Longtime local science, science fiction and fantasy convention MarsCon will have some big names and big crowds — and just a touch of magic — when it returns to Williamsburg in 2019.
"This year, MarsCon's theme is "The Land of the Faerie," and as such, we're bringing a lot of guests and holding a number of events based around those touched by the fae folk, with that usual MarsCon touch thrown in," said James Ford Allen, the MarsCon convention chairman. "If you're a fan, this is such a great place to make new friends and discover some great writers and authors."
Among those on the guest list for this year's event are Hugo and Nebula award-nominated author Seanan McGuire, New York Times best-selling author Catherine M. Valente, and the musical duo Valentine Wolfe. In addition to big names being a draw, MarsCon highlights include a weekend of panels, concerts, a costume contest, as well as gaming and cosplay.
MarsCon has been one of the area’s biggest conventions since it moved to Williamsburg in 1994; more than 1,300 attended last year's convention. More than the guests, the panels and the costumes though, for some the biggest MarsCon draw is the community, sharing a weekend celebrating the things you're passionate about others who share them.
"MarsCon is a weekend-long party with more than a thousand of your closest friends," said longtime attendee Rich Stow. "If you've never been to a convention before, you just won't find a feeling like that anywhere else."
MarsCon will be held at the Williamsburg Doubletree Jan. 18-20. The event begins at noon on Friday and runs until 4 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets for the weekend are $50 for adults, $25 for 6- to 12-year-olds, and free for children under six, with daily tickets priced depending on the day and availability.