A major Star Trek convention’s first stop will be the Windy City.
By Danielle Braff
(Chicago) The Star Trek convention is boldly going where no Star Trek convention has recently gone before: To Chicago . . . on earth.
Resistance is futile, as the interactive exhibits, celebrity guests and costume exhibits are enough to twist any Trekkie’s hand. The three-day mission, which will be beaming into the Windy City at the McCormick Place Convention Center April 8-10, pending Covid cancellations, is expected to serve as the ultimate destination for fans.
“Together, we plan to give the fans an incredible experience to remember, and I speak for all of us when I say that we can’t wait to experience the energy that Star Trek fans will bring to Chicago next April,” says Lance Fensterman, the global president of ReedPop, which is responsible with ViacomCBS for bringing the convention to Chicago. “The Star Trek franchise has one of the most passionate and spirited fan bases out there, and we at ReedPop are excited to welcome them and ViacomCBS Consumer Products into our family.”
This is the new official Star Trek convention, as CBS dumped its 20-year-old relationship with Creation Entertainment, which had previously hosted the annual Star Trek Las Vegas convention. Those in Vegas will now have to travel to Chicago to get their Star Trek fix.
ReedPop has a big name in the convention business, having brought Comic Con, MCM Comic Con London, Star Wars Celebration and Star Trek Mission New York throughout the globe.
Live guest appearances confirmed at press time are: Kate Mulgrew (Kathryn Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Prodigy); Michelle Hurd (Farri Musiker from Star Trek: Picard) and Wil Wheaton (Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation).
Most of the other details are still under wraps, but this is enough for some Star Trek fans, who are already gunning to go.
“I feel like I’ve been preparing for this my whole life,” says Sam Rodrigo, 28, a local restaurant manager who has a slew of costumes he’s sorting through to determine what to wear for the big event. “I was so excited to hear the news, I fell off my chair. It’s about time.”
Julia Motika, a freelance writer, 34, who is due with her first child a month before the convention arrives, plans to bring her newborn - clad in Star Trek gear - to McCormick Place to experience his or her first Trekkie (but not the last) experience.
“It’s a must),” Motika says, explaining that even if she has to cover her baby head to toe in protective masks and other gear, they’ll be attending the convention.
Other cities don’t have to wait long for their turn. After visiting Chicago, the convention plans to travel to a new city each year.
“As the Star Trek franchise continues to grow and evolve, so too is our convention business evolving,” says Veronica Hart, the executive vice president of global franchise management at ViacomCBS Consumer Products. “We are excited to partner with ReedPop as our official Star Trek convention partner to take this next step in creating an event that will introduce the Trek experience to loyal and new fans alike each year.”
Mission Chicago? We’re ready.
Tickets start at $65 for adults and $35 for children 12 and under for one-day passes. A three-day VIP access pass is $750, and offers early access, merchandise discounts and priority access to autographs, photos and more. A general three-day admission pass is $155 for adults. For more information and to purchase tickets, go here.
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