"Geeking Out" for Chapel Con

July 20, 2018 06:28 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- People decked out in their best geek couture on the local level can be found in Albert Lea this weekend. It’s the second year for Chapel Con and there are a lot of new features.

"Southern Minnesota has a lot of comic enthusiasts, but not a lot of ways to get that out," said Chapel Con organizer Gilbert Johnson.

That’s why Gilbert started Chapel Con with Randy Harig last year.

"This is kind of the black hole of no entertainment this way. So why couldn't we do something like that here," said Randy.

Chapel Con was Albert Lea’s first ever comic and entertainment convention.


Last year, about 3,000 people turned up to enjoy the event. This year, event organizers expect an even bigger turnout thanks to 7 new celebrities, more vendors and artists and a new Pokémon tournament.

Randy says it is a great opportunity for families to do something new. 

"We're proud to do a family friendly event where you can bring your kids, you can bring your grandkids too and have a good time as a family. Get off the couch, get off the electronics and just have a good time together," said Rany.

He also adds that it’s great for vendors looking to spread the word about their stores.

Mike Tickal owns Oak Leaf Collectibles in Mason City, Iowa.

"My dad and I were weekend warriors, doing little flea markets and collector shows like that. He did stamps and I did comic books. It just kind of grew from there," said Mike.

Mike has been running his store for more than 40 years. But he’s always looking for new clients. That’s why he is back as a vendor at Chapel Con this year.

"It's a way for me to come down and let people know we have a store in Mason City. It's a 45-minute drive away," said Mike.

There will be 50 new vendors this year and Gilbert hopes they can keep this up annually.

"If we can do this every year, it will always be new and exciting things every year," said Gilbert.

Last year Lou Ferringo, the 70’s Superstar of the TV show The Incredible Hulk, was the big name that drew people in.  

This year’s celebrity guests include Ryan Hurst best known as Opie Winston on Sons of Anarchy and Sam Jones who is best known as Flash Gordon.


Talia Milavetz

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