Written By: Kristy

Robin Dempsey stated it nicely when she said, “Conventions are a little like diving into an ocean at first! I always feel swept away!” This is exactly how I felt for my first Science Fiction Convention.  I decided to take my first step into the big world of conventions at Denver, Colorado’s annual Starfest Convention.

My first step was one awesome step.  Although a bit overwhelming at first, I found that I thoroughly enjoyed the convention scene. Months before the convention, I posted in the Starland forum hoping to find someone that could give me advice. Luckily, Michelle (the other half of Girls of Geek) answered my post, and right away I made my first convention friend. She gave me excellent advice, and I felt a little calmer about the whole thing. If you’re new to conventions, I highly suggest posting in the convention’s forum. There are many people willing to help answer your questions.

When the big day finally arrived, we made the 3 and half hour journey to Denver. I live in the boonies  - it takes awhile. Once we arrived at the hotel, I spotted a few people in costume already. My first thought, “That’s freakin’ awesome!” It’s not every day you run into Bellatrix at the hotel entrance.

Once I met up with the Girls Of Geek team, we headed to the Marriott hotel where Starfest was located. I have to be honest; I couldn’t help staring at all the costumes around me, and it was a little hard to concentrate on what I was doing. Some of the costumes I saw were amazing. Listen, I know that many people outside of the convention crowd poke fun of those who wear costumes, but if they only realized how much creativity people poured into their costumes they would understand how they are walking works of art.

The first thing we did was sit down for breakfast. I know what you’re thinking; “You’ve got stuff to do, you don’t have time to eat breakfast.” However, by sitting down to eat, we were able to go over schedules, look at all the costumes around us, and  I was able to catch my breath a little. This would be my second piece of advice to you newbies. Always, sit down for breakfast, catch your breath, and just enjoy the ambience around you.

We walked around the Model Area, Art Show, and took the time to take a few pictures in the bright blue Tardis.  We stopped by the 501st booth and took tons of photos. Even Chewbacca stopped by. We attended many great panels and shows. Let me just say, I was never bored. There was plenty to do.  In fact, I didn’t even complete my list of what I wanted to do.

Of course, I wanted an autograph by David Prowse (Lord Vader for you non Star Wars Geeks) which I am happy to report that I got it. I have never had an autograph before, and I was in seventh heaven when he signed my photo. I also received an autograph from Dee Wallace. She is a remarkable lady, and I was able to chat with her for a good 10 minutes. I admit, I was a little star struck while talking with her. 

Saturday ended with the Costume Contest. I enjoyed many of the costumes, including my personal favorites, Star Wars, Halo, and Dr. Who. The children’s costumes where just as impressive as the adults. I still have no clue who had the better costume. They were all amazing. The Contest ran a little too long, and I just couldn’t sit through the whole thing. It was amazing to see the costumes, but after awhile it just became too much.

All of the above was what I did on Saturday. By Saturday night, I was exhausted. My head was spinning with all of the amazing things I saw. Sunday was more of a chill day. I did some work for Girls Of Geek, and spent a majority of my time at the 501st table. I even snagged a picture of Princess Leia. My third and last suggestion for all you con newbie’s hit the con hard on Saturday, but take it easy on Sunday.  I spent most of my time in the Vendor room, and I did spend a lot of money on Star Wars action figures. I am pleased to announce I did find my perfect Star Wars mug.

I better end this. It’s getting a bit long, so here is how I felt at the end of my first convention. I thoroughly enjoyed myself! In fact I believe I have the Con bug now and will have to attend Starfest again. It was wonderful meeting people who share the same interests as me, and who doesn’t like seeing Chewbacca running around a hotel lobby? Thank you Starfest for putting on a great event. It was a great convention to choose for my first one.