Over Valentine’s Day weekend, I was able to attend AnachroCon; a Convention dedicated to history, steampunk, and genres of all similar manners. This was my first time attending, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed!
It’s definitely a mid-size Con. However, if you’re like me and sometimes easily overwhelmed by crowds and loud noises, this cozy, friendly con is for you. I walked in carrying half my costume in one hand, my service dog’s leash in the other, and operating on less than an hour of sleep. Needless to say, I was a little flustered. The organizers and volunteers were so kind and helpful, that what could have been a stressful first impression turned out wonderful.
The subjects that were covered in the scheduled panels ranged from the physics of time travel to 17th century European medicine, and quite a bit more. The panels I was most looking forward to were Costuming Tips and Tricks led by Bobbie Joe Nelson. Her knowledge of historical costuming and tips and tricks is incredibly fascinating, and I could probably listen to her talk about it all day.
Another part of the programming I was excited about was the Car Show.
The door was propped open for airflow during the costuming panel, so our learning the basics of historical costuming was punctuated by the music and various dinosaur sounds emanating from the Jurassic Park Jeep. Costuming and dinosaurs. It doesn’t really get much better than that!
Another highlight of the con for me was the Victorian dancing demonstration and lesson. I didn’t participate in the lesson myself, only watched. Although, my service dog certainly wanted to. She and I dance together at home quite often, and she crept forward until her nose was peaking out into the aisle so she could watch everyone
For food options, if you don’t want to eat at the hotel grill, or, miss the time window like me,there are several food options close by. I’m unsure if any are within walking distance, but we ate at a Chick-fil-A a few miles away.
I don’t have kids myself, so I wasn’t really paying attention to child oriented-programming. I did see kids of all ages throughout the day. Because of the atmosphere of this Con and the opportunities for creative thinking and learning new things, if I did have kids I would love to bring them to AnachroCon.
The host hotel was nice and easy to navigate. I actually managed not to get lost even once, which for me is quite the feat.
The one problem I had was with the hotel, not the con. I’m disabled and have a service dog, so we need a handicap accessible stall when we use the restroom. There were two bathrooms on the main floor of the hotel, one on basically either side of the building. The smaller of the two does not have an accessible stall. That caused us a problem when I was in a hurry and couldn’t take the time to walk across the building and find the other bathroom. I will say, though, that the smaller bathroom was quieter and less crowded, which was great for when I was changing into my costume at the beginning of the day.
Overall, it was a great experience. The panels were fascinating, the people were great, and the costumes were awesome. People watching at cons is a favorite pastime of mine, and the creativity and detail I saw was amazing. If you’re looking for a unique, laid-back con, be sure to check out AnachroCon.