If you have read our recent previous posts, you know that we had our first child on the Thursday before Pensacon; needless to say, we could not personally attend! Thankfully, we have a wonderful friend who went in our stead. Here is his great recap below:
Hello Nola Nerd Couple readers! I had the honor of filling in for the Nola Nerd Couple this year at Pensacon 2018 due to a new arrival, Nola Nerd Baby. So once I heard I would be heading to Pensacon, I immediately downloaded the Pensacon 2018 app on my phone to see all the things I was in store for. I arrived early to beat the Friday crowd to get a feel for this year’s layout and I was impressed how well the limited space was utilized. As Pensacon regulars know, the Pensacola Bay Center has a very unique floor plan, which I’m sure leads to many challenges for the Pensacon staff, but they successfully pulled off another great year.
First things first, the giant vendor area on the arena floor needed to be explored. R2-D2 and Chopper took me for a tour around the floor where they led me to the awesome 501st Legion booth. The droids didn’t really like how I tried to sell them for some exclusive Pensacon bling. After checking out the vendors, it was time to scope out the celebrity signing area. The Nola Nerd Couple loves Wai Ching Ho, and when I told her about their new baby, she was more than happy to say a long distance hello as Marvel’s Madame Gao. By now the celebrity area was beginning to get popular with the con goers and I had a taste for some blue milk and some food. Luckily, some local scavengers told me about The Fish House, a nearby hive of scum and villainy. The specialty drinks were a “force” to be reckoned with, so much so, I called it a night.
Saturday was the big day. The cosplayers came out in full swing. Although I missed the cosplay contest, my two favorites were Indiana Jones and his dad and the awesome shout out to Overwatch with an amazing Mai cosplayer. As creative as the cosplayers were, it’s no wonder I ran into these two in Artist Alley. So many artists were represented at Pensacon, they literally lapped all the way around the upper level of the arena. From sculptors to painters and authors, it was a diverse assortment of fun. Their hunger for creativity really got my hunger going…for food. One of the Pensacon staff told me about a local gem called McGuire’s Irish Pub which happened to be within walking distance from the Bay Center. Talk about an unexpected experience! The food was great and the history of the eatery was so unique, I ended up stapling a dollar to the wall and kissing a moose.
Not realizing how long I was away, I headed back to the Bay Center and I decided to visit the celebrity area once more. Little did I know the best part of Pensacon was about to take place. There, I met the incredible Ian Beattie, John Barrowman, Ray Park, Mindy Sterling, and Greedo himself, Paul Blake! Pensacon outdoes itself each year with the celebrity guests they manage to attract, it definitely created some fun memories for me this year. Even the day ended with amazement as I watched fighters practicing their moves outside the Bay Center in what was called “Poseidon’s Bay”; they really do have something for everyone here.
The close of Pensacon 2018 approached at light speed and I was sad that I never was able to see a panel. There is just so much stuff to do! As Sunday brought Pensacon 2018 to a close, I browsed the vendor floor one last time in search for some droid parts. Just when I thought I had cemented my cosplay contest winners, I ran into Mama Fratelli from The Goonies for the win! One never knows what to expect in this ocean of the pop culture community. As I waved goodbye to everyone outside the Bay Center from the highway, I knew it wouldn’t be the last time this nerd would be attending Pensacon. See you next year at Pensacon 2019!
– Nola Nerd “Solo”