The 35th annual StarFest is coming to Denver this morning, taking over three hotels in the Denver Tech Center. The three-day convention covers everything under the sci-fi umbrella: robots, comics, video games, and even sci-fi in the digital world. Each sub category has its own mini convention during StarFest, as well as one dedicated to horror fans.
The convention, which started in 1977, has always been a big draw for Denver-area sci-fi fans and has grown in attendance every year since its birth. This year, the event's crowning jewel is a Q&A with Jonathan Frakes, the actor who played Commander William Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation, but that's not the only exciting appearance.
"Jonathan Frakes is always a big draw," says John Jackson, the media director for StarFest, "but we also have two guys who played pretty prominent Klingon characters on Star Trek: Deep Space 9. They're going to do a Laurel and Hardy, Abbot and Costello type show but in their Klingon make up.
"So if you want to see Klingons make baseball jokes, definitely come by."
But even if you're not a hardcore sci-fi geek -- not that there's anything wrong with that -- StarFest has something to offer you. With free model-making for kids, a whole room full of collectables and items up for sale and even sci-fi weapons training seminars, there's bound to be something you'll enjoy.
"As long as you have some interest in sci-fi, fantasy, horror, if you generally like those genres you'll find something that's interesting for you," says Jackson. "You'll find something that's going on all the time."
The don't-miss event for Jackson is Saturday night's Federation Ball, held in the Mariott DTC. The culminating event of the convention, the ball is described as a "crazy, sci-fi, fantasy disco tech." It's a chance for convention-goers to meet one another and have a chance to party and everyone is asked to come in costume.
This year's looks are expected to include a lot of Hunger Games-themed costumes, as well as the traditional Star Trek and comic book character outfits.
Tickets for the convention, which begins this morning and goes until Sunday, are still for sale on the StarFest website and are $15 for a three day pass or $10 for a one-day ticket.
If you'd like to check out what the convention's all about but don't have the cash, StarFest media day is on til 10 a.m. today at the Mariott DTC and is free to the public. You can even enter to win prizes, but must be dressed in-costume to be eligible.
For a taste of StarFest, have a look at these photos from last year.
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Check out the full StarFest 2011 slide show.