Oct. 18—OMG!con, which usually brings nearly 4,000 fans of cosplay (costumed play), anime and video gaming to the Owensboro Convention Center in June, hasn't been able to have its live convention for the past two years.
But this month, the organization is planning a big Halloween weekend in Owensboro on Oct. 30-31.
Erin Shannon, director of sales for TownePlace Suites and event manager for OMG!con, calls the gathering a "mini-con."
She's expecting about 500 people.
There will be one event on Oct. 30 that should attract a lot of attention.
"We're shutting down a section of Elm Street for a parade at 5 p.m. that day," Shannon said. "There will probably be a Freddy Krueger or two."
"We're partnering with Brew Bridge for the parade," said John Bowen, vice president of OMG!con.
The brewery-restaurant is on the corner of Second and Elm streets.
"It's playing on the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' theme," Bowen said. "We're hoping the cosplayers and people in costume will participate. The parade will go from the convention center to the Brew Bridge."
'Nightmare' was Owensboro native Johnny Depp's film debut.
But he won't be there, Shannon said with a laugh.
After the parade, P.J. Starks and Erik Huskisson of Blood Moon Pictures will be showing "13 Slays till Xmas" at 7 p.m. in the convention center.
And the Hocus Pocus costume Halloween ball will start at 9 p.m.
"It's going to be a really nice Halloween party," Bowen said. "We're hoping to really wow Owensboro."
Shannon said Chad Day will be the DJ for the dance, and Payton Ford and his Ghostly Productions team will decorate the room.
"There's a costume contest," she said.
On Oct. 31, Shannon said table games and board games are planned.
Vendors will be selling their products and Shawn Pryor, creator and co-author of the graphic novel mystery series "Cash and Carrie," co-creator and author of the 2019 GLYPH-nominated football/drama series "Force," and author of "Kentucky Kaiju and Jake Maddox: Diamond Double Play," will be there.
Hours are 10 a.m. to midnight on Oct. 30 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 31.
Tickets are $20 for the convention and $30 for the convention and ball.
They can be purchased online at OwensboroCenter.com or at the door.
TownePlace Suites is in Gateway Commons, not downtown. But Shannon said the hotel has rented The Brew Bridge Trolley to take guests back and forth to the convention center at no charge.
"Kurt Burns of Owensboro, who calls himself 'The World's Most OKist driver of all time,' will drive the trolley," she said. "He's a lot of fun."
Bowen, who's been on the OMG!con board for five years, said, "The last two years, we've done a virtual convention. But it's not the same. It will be good to be with people again."
The convention began in Paducah in 2006 and moved to Owensboro in 2014 after being heavily courted by the Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
In past years, when the event has been in June, attendees have dressed in costume and paraded from the convention center to the RiverPark Center for Friday After 5.
Some years have seen weddings between couples in costume.
There have also been the renewal of vows and proposals.
And there have been mock battles on the front lawn of the convention center, eliciting stares from passersby.
Bowen is hoping all of that returns in June 2022 — the organization's 15th anniversary.
Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301 firstname.lastname@example.org