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Posted: 3/16/2006 12:10
Last Updated: 7/8/2006 13:03

MarsCon 2006


MarsCon 2006
When: March 3rd-5th 2006
Where: Bloomington, MN
What: A fan run Sci-Fi Con in Minnesota where we ran a room party.

The MarsCon trip was an interesting one to say the least, and I have to admit I had a good time. The main reason we went was to run a promotional room party for No Brand Con, and run our standard OAAH funn. Things started out bright and early on Saturday morning, we decided to skip the Friday of the con. Those of us who were going had decided to meet up at the parking lot by the bus transfer station in downtown Eau Claire at 9:00am. I got there right on time, after walking with a backpack full of stuff for a mile, and found Topher (Scrotorious on the forums here, GreenBoy on the NoBrand Forums), my ride, already waiting. As no one else was there yet, we hung out for a while and loaded my HEAVY backpack of stuff into the car. A little while later, Belkie and Bears^3 showed up in there vehicle, and finally SeanOrange arrived in his fancy hybrid car (*wiggles fingers*). As the rest of the people were meeting us at the con, we hit the road for the Twin Cities.

After some interesting highway adventures (including Toph and I getting off at the wrong exit and Bears^3 and Belkie following us like goons), we arrived at the Hotel where the con was being held. Only SeanOrange and Topher were attending the actual convention, as the rest of us were supposed to be setting up the room. Well, the problem was that the rooms weren't ready... geh. Anyways, so we went and got lunch at the buffet, and sat down for a while.

SeanOrange volunteered to be the official "Pester the Hotel Until our room is ready" liason, so those of us not going in pretty much sat around at the buffet until at least one of the rooms was open. Bears^3 went and met up with some family for the day, and eventually our sleeping room (but not our room party room) was ready. What we soon figured out when we were in the hotel room, after doing an inventory check, was that we needed some more equipment than what we had. Geh. Belkie and Topher went running around, and purchased the stuff from various stores around the area, and eventually we were set. Somewhere in there, Peso, Neil, and RPN showed up. They were in charge of bringing prizes and fliers for the convention. Well, the good news is that they brought the prizes. The bad news is... they forgot all the fliers. So, they ended up calling a friend of ours in Eau Claire who met them half way, and gave them the fliers. Fortunately, this was all early enough in the day where things went perfectly fine. I would spend the next several hours fighting the Hotel's WiFi system (which I never got to work correctly, by the way -- Ethostream kind of sucks).

About the time that our party room was available was when Peso, Neil and RPN got back. We set up the multiple TVs and game systems, and put lots of things together.

We were located across the hall from a very cool Doctor Who room, with Tardis Entrance and everything, so my plan to show Doctor Who got thrown out the window right then and there. We started out the evening with Strong Bad E-mails, but eventually videogames took over all screens. Eventually, we ended up running a Soul Calibur 3 tourney as well. There were a couple of snags in the road, but they were neither our nor MarsCon's fault so I won't go into that.

I had a chance to check out several other room parties, including the "Klingon Nightmare" room, which was pretty damned funny. At about 2am or so we ended up shutting down our room, and filed into the Karaoke room. We sang quite a bit of Karaoke that night, and it was pretty damned funn.

Peso is a lot of fun at Karaoke by the way.

We ended up doing so until about 7am, when they kicked everyone out of Karaoke so they could get some sleep. Those of us who remained awake were Peso, Topher (who had actually taken a two hour nap in the middle of the night), Bears^3 and myself. We ended up going out to Denny's for breakfast, where Bears^3 actually briefly passed out (poor kid has no stamina), and afterwards we headed back to the hotel where we all crashed for a few hours before packing up for checkout.

In the late morning we headed out, after talking to a few vendors, and hit the road. Toph and I drove off... in the wrong direction for twenty minutes. After turning around, we got hit by a blizzard. The visability was non-existent, and we ended up pulling over in Baldwin (after driving by TWO massive accidents), and getting lunch. We eventually made it back to Eau Claire though... it should never take 3 and a half hours to do a usually hour and fifteen minute drive...

All in all, MarsCon was a funn experience though, and I hope to do it again next year.

Trae Dorn
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