The wrath of Con

Epic-Con Ohio: Geek Fest at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds

By Josher Lumpkin

Photo: Walter Koenig, from Star Trek was originally scheduled to make an appearance at Epic-Con

Editor’s note: This story was published prior to our awareness of the cancellation of several guests expected at Epic-Con Ohio. For up-to-date information regarding the event, please refer to the event website at epic-con-ohio.com.

This weekend, the Montgomery County Fairgrounds will be so full with celebrities, costumes, custom automobiles, gaming, movies, music and more, that there is only one word to describe it: epic. Epic-Con Ohio: Geek Fest is sure to sate your appetite for all things nerdy.

Epic-Con is the brainchild of master geek Sheri Yarbrough, who saw the need in our town for a convention that would bring fans and geeks out of the woodwork to extol their love for the nerdier things in life.

“Epic-Con is celebration of geekdom or fandom, no matter what it is,” said Yarbrough in a recent interview. “So if you love custom vehicles, there’s something for you at Epic-Con. If you love meeting celebrities, there’s something for you at Epic-Con. Anime, horror films, independent films, music, gaming … there’s something for everyone.”

If you like meeting celebrities, Epic-Con will be your best opportunity this year to get autographs, take photos and shake hands with famous people. Some of the guests this year include Walter Koenig, who played Chekov in the original Star Trek series; Lori Petty, from “Tank Girl,” “A League of Their Own” and, most recently, Orange is the New Black; Tony Todd, star of horror film “Candyman;” pro-wrestler Jake the Snake Roberts; and many, many more.

There will also be special reunion celebrity panels, getting stars of some familiar movies and TV shows back together to discuss their experiences. Reunions include celebrities from “Hellraiser,” “Christine,” “Nightbreed,” “Free Willy” and the classic vampire soap opera, Dark Shadows.

Epic-Con will also host a film festival, screening several movies over the course of the weekend. Saturday night will see a first-time screening of the director’s cut of the horror classic Clive Barker’s “Nightbreed.” There will also be a screening of “Knights of Badassdom,” starring Ryan Kwanten and Peter Dinklage, as well as many other independent horror movies.

If that’s not enough to sate your geeky desire, there will also be a car show featuring custom automobiles made to replicate your favorites from film and TV. The A-Team van, Ecto-1 from “Ghostbusters,” K.I.T.T from “Knight Rider,” and several different Batmobiles are just a few of the many cars you can expect to see at Epic-Con. There will also be a drifting demonstration on Friday featuring semi-pro driver Cody Grim. For $15, you can even ride along with him!

Rockstar Pro-Wrestling will be on hand to give convention-goers a taste of their brand of knock-down drag-out wrasslin’. “Diamond Dallas Page, Jake the Snake and Boogeyman will all be there,” Yarbrough said. “Boogeyman will be wrestling in the ring with the Rockstars.”

All weekend long, Epic-Con will also have LARP demos. LARPing, live action role-playing, takes gamers out from behind their tabletops and puts them on the battlefield. They don elaborate costumes, make weapons and battle for victory. Wastelands LARP, Capes! Superhero, Realm of Corvalin and Gisido will all show the uninitiated what it’s like to LARP.

And don’t forget Epic-Con’s awesome music festival, which happen on all three days. Dayton favorites Nightbeast, Duderus, Red Hot Rebellion and Team Void will all be playing. Other musical talent will be provided by The Rough Customers, The Skeletones, Sky Blew and Dethlehem.

You’re sure to get hungry at some point during this three-day celebration. And when you do, there’ll be food vendors from all over the Miami Valley there to make sure any craving imaginable is satisfied. Of course, there will also be dozens of other vendors selling their products.

If anime is your geeky pleasure, the Funimation Room will be playing Japanese animation all weekend long. In an effort to fulfill all of your nerdy needs, Epic-Con will also feature a video gaming room, as well as a room for tabletop gaming.

As if all these awesome events and celebrities aren’t enough to get you out to Epic-Con, consider the fact that a portion of every ticket goes to a charity. Five dollars from each Epic-Con ticket will be donated to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation to help raise awareness of this lung disease that kills as many people each year as breast cancer.

Yarbrough sees Epic-Con as more than just a fan convention. It’s something to make Dayton a better place. “Our community, we’ve lost so much,” she said. “And to bring something like this here to Dayton, not only is going to bring in people from all over the United States, Canada, U.K., which will help boost our economy, but also, Epic-Con is raising money and awareness for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. It’s something that most people don’t really think about, but lung disease is so detrimental.”

Epic-Con Ohio: Geek Fest will take place on Friday, Oct. 24 from 5-10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25 from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 26 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 1043 S. Main St. in Dayton. Tickets range in price from $18 for Friday only to $75 for VIP weekend passes. More expensive packages, which include dinner with celebrities and more, are also available. Tickets are available at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds box office, ReCreate and Omega Music in the Oregon District, and Epic Loot Games & Comics in Centerville.

Reach DCP freelance writer Josher Lumpkin at josherlumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com.Page

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Josher Lumpkin is a nursing student and aspiring historian who enjoys writing about music and geekdom of all kinds. He is especially fond of punk rock, tabletop gaming, sci-fi/fantasy and camping with his wife, Jenner, and their dogs, Katie and Sophie. Reach him at JosherLumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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