Fantasy and science fiction conventions ahead for Salt Lake City

By Ben Tullis

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, June 26 2014 3:50 p.m. MDT

Updated: Monday, June 30 2014 7:12 a.m. MDT

“We are all excited to see the success of major events like Comic Con here in Utah," Doering said. "It demonstrates the strong following that science fiction and fantasy has in Utah. … We are also excited to share the July 4 holiday with our sister event, FantasyCon, which is a first-of-its-kind celebration of all things fantasy."

The conventions, however, are not all focusing on the same aspects of the fantasy and science fiction genres.

“While these other events give attendees the chance to see and meet celebrities and to enjoy a vast exhibit hall, Westercon is all about diving in to learn about fantasy and science fiction, to create and enjoy it and to join with other fans and clubs in making science fiction and fantasy here in Utah,” Doering said.

According to Patel, "The main thing that sets FantasyCon apart is the experience.

“At most conventions, you have celebrities, booths, vendors and that’s about it," Patel said. "At FantasyCon, we’re aiming for a theme-park style experience. Yes, we have some great celebrity guests, including the largest gathering of actors from The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films ever assembled at a single convention, but we also have aerial dancers, motion-capture trolls, blacksmiths, fire-eaters, artists and much, much more.”

Guests purchasing a membership to one convention can attend the others at no additional charge.

Organizers say the events are family-friendly and have activities for family members of all ages.

Tickets to FantasyCon, which also include admission to Westercon 67 and CONduit 24, cost $60 per person for the three-day event, and $30 for youths ages 11-15. Children 10 and under are free. Day passes can also be purchased. VIP all-access passes, which include preferred seating at panels and admission to the FantasyCon kickoff party with Elijah Wood as DJ, are available for $150. Discounts are available for military personnel, college students and teachers. Visit fantasycon.com for more information.

Tickets to the combined Westercon 67 and CONduit 24 are $60 per person, which also includes admission to FantasyCon, and $30 for children under 17. Daily passes can also be purchased. In addition, a family pass is available for $220 (immediate family members only). Discounts are available for active duty service personnel and veterans. Visit westercon67.org for more information.

Ben Tullis is a Deseret News intern and a freelance writer and copy editor. He graduated from Utah Valley University in April 2014 with a bachelor's degree in English. He lives in Pleasant Grove with his wife and 2-year-old son.

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