Nerd Fest attracts tons of of science fiction, fantasy lovers to Vassalboro

VASSALBORO — A whole lot of individuals turned out Sunday for the third annual Maine Sci-Fi & Fantasy Nerd Fest at The Olde Mill Place in Vassalboro.

Organizer Mike Huard calls the conference the “nerd Tremendous Bowl,” and mentioned he anticipated upwards of 500 science fiction and fantasy lovers to attend the occasion.

A nerd, Huard mentioned, is “somebody that enjoys a bit of getaway from on a regular basis life,” usually reconnecting with the movies, tv reveals, books and video games they cherished as youngsters.

Huard mentioned Nerd Fest is totally different from different costume conventions in that it’s not completely geared in direction of comedian ebook lovers. Anybody of any age who identifies as a nerd, he mentioned, is welcome to point out up as they’re and revel in socializing and buying with different nerds.

Greater than 50 distributors arrange buying stalls at The Olde Mill Place, a Vassalboro occasion middle and neighborhood house at 934 Most important St. Most distributors had been from Maine, Huard mentioned. Some offered objects from “geek tradition,” together with collectible collectible figurines, comedian books and card video games. Others obtained actually artful, promoting intricate woodwork, resembling cube towers and storage chests, and leather-based costume items or handmade jewellery.

One vendor, Aaron Feldmus, 50, of Belgrade was promoting 3D-printed costume items, together with steampunk-style prime hats. Feldmus mentioned he crafts his objects as a facet gig and loved the “uniqueness of all the things” on show Sunday. He additionally mentioned he favored how the conference connects nerds with craftspeople.


Most of the Mainers who had been buying at Nerd fest mentioned they relished the chance to decorate in full costume. Kaitlyn Chartier, 10, was wearing an extended robe and horns to embody a tiefling from Dungeons & Dragons, a tabletop role-playing recreation she performs together with her father.

“It’s nice to see individuals like us,” her father, Jason Chartier, mentioned.

Huard’s spouse, Kelly, was wearing a custom-made Captain Marvel costume. She mentioned the timing of the occasion is ideal, as a result of it may be simple to hibernate throughout the Maine winter.

“(Nerd Fest) will get individuals out, having enjoyable and getting artistic,” Kelly Huard mentioned.

There have been loads of dwell occasions and video games to maintain people engaged throughout the day. Like a Dungeons & Dragons Battle Royale event and a Harry Potter trivia contest.

Kain Stover, 11, of Augusta dressed up as online game character Mario for the conference. He mentioned his mother made his costume, and his favourite a part of the day was studying to play Pokémon playing cards at a desk organized by The Nexus Arcade and Gaming Lounge in Winslow.


Stover additionally took half in a (foam) sword battle, organized by martial arts instructors from Chanbara New England. Stover mentioned he was unsure if he had gained or misplaced the battle, however his father mentioned the boy “regarded like a windmill” when competing.

The day’s most hotly contested occasion was the costume competitors.

Atlas MacDonald, 13, was one in all seven winners within the junior division, donning a dressing up that he mentioned took 10 weeks to stitch. MacDonald got here as Venti, a personality from the online game “Genshin Influence,” and mentioned he has been stitching since he was 4.

“I’ve at all times needed to be a part of a special world,” MacDonald mentioned.

{The teenager} mentioned he struggles with features of his identification, and his discovered “potential to shape-shift” permits him to strive on totally different seems to be and personas inside an accepting neighborhood, whereas paying homage to the video games he loves.

Paul Ridlon was one in all eight winners within the grownup costume competitors. He got here as Moss Bear, an authentic character. Ridlon mentioned he creates characters which are enjoyable, however with a message behind them.


The top-to-toe costume for Moss Bear — largely inexperienced fur — was impressed by tales Ridlon had heard from the Arctic. Particularly, tales of polar bears whose fur was turning inexperienced as a consequence of algal progress attributable to local weather change. Ridlon mentioned that when individuals ask about his ensemble, he is ready to begin wanted conversations concerning the results of world warming and unfold consciousness.

Mike Lavoie, 43, of Auburn was one other grownup winner. He got here dressed as Wreck-It Ralph from the 2012 Disney film of the identical title. Lavoie mentioned he travels to conventions, together with Nerd Fest, to make individuals smile.

“Geek pursuits are the ‘in’ factor proper now,” Lavoie mentioned.

Like many others in costume, Lavoie put his ensemble collectively by scavenging on-line, mining websites together with Etsy, Amazon and eBay for particular person items.

“It’s enjoyable. It’s totally different,” Lavoie mentioned of Nerd Fest. “You get to community with different artistic sorts … and also you would possibly make a good friend.”

Ship questions/feedback to the editors.

« Earlier

filed below: