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Planning For Pensacon 2015

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The plans...and the guest list...for Pensacon 2015 are quickly coming together. WUWF's Bob Barrett sat down with Pensacon Chairman Mike Ensley to talk about the second annual convention coming to Pensacola February 27 to March 1.

Ensley said that with one convention under their belt, the organizers are finding that Pensacon has a good reputation among industry celebrities. He recalls Christopher Judge, a guest last year calling his industry friends telling them to come to Pensacola because "this is a really good convention".

This year's event will again run for three days, beginning 1 to 7pm Friday, February 27 at the Bay Center, which is where the vendor floor, the "artists alley" and many of the panels will be held. Ensley says there will also be events all night at the Crown Plaza hotel including a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Friday evening. The gaming rooms at the Crown Plaza will be open 24 hours during the convention.

Ensley says more people realize that Friday is a full day at Pensacon, so he apologizes in advance "to the local businesses on the Gulf Coast, I have a feeling you're going to have a lot of vacation days" used on that Friday. Pensacon will continue on Saturday and Sunday at the Bay Center from 10am until 7pm both days.

Downtown Pensacola will also be a big part of Pensacon again. Ensley says there will be eight official parties during the weekend. They are also in discussions with other facilities downtown to host some Pensacon events such as some of the larger panels or the costume contest. Ensley suggested the Saenger Theater or some of the UWF spaces downtown were possibilities.

Pensacon will again be sponsering Gallery Night, but this time it is the Friday night before Pensacon begins. Ensley says that will be "locals night" with everyone encouraged to get into the Pensacon spirit and come downtown in costume.

So far about 70 celebrity guests have been booked to attend Pensacon, including Star Trek stars Nichelle Nichols and Marina Sirtis, actor David Warner who has appeared in two Star Trek movies as well as the original Tron, Time After Time, Dr. Who and Titanic. Other guests are being announced almost daily, and you can check the Pensacon web site for those details. Ensley says that unlike single themed conventions, Pensacon draws fans from many genres, so the list of guests is varied from sci-fi to anime to comics to movie to rock and roll...even some WWE classic wrestlers. One of this year's highlights will be a reunion of 10 actors from the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

And Ensley says that even if you are not into any of these things, you should at least come to see the costumes. He and his staff were shocked by the amount of fans who attended Pensacon 2014 in costume. There is a You Tube video of that shows off the variety of costumes at the convention. He says the convention is a place for people who enjoy similar interests to come together and make friends and, hopefully, go home happy.

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.