• bovil

Well, we didn't lose in first place...

...and that's a good thing.

See, it turns out the Westercon site selection rules differ slightly from the Worldcon site selection rules. Ineligible bids aren't automatically disqualified and knocked down to pref #2. If we had placed first, the Westercon Business Meeting would have had to disqualify us.

We did get 30 votes. That doesn't sound like much (compared to 73 for Casa de Worldcon), but it was out of 116 ballots cast (Worldcon was something like 1600 ballots). We polled over 25%!

So who won? In 2009, we'll be in Tempe for FiestaCon, the 62nd Westercon.

Party Ideas for Westercon

The talk is of a Camp Theme. So here are some of the ideas for food being thrown around -

Franks & Beans
s'mores fixings - graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate (kick it up - peeps & Scharffen Berger Tasting Squares)
Cold cuts & cheese ie sandwich fixins (note - no bread or spreads are planned, just the pick up and munch).
Watermelon Fruit Salad
Egg or potato salad
BBQ Chicken Wings
Quisp or some other silly cereal
Trail Mix Kirkland $9.59

Soda - What do people like? Must be In Cans (that's because of theme)
Do we Want Alcohol? In this group, silly question
Bheer - Must Be in Cans (see Theme) Miller or Bud are traditional. I usually drink fancy stuff. Does anything Good Mexican come in cans? That would be more fun.
Wine - Must be in Box. What is good these days. Need White and Red.

Remember they don't like Glass in Yosemite. So lets keep this Yosemite Friendly here.

Concerning S'mores - There is a microwave in the room, but the location sucks (right by the front door). Not sure how usable it will be during a party. I have procured Peeps in many colors and Hershey's Milk Chocolate Squares (good sales at FoodMax, I get the leftovers if we have any).  Scharffen Berger Tasting Squares are no longer at Costco. Anyone else have a source? I have one box at home, but not in huge mood to give them up for cause.

Cereal - I got LOTS of those single serving boxes of Sugary Stuff. Again, good sale, this time at Safeway. 4-10 packs. Just stack them up and watch people get silly.

And I will need help hauling catering stuff to the con. My car was full heading up for Baycon! What with the Fan Table and our Personal Stuff.
Just to let you know. I have a deep electric skillet, good for the beans and dogs. I have camping gear (good for putting snacks into), both old style aluminium and some plastic stuff. Red Check Plastic Table Clothes. And a lot of the more usual catering stuff (knives, cutting boards, etc, etc).

Planning to do most of the shopping up near site. Since there is a Safeway, Trader Joes and Costco close by.

Andy I need a Budget. How much $$ do we have? Things I've already bought on good sales don't need to be reimbursed, so long as I get leftovers. Except the peeps, I'm NOT that crazy about peeps.
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  • bovil

A few vital notes...

"Menace to Fandom" is used with permission of perhaps the most notorious menace to fandom of our day, Cheryl M. Morgan.

And for those of you totally in the dark, here's the answer to the question that's been plaguing fankind for the ages:

What the hell is Westercon?

Westercon is The West Coast Regional Science Fantasy Conference.

Yeah, that's a real good answer, but it's technically correct.

Westercon is the longest running traveling regional science fiction convention in the world. Started by The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS, or "The LASFS" for Angelenos who must put a definite article before everything) in 1948, it was a rather successful attempt to bring Worldcon-like events to the west coast on a regular basis. It's run every year since then.

As it turns out, Westercon has drifted quite a bit from those roots. Worldcon has changed and so has Westercon. Westercon has really stretched the definition of "West Coast" to include much of western North America (including one year in El Paso, TX). It's also settled into a recent pattern of somewhere between 500-1000 attendees, depending on the host city (where Worldcon runs around 4000-6000 members these days).

That's enough history and demographics, though. Let's talk about what happens at Westercon.

Westercon is much like any other science fiction convention. It's got the same sorts of events, usually influenced by the hosting committee's local convention culture and ideally bringing aspects of other west-coast conventions and Worldcon to the table too. It's got guests, usually guests associated with and influenced by west-coast roots or current residence. It's got panel discussions. It's got a dealers' room, often providing a mix of dealers from across the west. It's got a masquerade, usually not as big as Worldcon's, but following the style of Worldcon. It's got hospitality and social events (sometimes really good hospitality and social events). And, of course, like any good convention, it's got parties, often running later than any official convention activity.

Then there are the fans. Westercon is a great place to meet conrunners from around the world ("SMOFS"). Many folks involved in running Worldcons go to Westercon, because it's a chance for them to just hang out and visit with friends, something they would have limited time for when they're working at Worldcon. It's also a great place to meet old-guard fans and get war stories about the old days, when, for example, Harlan Ellison hadn't yet mellowed out. If you want to meet folks writing for fanzines, the Westercon fanzine lounge one of the only places that even approaches the Worldcon fanzine lounge or Corflu, the convention of fanzine writers and publishers.

You said something about "traveling?"

Yep, Westercon, like Worldcon, Eastercon (the British National Science Fiction Convention) and "niche" conventions like Costume-Con and Corflu, is held in a different city each year (and yes, it's against the rules to hold it in the same city two years in a row). It's operated by a different local convention committee each time, not by some for-profit corporation who just swoops in, brings in their paid staff, and sucks money out of the community. These committees are selected two years in advance in an election by the members of the current Westercon.

Westercon 2007, the 60th Westercon, is being held in San Mateo this year, and we are bidding to bring Westercon 2009 back to nature, by bringing it to the Ahwahnee Lodge in Yosemite Valley. Remeber, make Ahwahneecon your #1 choice in site selection!