Con Nooga 2010 Review
After a two hour drive from Atlanta, I arrived at the Historic Chattanooga Choo Choo. Checked in and proceeded to registration. Registration, setup in the hotel’s lobby, was divided into two lines, pre-registered and onsite. Both lines moved quickly. I had my badge and went to check out the information table.
The location of the convention, the Choo Choo, is an all inclusive hotel plus convention center. This means that for the next 3 days we had our own little world. What is not so good is the layout of the convention buildings. If the weather is bad, like last year, getting to the convention events from the rooms can be a cold and/or wet trip. The dealer’s room is in a building at the end of the hotel’s property. The panels and other events are held in a separate building at the front of the property. A shuttle that picks up at each building does make a circuit around the hotel. However, most people tend to walk as there are limited shuttles and the wait could mean missing a guest or panel you really wanted to see. But this year, after several weeks of cold and snow, Chattanooga had sunny and warm weather.
Friday started with the opening ceremonies at 2pm and went on until 230am with panels, concerts, movies and, of course, gaming. Radio Cult put on a fun show with lots of energy. This show was followed by Belly dancing. How these women can do what they do with swords on their heads is amazing. Parties were also de rigueur. Building 3 of the Choo Choo hosted all the room parties at the convention. Each party had a theme and went all out as they vied for the “best room party” prize. Friday was a late night indeed.
Bright and early, much to the angst of many late night con-goers, a bagpiper played. He was very good.
The fans were out in full force and full costume. Because Con Nooga is a multi-genre convention, there were costumes from all areas of fandom. Some costumes had no real fandom and just were. The Cult of Snuggie, present at Con Nooga, leaps to mind. The schedule offered more panels and events throughout the day. Due to the facility itself, the lack of microphones, and the attendees, it was hard to hear in some panels. Sometimes you could hear an adjoining panel better than the panel you were attending. The gaming room was never empty.
The dealer’s room takes up an entire building at the end of the Choo Choo’s property. Like most it is setup in aisles. At one end is a stage where the various contests are held; the other end is a food court. The authors, actors and other guests have booths here too. Compared to last year’s room, there appeared to be fewer vendors. The usual fare was available.
Saturday night was the “battle of the room parties”. The party rooms were next door to each other with sliding doors that opened out to the pool area. Music, food, and drink were available. Some parties had costume contests based on the theme of their party. The parties lasted until…The winner for the best party would be announced at the closing ceremonies on Sunday.
It was another glorious day. Con Nooga is one of the few conventions I have attended that offer outside events. Today’s events were Dodge ball and a Big Wheel rally. These are held on the hotel’s tennis courts.
Con Nooga 2010 was a lot of fun. Part of what makes this a good con is the location. I mean who doesn’t love trains. The other part would have to be the size of the convention. It is not too big or too small. All staff I interacted with, whether hotel or convention, were all helpful and friendly. The fans also had a lot of camaraderie that you don’t see as much at the larger conventions. The only real drawback to Con Nooga is when it is held as the weather can be bad.
And, now alas, it is time to go home.
Traci Tant is the co-founder of GirlsOfTheCon.com, a website dedicated to convention girls and bringing the creativity and Inspirational fashion and design of the sci fi, fantasy, gothic, steampunk, horror, and alternative cultures and genres to the eyes of the often over critical mainstream. Contact Traci at GirlsOfTheCon.com