Could these ‘freaking weird’ conventions save Atlantic City?
The major cities already have their dibs on comic-con and all the fashion and electronics conventions. With Atlantic City casinos closing and businesses failing, there's no choice but for the city to look into beefing up its convention industry.
So I had to find some offbeat ones for them to look into! The city has traditionally hosted a wide array of conventions, some traditional and others more offbeat. If I were a city council person, or worked on the tourism committee or chamber of commerce in AC, I'd be looking up some of the planners of these "unusual" conventions to try to lure them there.
Honestly, the people they attract wouldn't be any more strange than some of the characters who already hang out in AC. Have you heard of any of these conventions/trade shows? They actually exist! I don't know about you, but there are a few I'd love to check out (with a bodyguard, obviously)!
- The Santa Celebration in Tampa, Florida
At the convention, Santas are taught how to answer typical questions that children ask and taught how to act as Santa. Vendors sell santa suits, props, and sleighs. It's hosted by the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas
- Merfest in Cary, North Carolina
A convention to celebrate "merfolk." Attendees wear mermaid tails, swim together in the aquatics center, and generally celebrate sea life. Tails can sell for as much as $4000. They are custom-made out of silicone, which gives it a skin-like feel and buoyancy. These people really do this. And they're serious.
- BronyCon in Baltimore, Maryland
This convention isfor adult fans of Hasbro's animated TV series "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic." Over 8,000 people attend, to show their tight-knit, supportive, educated, and open-minded "community". Grown ups, not kids.
- The Lincoln Convention in Columbus, Ohio
150 people dressed as Lincoln. Really. They provide real-looking Lincolns to reenactments, At the Lincoln convention in Columbus, Ohio, 150 people dressed as Lincoln. The group's goal is to provide real-looking Lincolns to reenactments,parades, and schools. And, I'm assuming, you can trust them all.
- World Taxidermy & Fish Carving Championships in Peoria, Illinois.
A little worried about the smell in there since it's basically a 5 day dead fish and animal fest. Tempted yet?
Clowns work on their skills, from body movement and facial expressions to make up and physical comedy. Perhaps the breeding ground for some of the scary clowns that we've seen lurking about of late.
The world's largest convention for anthropomorphics, or "furries." I had to google what a furry is, and I'm still a little perplexed. (Not to mention creeped out) But these people apparently dress in fur costumes like life-size plush animals. And then they... well, Google it yourself.
The furry community is known as being very positive and open-minded. It is far from the "hyper-sexual" community it is portrayed as by the media. One attendee said the "furry community" had saved her life. She had felt so isolated before attending the convention that she was on the verge of suicide. I'm leaving that right there.
- The Vent Haven Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio
"The oldest and largest annual gathering of ventriloquists." The convention has open mics, appearances by pros, and workshops on how to ventriloquize. Wondering what the check in process there is like. Like, do you give your money to the dummy or the guy HOLDING the dummy?
- Fetish Con in Tampa, Florida
You knew there was one of these! A convention where people engage in all different sexual fantasies. Despite the explicit content, reportedly the atmosphere at the convention was that of a "family reunion." Not my family, thank God.
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