday and Saturday.
“There is a subtle bitterness and sweetness to the beer,” Waering said. “It was really fun to sit down with the guys of Electric City and see what beer to go for. The convention gets more and more popular every year. Who knows, maybe I’ll get a tattoo while I’m there.”
Other vendors at the convention include Bicknee Tattoo Supply, Revival Letterpress Scranton, Loyalty Barbershop & Shave Parlor, GO Tattoo Removal, Never Again Clothing and Shattered Ego Records.