This was Walterboro, SC’s first attempt at a pop culture convention and was organized by Walterboro’s biggest super fan, Omar Jeter. He poured his heart into making this event really special for all attendees and vendors. Omar spent months attending conventions and asking everyone what they want more of. Vendors and fan exhibitors (like the 501st) were given access to special study rooms in the library to use for storage/dressing rooms. They also had access to a kitchen with lots of food and drink donated by local businesses. There were events all day long involving costumes, trivia, and games. The 501st was asked to judge the Chewbacca roar contest, which had some surprisingly good competitors. The prize for that was a 21 inch Darth Maul action figure.
Vendors were only charged a percentage of sales for their table space, all of which went to charity. Most vendors also donated a prize for the raffle at the end of the day. The Walterboro Police and Colleton County Sheriffs Dept had a huge presence there, not because of security concerns, but to have fun with the rest of the attendees and to give demonstrations to the public at the outdoor parts of the event. Our little corner of the library was shared with some of Walterboro’s best cosplayers who took photos with fans as Batgirl, Batman and Supergirl.
We didn’t have a dedicated photographer, so it’s hard to see in the attached photos how busy this event was. Also, it was very warm outside, so we didn’t spend much time around the police demonstrations/tent or martial arts demos. Walterboro is an hour south of Charleston, so a lot of these folks haven’t had an opportunity to attend an event like this. They were all very excited to see stormtroopers in person and have the chance to visit with artists and craftsmen. I joked early on that all of the events in our area have the same vendors, but it quickly became apparent that the audience was all very new conventions. At the end of the day, 936 people passed through, which is quite a feat for a small town library event.
Carolina Garrison Members in Attendance:
1. Chris Gould – Biker Scout
2. Shawn Cantey – Stormtrooper
1. Marty Harkin – Mandalorian Merc in progress