StarFest brought its annual dose of science fiction and multimedia fun to Denver this past weekend at the Crown Plaza Convention Center, March 11-13.
It’s been 12 years since the Crown Plaza hosted the festival, but the atmosphere still felt like home for the thousands of attendees roaming the halls, ballrooms and panels over the three day festival. After nearly 40 years on the convention scene, StarFest still demonstrates that they know how to throw a con to be remembered.
The convention itself is more than just sci-fi; it brings together multiple smaller festivals into one weekend of geeky fun. From comics to horror, board games to auctions and Klingons to Whovians, StarFest always has it all.
The biggest highpoint of this year was the celebration of “Star Trek’s” 50th Anniversary. Trekkies from all across the nation adorned their uniforms, pinned their insignias and set their phasers to stun for the three days filled with “Star Trek” panels, shows and celebrity guests. One such “Star Trek” guest was “Deep Space Nine’s” Major Kira actress Nana Visitor who loves the calm semblance StarFest has to offer attendees and guests.
“It’s such a warm, relaxed atmosphere. You can feel that the people attending are having as a relaxed and fun time as I am. It’s a good atmosphere,” Visitor said about StarFest. Visitor has attended StarFest before and appreciates the convention’s ability to stand-apart from other cons that often have a very hectic ambience. “Sometimes there can be a rushed aspect and intense aspect [to conventions] and you feel that people aren’t getting what they came for, whatever that might be… With [StarFest] you feel like everyone is getting what they want.”
Denver artist Robin Childs feels the same about the connective atmosphere of the convention. Surrounded by art from her comic series “LeyLines,” Robin was giving away free sketches of her characters throughout the weekend at her booth in the ComicFest room. While sketching the images, Robin would tell the story of the character and start a conversation with patrons at her booth, something that is hard to do at larger, more frenzied cons.
“It’s sort of a great exchange and I never know what sort of response I’ll get,” said Childs. “At Denver Comic Con, which is great too, it moves so fast and there are so many people that you can’t have that level of interaction. Every show is different because it brings you something different. That’s what I really like about [StarFest] is that we get to have those moments.”
Rumors have it that StarFest will return to its regular home at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, which was unavailable this year due to construction. Regardless of what roof it finds itself under, StarFest always promises to be a home-away-from-homes for geeks from all across the universe.