SoonerCon Convention Jun 23-25 2017
Calling all Star Wars junkies, Trekkies, gamers, freaks, geeks and those with nerdery of almost any kind! There’s a little something for everyone at the SoonerCon Convention happening the weekend of June 23-25 at the Reed Conference Center located at 5800 Will Rogers in Midwest City. The three day event will be packed with activities including special literary speakers, panels on a variety of subjects, workshops, gaming, costume contests and more. It will be a whirlwind of activity and fun, filled with sci-fi and fantasy, role playing and fantastic people watching. It’s definitely an event you won’t want to miss.
“Soonercon is a pop culture convention really kind of rooted in science fiction and fantasy, just all kinds of geeky stuff,” explained Aislinn Burrow, the SoonerCon Vice Chair. “We’ve got tons of panel programming on discussion topics ranging from writing for new authors to building out your creative portfolio to ‘Is the death star actually stupid physics?’ It really runs the gamut of fandom interests.”
SoonerCon began in the early 80s, taking a slight break in the early 2000s. This is the 26th SoonerCon convention and the 4th year it will be held at the Reed Center. The Midwest City Convention and Visitors Bureau is one of the supporting partners for the event. This year the convention will be offering their first dedicated children’s programming track as well. Children 12 years and under get in free with adult membership to the convention. Every hour of the convention will offer something for the kids to do, including activities in science, art, writing and more. Friday night features an all-ages dance, and there’s also an annual Nerf gun war that happens outdoors both Saturday and Sunday morning. The convention also offers all active duty Military free entry into the convention on Friday as well as a discounted 3 day membership for a single day price for all veteran or other status Military.
There will be a large dedicated gaming space that runs the entirety of the convention which will include board games and video games, as well as an epic event on Saturday evening hosted by the Dungeons and Dragons League. There will be a giant D&D game with multiple tables all playing at once which will go into the lore of the entire gaming system. The literary guest of honor is Timothy Zahn who has written 10 Star Wars novels as well as the Quadrail series, the Cobra series, the Conquerors Trilogy, and the young-adult Dragonback series of books. The artist guest of honor is Peri Charlifu who has worked in the science-fiction convention market for over ten years of his 30 year career. He teaches workshops and seminars in pottery, sculpture, and theory on a regular basis. He is Guildmaster for Art and Artisans, and a founding member of the Stone Leaf Potters Guild of Denver. There are several other featured guests for the convention, more information about them as well as full lists of all programming can be found on the website at www.soonercon.com.
“We also have Vincent Price’s daughter, Victoria Price, who is a HGTV designer and speaker. She’ll be coming in and giving a couple talks about her dad but also about wellness and joyful being and mindfulness and talking about her travels and experiences growing up in that environment and her lens on ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ kind of things. We’re really looking forward to that,” explained Burrows.
The convention also does fundraising for a designated charity each year. This year they have again chosen the National Alliance for Mental Illness, OKC Metro Affiliate. Last year they were able to donate $5k to the organization which was raised through convention activities and other outreach events throughout the year. The convention includes a charitable auction which will take place on Saturday night and they are hoping to meet or exceed that donation amount again this year
“I think one of the most important things for the community to know is that SoonerCon is an entirely volunteer organized and run event and has been since its inception. We are part of the Future Society of Central Oklahoma, which is a non-profit, and one of our big focuses is community building,” said Burrows. “This is an opportunity for people with likeminded interests regardless of the background you might have, to come together and fellowship in mutual interests and learn something new.”
Some of those new things you could learn include; Digital Art with Freshpaint, Marketing for Creatives, Podcasting for Beginners, Taking Your Costuming from Good to Great, Going Live: Making Better Online Videos, CGI Development and so much more. Some of the different games that will be going on include; Muggle Quidditch, Hungry, Hungry Humans, Stickhorse jousting, Seven Wonders Board Game, Star Trek RPG, WarLords Miniature and more. In addition to all of the different readings, games, activities, discussion panels, workshops and educational opportunities, there will also be a costume contest which will be held Saturday at 8 p.m. Last year’s winner was an amazing Groot costume with a mini Star Lord in tow. The costumes that will be at the event in general are enough to make you want to come out and look around.
“Really what we want the community to know is that we’re your people, that there’s a place for you here. It’s kind of like maybe this is for the folks that didn’t quite gel with the other kids growing up, maybe you’re more on the nerdy side of things, or maybe you are the indoor kid type, well we’ve got a place for you,” said Burrows.
The convention runs from 10 A.M until midnight on Friday and Saturday and 10 A.M. until 4 P.M. on Sunday. The cost for a one day admission is $25 in advance and $30 at the door, and 3 day passes are $50 in advance and $55 at the door.