I am aware that this is far different than anything I normally write, but, after spending a weekend as a special guest at the 9th annual SoDak Con I was inspired to write an article about my experience. SoDak Con is South Dakota’s largest convention. Starting nine years ago as a small anime convention held in a bookstore, it has grown and evolved into a fandom convention and an awesome community. Although it is on the smaller size of conventions, you can not deny that it is still inspiring. And, finding something that has grown this big that feels like a family is a rare thing. But, that’s exactly what it is and why I believe it is still growing in a business that is difficult to thrive in. From the moment you walk in the door, whether you know anyone or not, you feel among friends. This year, special guests included myself, Random Encounters, Leah Clark, Diana Pickel, Rob Vash, Kevin Mckeever, Adrian Ludens, Teca, and Christina Haystead, all of which were spectacular! With three panels running at any given time, head-turning 18+ panels, and a mid-con rave, there was something there for everyone. The cosplay competition, as always, was the big crowd drawer, and it did not disappoint. Multiple Links, Master Chief, and Female Sokka dancing to Single Ladies were just a few of the highlights. Does your butt hurt from sitting too long though? Have no fear! SoDak also has artist alley where local artists, authors, designers, and much more are featured throughout the weekend. “But, Bailey, I want stuff! I have money, and I want to fix that problem!” Well lucky you! There is also a dealers room with games, toys, candy, and everything in between that you could want to throw your cash at.
Next year is the 10th anniversary of SoDak and promises to be bigger and better than ever. I have experienced SoDak as both a visitor and a special guest, with nothing short of a fantastic experience. No matter the circumstances, I will continue to return to this community for years to come.