Science fiction convention transported from Johnstown to Ebensburg
The Sci-Fi in the Valley Con is moving to Ebensburg. (Submitted illustration)
Casey Bassett, 23, of South Fork, has already faced some adversity in creating the Sci-Fi in the Valley Con, which has resulted in a venue change from the Cambria County War Memorial Arena to the North Central Recreation Center in Ebensburg.
"Financially, with Johnstown wanting a $150 charge for anyone setting up a booth, it was just something that nobody was willing to pay, especially for a new event," the coordinator said.
"However, the (general) manager at the arena (Michael Silva) has been extremely great in helping us make the switch," Bassett said. Silva's company SMG also operates the North Central Recreation Center. "I also understand that Johnstown can't waive the ordinance (requiring the fee) so we're going to make the best of it.
"I think in a lot of ways this is going to be good for the event."
Bassett thought about packing away his dream for at least another year, but Silva and a number of supportive notes from fans of the convention helped him decide to push forward.
He said that a number of new guests and events have been added to the schedule the convention for the weekend of May 18-20.
Among the guests: Jeremy Ambler, who played a zombie in AMC's "The Walking Dead" television show, a possible appearance by actor David Orange, who played a Klingon in the "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" movie, authors Gary Lee Vincent and Rich Bottles Jr. and independent filmmakers John Johnson and Derek Young.
The tournaments will include the popular game "Magic: The Gathering," "Warhammer 40,000" and "HeroClix." Magic is a collectible card-based game and the other two are popular miniatures-based games.
New guests include actor Mark Tierno, filmmaker and writer Blair Murphy, film director David Madison and writer and website administrator Kirk Allmond.
Tierno is best known for his role as the featured zombie "Beef Treats" in George Romero's 1985 film "Day of the Dead." Sci-fi fans should also recognize Tierno from his leading role on Syfy network's television series "The Mercury Men."
Murphy, a Windber resident, is currently working on his new film "Zombie Dream." The film includes appearance by actors Eric Roberts and Butch Patrick.
Madison is a film director who will soon be releasing the film "Mr. Hush" starring Brad Loree, Stephen Geoffreys and Steve Dash.
Allmond is the administrator and author for a zombie survival website with more than 15,000 members called zombiepreparedness.org. He will be doing a panel titled "How and why you should prepare for the zombie apocalypse now."
New entertainment includes Boston-based musician Matthew Ebel and possibly the Phoenix Pro Wrestling group.
The convention's number of registered vendors has almost doubled in a matter of weeks, with more than 40 now signed on for the weekend, Bassett said.
For more information on the convention, visit http://scifiinthevalley.com online.