If you are an avid Roman history fan, the Ides of March may signify the death of Julius Caesar, but if you are an avid Science Fiction fan, March 14, 15 and 16 mean Sun City SciFi: a 3 day Science Fiction convention featuring celebrity guests, local art and the chance to socialize with people in a fun environment. Sun City SciFi prides itself on being a family-oriented convention put together by fans, for fans.
Jeannine Puhlman, the mastermind behind the convention, came up with the name herself, but she did not hesitate to mention that her son Ean, her daughter and husband were also there at the beginning, working to grow the event to what it is today. “Sun City SciFi is in its second year and we remain committed to creating an experience for El Pasoans that they would only get by visiting conventions in other cities,” said Jeannine.
This year, El Pasoans get to enjoy celebrity meet-and-greet sessions, discussion panels, photo-ops and autograph sessions, more than 100 artists and vendors, card game tournaments, anime demos and cosplay (fantasy costume play). All this is happening in one weekend and in one place – Downtown El Paso.
Jeannine was clear about why Downtown had the privilege to host Sun City SciFi, “we expect several thousand people for this event and no other venue could accommodate our guests like the Convention Center can. Downtown also has restaurants and other fun venues, and we wanted to make sure we draw a diverse crowd, something that Downtown already does by being so central to our city.”
The Sun City SciFi family would argue that Downtown is not the only center to our City; Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek was born in El Paso, and there is a sizeable list of science fiction pioneers and contributors associated with our city. Jeannine’s eyes opened wide as she exclaimed “You have NO idea how many people would come out here if we put together a Gene Roddenberry event, have you ever heard of Trekkies?”
Sun City SciFi may not be drawing as many Trekkies as they’d like, but they are sure that Sun City SciFi can at least bring together a community of Star Wars fans that would like to take pictures by the Jabba’s Palace set, or Game of Thrones fans that would like to meet Esmé Bianco, the actress that plays Ros on the show. You may want to show up if you ever liked Invader Zim; Rikki Simons, the voice actor behind Zim’s dog GIR will be a guest as well.
The highlight of the convention will be celebrity guest, Ray Park, better known for his roles as Darth Maul on Star Wars and Snake-Eyes in the G.I. Joe films. According to Jeannine, the event will eventually grow to encompass the various sub-genres of pop-culture, including a larger focus on comic books and anime (Japanese animation).
Jeannine put it more simply, “come to Sun City SciFi if you like having fun and being yourself.”
The El Paso Convention Center
1 Civic Center Plaza
Friday March 14th: 6pm – 9pm
Saturday March 15th: 10am – 6 pm
Sunday March 16th: 11am – 5pm
Visit www.suncityscifi.com for more information.