Topic: Other Cons
TODAY'S FEATURE IS BLOG #4042 - I am back from the 2015 Winkie Con (newly renamed to OzCon), which ran this past weekend, July 31st thru August 2nd!
As mentioned in blog #4041, I attended the 50th Winkie Con last year, and blogged about it at this link, (blog #4012). I also blogged about Batton Lash interviewing the Wicked Witch, (blog #4013), which features a pretty darn funny video!
So this year was the second year I've attended this convention. As per last year, registration at the con was smooth. Thanks to Jack Plummer and others who ran this department!
I've attended other cons at this location, as it is quite popular with the smaller conventions. (Town & Country Resort.) Also it is all centrally located at the East side of the resort, which is by the rooms that Resort rents out to con attendees.
The nice thing about this con is that there is a Meet n Greet at 9:30 am the first day, and then a 'welcome' program in the main hall before attendees go to the individual track programs. That is very good. There was a mention at the Con Wrap Up program that they are thinking about having a 'First-Timer' program to assist those attending the first time at this con. That would be helpful!
There were enough program tracks to keep me busy Friday and Saturday. However, there was, (in my opinion), too much time allowed inbetween attending different programs. Ten minutes would be enough since the con rooms are quite close together. Having 40 minutes between programs was a bit too much.
There were a few programs on the 40th Anniversary of The Wiz, and the 30th Anniversary of 'Return To Oz'. I've not seen either before this con, and took in Return to Oz on Friday, and then followed it up by viewing it again with several stars of the film on Sunday in the 'Live' program.
Once again I was fascinated by the programs / panels that I attended. I read most of the L Frank Baum books when I was in high school, but none by the other Oz authors. I've only seen the 1939 MGM Wizard of Oz film, so I'm not totally a 'newbie' to Oz, but also not a fanatic. This year's convention, as well as last year's, kept my attention for the most part with entertaining programs / panels / dealers room / Oz book room / Oz research room.
There was a few mentions of 'communal meals' again at the Con Wrap Up. The old timers to this con missed the fellowship of eating meals together. You see, the attendees of the earlier cons were at locations that had this feature. The only two meals together were the cookout on Friday night, and the Banquet on Saturday. For me, that was enough. Still, this was only my second year attending this con which has been running for 51 straight years. I can see the old timers point, but I would rather have more panels / programs instead.
Other than a few programs starting later than listed, the con ran pretty smoothly. I had a good time although like I said, I'm not an Oz Fanatic. I'm sure that you would enjoy attending this con if you only had a passing interest in Oz.
Next year's con will be in Portland, Oregon. The first time in 52 years that the con has moved outside of California!
Here are links from this year's con:
Winkie Con / Oz Con Facebook Fan Page
The Winkie Con / Oz Con web site
Oz Con schedule all three days
Here are links to the photo pages from last year's Winkie Con (2014) that I shot:
So... That's My Take on this year's Winkie Con / Oz Con! For those of you in the Pacific Northwest, I'd suggest taking a look at next year's con schedule / event page. With the con being in Portland, Oregon next year you can take advantage of it being closer to you. Oh, and this year's con had attendees from as far away as Australia and the East Coast of the USA, so all Oz fans are welcome to attend!
Addendum: I'll be blogging and uploading videos from certain panels / programs from this Winkie Con in the days / weeks to follow. Just read this blog and see my Facebook Fan Page as items are posted.
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