West Virginia is not really a place you think of when making convention and nerd event plans, but there are a few events that take place in this state every year that might interest you. In fact most of them happen from September through October. Here are list a geeky events I have been able to come across in the Mountain State.
The Appalachian South Folklife Center in Pipestem
Outdoor festival featuring world music, dances, workshops, artisan vendors, belly dancing, drum circles, a kids’ village, healing arts, camping, community art projects, a parade, open mic, yoga, and after hours cabaret. Some of the performers include Po’ Folks Cabaret (fire performance), Cari Cohen (fire & light dance), Liberty High School World Percussion Ensemble, Captain Lazerblast Band (techno folk), Antioquia (psychedelic lovefunk), Option 22 (space folk), Chally Erb (dance and movement theater), Quiet (rock band), and My Pet Dragon (alternative rock). A full weekend pass costs $30, single day passes available too.
Downtown Point Pleasant
The Mothman Festival is a celebration WV’s favorite cryptiod (sorry Flatwoods Monster). Events include face painting by Jody Rife, tram tour of downtown Point Pleasant, hayride through the TNT area, the Miss Mothman Pagent, and live music from a number of bands including the Mothman band. Guests speakers will include: Chad Lambert, creator of Mothman Comics; Robin Bellamy, speaking on the Haunted Lowe Hotel; Rosemary Guiley, author and investigator; Stan Gordon, speaking on UFOs and Bigfoot; Susan Shephard, author and ghost hunter; and Tom Ury, Mothman eyewitness.
Siege of Glengary
Jefferson County Fairgrounds in Kearneysville
Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) event where Atlantia will once again lay siege to the Shire of Sylvan Glen. There will be a feast, merchants, arts and crafts competitions and classes, children’s activities, archery, fencing, battles with siege engines, art and sciences competition, brewing competition, and combat. Pre-registration is $10 for adults and $5 for those 6-17. The feast is $8 per person.
Around the mound in South Charleston
A new sci-fi/horror convention that is heavy on the horror. Events planned include a monster parade and scream contest. Guest include various actors from indy movies plus from Dawn of the Dead and Walking Dead, wrestler Chance Prophet, comic creators Daniel Boyd and Jason Pell; authors Keith Davis, Geoffrey Cameron Fuller, Karin Fuller, Kyle Lovern and others; artists J.R. Earls, Stacy Parker, and many other guests. Groups for the con are 501st Legion, Original WV Paranormal, Heart of Appalachia Roller Girls, Cemetery Knights a hearse customization group, and model group Hearse Maidens. Live music will be provided by bands Renfields, the Monster Dolls, Dead Ringers, Nanker Phelge, and DJ Thunder. Vendors include the like of costumers, prop makers, toy sellers, game dealers, and other collectables. The event is free.
October Sky Rocket Boys Festival
Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine at New River Park in Beckley
The Rocket Boys Festival has moved from Coalwood to Beckley this year. The even will have four of the Rocket Boys, music performances, craft and food vendors, a rocket launch, fire hydrant painting contest, screenings of October Sky with commentary, writer’s workshop with Homer Hickam, paper airplane flights, and more.
Evil Dead The Musical
October 5-6, 12-13
Kanawha Players Theater in Charleston
Evil Dead The Musical is a campy rock-musical based on the cult classic Evil Dead/Army of Darkness movies. The music rocks, the stage blood flows freely and the chainsaws never run out of gas. Kanawha Players Theater brings it here for its area premiere production. The show has strong language, adult situations, blood, gore, demonic possession, and some not so nice trees. Children under 16 will not be allowed in without an adult. Children over 16 enter at their own risk. Tickets are $16 for adults and $10 for kids.
WV Pop Con
Mylan Expo Center in Morgantown
Another new con, this one a multi-genre convention. The con will have a demonstration on zombie makeup costuming, a chance to create your own superhero, both a makeup and costume contest and a Magic tournament. They have lined up several guests for the con. Comic guests: Kyle Higgins, Rober Tinnell, Neil Vokes, Bo Hampton, JC Vaughn, Mark Wheatley, and several more mainstream and indy creators. Other guests include podcaster Chris Ferrell, Morgantown Roller Vixens, Garrison Carida, RJ Haddy from Face Off, filmmaker Jacob Young, game designer Chevee Dodd, and others. There will be comic, game, toys, publishers, and more vending at the con. $15 for passes of both days.
Riverfront Ballroom and Conference Center in Huntington
WV’s premiere anime convention returns for it’s 9th year. Guest for this year include VAs Patrick Seitz (Hetalia, Durarara, Monster) and Lauren Landa (Madoka, Familiar of Zero, Nanoha), comic creator Dirk I. Tiede, steampunk band The Extraordinary Contraptions, video game journalist Justin McElroy and game show host Greggo. There will be: a formal ball, plenty of game shows, and the usual anime con events of panels, cosplay contest, AMV contest, video rooms, and rave. Pre-reg is $35 till the end of August.
Sistersville Fire Hall in Sistersville
Little Star Wars con up North. You can expect vendors, door prizes, trivia contest, charity auction, appearances by Ken Simmons principal photographer for Kenner packaging and publicity images, Garrison Carida and The Rebel Legion Star Wars costume groups. Just a dollar for admission.
Morgantown Zombie Walk
Top of High St next to Chi Omega sorority Morgantown
Walk begins at 8pm. Sign up here. On-site registration starts at 7pm and all zombies are asked to bring as much canned food as they can carry. All collected food will be distributed to the local food shelters. Beginning at 9pm, there will be a Zombie Prom. Advanced tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Illusive Skull Costume Castle located in the Mountaineer Mall. Tickets are also available at the door for $12.00. The Zombie Prom is for ages 16 and up, but those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Charleston Civic Center in Chareston
WV’s largest table top gaming event; in additional to a computer security conference/LAN event. They are having an Post Apocalypse theme this year. Event submission and pre-reg is up for this year. Know events are CharCon’s Premier Board Game Tournament, a Dungeon Crawl Tournament, various RPGs and miniatures, giant raffle, CCG tournaments, and a board game library. Hack3rcon will have panels on computer security and other related topics plus their own games. Admission is $40, to attend Hack3rcon it is $75.
Rising Star 20
Harris Jefferson Student Center at Bluefield Stage College in Bluefield
WV’s oldest Sci-fi con is holding their 21st year. Guests for the year are Daniel Caton (author and BSC author), Chris DeHart (zombie make-up artist), Ashley Holohan (Furry artist), White Plectrum (filker), Dan Delby (comic creator), Paul Dellinger (UFO author), Brady Sheet (local author), Studio Unseen (webcomics), Black Diamond Paranormal Society, BSC Robotics Team, Abingdom Historical Combat, C. R. Ward (author), local artists Mark and Amanda Davis, and fan groups the 501st and USS Yeager,. Events list are electronic gaming, charity auction, art show, board gaming, costume call, panels, workshops, and more. Just $5 to get in. Free to BSC students and faculty.