Out and About in the Central Valley- Modesto Con

19 Jul

Since moving HQ from LA to the Central Valley in 2014, we’ve tried to ensure that we take in the local nerdy scene. Growing up in the area, I remember having a few decent events when I was a kid and then nothing for a solid 10 years. Thus… it’s been a lot of fun checking out some of the local conventions and seeing the community grow.

We recently had the opportunity to hop in the car for an hour plus drive to head to Modesto for a convention. Now… I cannot remember the last time I actually stopped the car in Modesto… but it’s one of the little towns in the Valley with a lot of fun history. You might remember it as the town from American Graffiti

Anyways, the first thing we said after arriving (after finding a few Pokémon) was that the convention had a good crowd in attendance. Quite impressive. And a lot of cosplay- ranging from store bought to “OMGoodness, you made that? it rocks!”. Now partially, we have to admit, that the size of the crowd was effected by the size of the spaces (though they were good sized, pathways were crowded and that made it seem tighter), however there was a certain energy in the crowd that was really exciting.

Some of the other good notes were the fact that they had 2 vendor rooms, a dedicated game room, a really nice panel room… and something really important in the summer in Central Valley- a strong air conditioner! And bonus… free street parking, and I mean- it was across the street, free for 2 hours.

There were  a nice collection of local vendors selling crafts, comics, and toys. And lordy, some of the pieces on display were laugh out loud hilarious! And something we’ve been seeing a lot of at local events- a cosplay repair area. Brilliant! Not sure if we’ve missed it at larger events or if they aren’t there but this is a fabulous idea. Supplies and help for when something goes wrong with your cosplay. The Central Valley regiment of the 501st was also in attendance.

Some things that were a little weak- well, they didn’t really need that second vendor room (but maybe next year!), there was no organized gaming that we could see in that dedicated game room, and there were only 2 names (Doug Jones and Sam Jones) (though we did see a few artists whose names we know, though they were not at their tables as we wandered).

Next year we’d love to see a few more names (there are a few in the Central Valley, oddly enough), organized gaming (heck, we’ll accept anything from Munchkin to MAGIC to Cards Aganist Humanity. Anything, really!), and more of an artist alley. One of the perks of being in the Valley is that we are close to pretty much everywhere in California… that means that there are lots of artists (performing and visual) who call it home to avoid the hustle and bustle of LA… Let’s get a larger contingent of names to draw fans from all areas of the Valley.

I’m not sure how many years the convention has been happening, but it certainly has the fanbase to grow into something really fun. For now, if you live within 20 miles of Modesto- I recommend it, wasn’t worth the drive for us. Yet.

Check out the pictures in our Facebook Album

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