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Unleash Your Geek: Snake River Fandom Con returning to Pocatello

The Art of Nerding Out

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Spider-man and Spider-man find EastIdahoNews.com reporter Natalia Hepworth at the 2017 Snake River Fandom Con. | EastIdahoNews.com file photo

Put the finishing touches on your cosplay and get ready to get your geek on, because the Snake River Fandom Con is invading Pocatello!

The con, in its second year of existence, will take over the Mountain View Events Center in Pocatello from Friday through Sunday. It will feature attractions and events for geeks of all stripes. From costume contests to photo opportunities with celebrities, Fandom Con has a little something for fans of all stripes.

While the inaugural convention was a success, event organizer Tanglwyst de Holloway says this year’s con will be even better. For starters, although last year’s panels and events were spread among three different venues, all of this year’s con events will take place in one location.

“The reason we chose three venues is so we could accommodate over 2,000 people,” says de Holloway. “We couldn’t have done that anywhere in a single venue.”

EastIdahoNews.com columnist Adam Forsgren poses with Wolverines of various ages at last year’s con. | EastIdahoNews.com file photo

Concern from convention attendees caused Fandom Con organizers to reassess the venue situation.

“So many people were concerned because they didn’t know there was a main events hotel,” de Holloway says. “They didn’t know there was an entire main events hotel or a vendor hall. So we’re going to give it a try and just hold it at the Mountain View Events Center this year.”

Accommodating a change in venue has meant changes in programming, with less-attended panels and events cut in favor of more popular programming.

“We’re bringing back things that were well-liked or standing room only,” de Holloway says. “We’re bringing back things that were requested, as well as some subjects and topics that we didn’t get the chance to cover last year.”

Fandom Con will also feature more tournaments of interactive events. Video games like “Tekken” and “Street Fighter” will provide gamers a chance to competitively bash buttons. Gaming tables will be available for anyone who wants to get their tabletop gaming on. And, of course, the con will feature a cosplay contest for costumers to show off their work.

“We are also bringing out photo ops with celebrities,” says de Holloway. “Hours are set aside and you go get your picture taken with that celebrity for really minimal money.” These photo ops will give attendees the opportunities to get professional photos with pop culture luminaries, just like at much bigger conventions, without hours of travel involved.”

Oddly, billionaire Bruce Wayne was a no-show. | EastIdahoNews.com file photo

Other unique events at this year’s Fandom Con include Splendid Teapot racing and the Iron Cosplay contest.

Splendid Teapot racers meld their Steampunk-inspired teapot creations to radio-controlled car chassis and run them through an obstacle course. The Iron Cosplay contest pits teams against one another, with the goal of creating a wearable costume in 90 minutes.

“Talk about creativity in action,” de Holloway says. “It’s like the cooking show of cosplay!”

De Holloway says the goal for this year’s con is to see return customers.

“That’s a really big thing,” she says. “We want to see people who came and had a great time last year come out and bring their friends.”

Hope is high that people who missed out last year’s con will also attend this year, excited by positive word of mouth from those who did make it last year.

Beyond that, de Holloway hopes Snake River Fandom Con will inspire attendees to start their own conventions for the pop culture they love.

“We don’t want people to have to drive two to five hours to hang out with people who like things like ‘My Little Pony’ or ‘Inuyasha,’” she says. “We want local businesses to embrace conventions and use superheroes in their marketing. We’re hoping we can get enough conventions starting here that it will grow the community and Idaho Falls or Pocatello will build a convention center that can handle it and attract national conventions.”

You can view schedule and ticket information on the Snake River Fandom Con website.

Adam and Natalia left last year’s event in the shuttle. | EastIdahoNews.com file photo
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