One of our favorite cons to attend is Pensacon, in Pensacola, FL. Not only are the workers and volunteers some of the nicest that we have ever encountered at a con, but they consistently get good guests, have quality panels, and supplement those with people from Escambia Amateur Astronomers Association with telescopes, West Florida Public Libraries conducting Superhero Training for kids, a gaming room with tons of different games being played all day (both tabletop and video), and The SCA (Society of Creative Anachronism), who recreate the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
It is not just the Pensacola Bay Center that gets involved; instead, the entire town takes part in the fun, from the airport to the restaurants. You can fly into Pensacola Intergalactic Airport and have lunch at the Star Trek Holodeck at Atlas Oyster House, where you could take a photo in the Captain’s chair and check out original props while you drink a James Tea Kirk or a Spock’s Mojito. Dinner could be at Nintendo at The Tin Cow, where you could eat Bob-omb Nachos or a Koopa Burger, drink Lon Lon Milk, or have a spiked shake like Yoshi’s Cookie and the Princess Peach. Everything downtown is walkable, so you do not have to worry if you imbibe in too much Milk of Poppy or Basilisk Blood at The Cabaret. Larger guest panels take place at various established around the town, like the Saenger Theatre, Pensacola Little Theatre, and the Rex Theatre. It truly is a wonderful weekend.
Images from Pensacon 2017.
This year, we finally scored a room at the Pensacola Grand Hotel across the street from the Bay Center. Not only is it the official host hotel, but they have panels there and many of the guests stay there as well. We were giddy with excitement to finally be in the thick of the action day and night. If you read my previous blogs on Introducing: Nola Nerd Baby, you will know that I became pregnant in June 2017, which put my due date two weeks after Pensacon. I remained hopeful that even though I would be 38 weeks pregnant, I could take the three hour drive to Pensacola and attend. We had the host hotel, I could always just walk back to our room if I became tired. Right? Oh so wrong.
My doctor diagnosed me with preeclampsia and admitted me into the hospital on February 20th. I had my daughter on Thursday, February 22nd. Pensacon was February 23rd-25th. Needless to say, either one of us going was unfortunately out of the question.
There were so many guests this year that I was looking forward to meeting! A brief list:
- Adam Brown: Ori in The Hobbit trilogy. I started dwarf poster and adding him would have been cool.
- Arthur Darvill: Rory Williams in Doctor Who and Rip Hunter in Legends of Tomorrow. Rory is my absolute favorite companion (yes, he is a companion!) because his undying love for Amy Pond reminds me so much of my husband’s love for me.
- Barbara Hershey: Cora Mills on Once Upon a Time and Ann Rutledge on Damien. I loved her on OUAT and the short-lived but amazing Damien, while my husband loved her from The Entity. She plays villainous so well.
- Camille Coduri: Jackie Tyler on Doctor Who. I loved Rose’s family and Camille brought such a sweet comedy to her character.
- Chris Sarandon: Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride, voice of Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas. TNBC is one of my all time favorite movies and I am itching to start a poster with all of the cast on it.
- Claudia Gray: author of Star Wars novels, like Bloodline. I intend to read all of the new canon SW novels, so she would be cool to meet.
- Hugh Spight: Gamorean guard and an Elom monster in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. I probably have more Star Wars autographs than any other fandom. Even the background characters.
- Ian McElhinney: Ser Barristan Selmy in Game of Thrones and General Dodonna in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Two of my top fandoms so I really wanted multiple signatures from him!
- Jason Isaacs: Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, The Grand Inquisitor in Star Wars Rebels, and Captain Gabriel Lorca on Star Trek: Discovery. Even though I want his autograph for all of these characters, the amazing Lucius Malfoy would have be first. He was amazing in that role.
- John de Lancie: Q in the Star Trek universe and the voice of Discord on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Discord is my favorite character on MLP.
- Pom Klementieff: Mantis in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. I am a big MCU fan so I would have loved to add her to my collection.
- Seth Gilliam: Ellis Carver on The Wire. This is my husband’s number one fandom and the person he was looking forward to the most.
- Wai Ching Ho: Madame Gao in the Netflix Marvel universe. She gave us a shoutout!
This list does not even include the cool guests that we have already met:
- Tony Isabella: Creator of Black Lightning (now a television show!)
- Tommy Flanagan: Chibs on Sons of Anarchy
- Ryan Hurst: Opie on Sons of Anarchy
- Ray Park: Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
- Paul Blake: Greedo in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
- Lou Ferrigno: The Incredible Hulk
- John Barrowman: Capt. Jack Harkness on Doctor Who, Malcolm Merlyn on Arrow
- Jason David Frank: The original Green Power Ranger
- Ian Beattie: Meryn Trant on Game of Thrones (he gave us a shoutout!)
- Garrick Hagon: Red Three (Biggs) in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
- Charles Martinet: voice of Mario, Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, Baby Mario, and Baby Luigi.
- Brent Spiner: Data in Star Trek: The Next Generation
And these are just the ones I am interested in! Pensacon had over 100 guests!
Luckily, one of my best friends was going to the con and was able to be our correspondent. He wrote about his experience here (spoiler alert: he loved it). Next year, our daughter’s first birthday will be the Friday of Pensacon, which is February 22nd – 24th. Are we still going to go and celebrate her first birthday in Pensacola? You bet your sweet bippy we are! We cannot think of a better first birthday party for her, than to experience it with thousands of other like-minded people. She might think everyone is dressed up and having fun in honor of her birthday. And as far as I am concerned, they are. See you next year, Pensacon! We cannot wait to take our little Nola Nerd Baby!