This week, I want to tell you about a sparkling little gem of a fan-run convention, Chicago TARDIS. It runs every year on Thanksgiving weekend in Lombard, Illinois at the Westin Hotel. This year was the 20th anniversary of TARDIS, as the fans call it. It’s a smaller convention where the attendees are friendly and the staff is helpful.
I attended this convention two years ago, but I didn’t take as deep a look at it as I did this time. Let me tell you that was a mistake!
There were Whovian celebrity guests each year. This year was Sylvester McCoy the 7th Doctor, Paul McGann the 8th Doctor, Tosin Cole who is Ryan Sinclair, companion to the current Doctor, and Arthur Darvill who played Rory Williams, companion to the 11th Doctor. I also had spied John Leeson, the voice or the dog robot K-9 and Louise Jameson, who played Leela companion to the 4th Doctor.
There were plenty of things to do besides your standard vendor floor. There were two costume contests, one was the Hall Way contest where you signed up and chose a time slot when the judges would spend 10 minutes talking to you about your costume. Then there was the big Masquerade which is held more like your standard costume contest on Saturday evening after the vendor floor was closed. There was also the Chronological Cavalcade held Friday night, which is a parade of Whovian cosplays formed into a parade of chronological order. A gaming area was set up where attendees could play Doctor Who-inspired games. There was even a room for the younger congoers called Camp Time Lord, which was staffed with friendly Doctor Who fans helping kids with crafts and coloring.
If you do go to the next one, don’t forget to check out Dalek Alley. It was full of colorful and imaginative Daleks of varied designs and styles. TARDIS also had a builders area where demonstrations were given and rooms with various panels. If this wasn’t enough, there was the Don’t Blink dance party Friday night and the Cyberkaraoke on Saturday night.
Now after all of that you might feel a bit tired, but don’t worry because there is the perfect area for relaxing. A room where you can sit and watch classic episodes of Doctor Who with your fellow fans.
We did run into one small issue where the Saturday’s child price listed on their website stated children up to 12 were $25 and we were charged $50, which was the adult Saturday fee. Protests to the fact yielded no concession. So we paid the fee for our son and went on with our day.
I don’t know about you, but I’m making plans to attend next year and try to take in more of the convention than I had time for this year.