The founding of Farpoint Convention 23 years ago can be traced directly to the original Star Trek conventions in New York in the 1970s. Members of our committee were taken to those conventions as children and wanted to bring the fun and fellowship they found at the New York conventions home to our area. Star Trek conventions started as a place for fans to gather and share their love for Star Trek and science fiction. These conventions kept Star Trek alive and were a special and safe place for fans to gather as a community in the years before “geek culture” became accepted as it has in recent years. Encouraging and promoting the community of fandom is Farpoint’s purpose.
2016 is the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the show that started everything for us. We are celebrating this golden anniversary with activities throughout the weekend. Star Trek legend David Gerrold will be talking to fans throughout the weekend with Q&A sessions, signings, and panels. We will celebrate the art of the Fanzine on Saturday evening at 11:00 in our ballroom with readings from classic Star Trek zines by the original authors! Zines have a special place in Star Trek’s legacy, as they were the sole source of new Star Trek stories in the long time between the end of the original series and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Our program book cover is a special Star Trek 50th triptych in collaboration with our sister conventions Balticon and ShoreLeave. We will also be hosting a Starfleet meeting on Saturday at 9 am and Star Trek themed panels throughout the weekend. It’s time to wear your Trek uniform proudly, and no red shirts will be harmed during the weekend’s “Away Mission”.
Our 2016 Science track features talks on an array of topics. Con-goers can attend talks covering the latest news from Mars exploration, Solar Studies, Math and Forensics, and Robotics. We are especially excited to include talks focusing on Star Trek’s 50th anniversary: “Astronomical Images in Star Trek”, “Trek Tech”, and “The Real Worlds of Star Trek”.
We will be celebrating the 5th anniversary of “Browncoats: Redemption”, the first film from our guests at Big Damn Films. Join us as we show the film again and talk with the producers about their groundbreaking work, which has raised thousands of dollars for charity in showings around the country since its initial release.
Activities in our Children & Youth track are marked with a special symbol on the schedule. These events are open to all ages but are geared in content toward our younger members. Events in this track include our Friday pajama party, Saturday’s Magic Workshop, “Fandango” Puppet Workshop and Monster Tea Party, and Sunday’s “Kitchen Science Workshop”. There are games and activities in our Hal’s Place Gaming Oasis for children and teens. The Atrium workshops on Saturday and Sunday are open to children, teens and adults: Muggle Dueling League, Maryland Kunst des Fechens European-style sword fighting demonstration, and a Self-Defense workshop
Farpoint is proud to host meetings for our local Starfleet and Royal Manticorian Navy chapters. These meetings are open to current and potential members, and both groups will have tables in our atrium where you can learn more about each group and talk to current members.
We play hard, learn hard and PARTY hard at Farpoint! Our Friday evening cocktail party is in the Greenspring ballroom at 7:00 pm and leads into our Opening Ceremony at 8:00 pm. The cocktail party is open to all and features a cash bar for drinks and a hot food bar for which a wristband must be purchased at our registration table. You don’t have to purchase any food or drink to attend the cocktail party, where you can mix and mingle with fans and many of our convention guests in a casual atmosphere. The Friday party continues with Vic’s Place Karaoke featuring The Pack Ratz in our Atrium. Saturday’s party starts in the Atrium after the Masquerade when Ten-Forward opens its doors for music and dancing until the wee hours. Our Masquerade director and team have once again put together a wonderful track for costumers to learn new techniques and improve their competitive presentations. Topics include “Workmanship Nuts and Bolts”, “Masquerade Presentation Clinic” and “Steampunk Costume Help”. Our annual Masquerade competition will take place on Saturday evening at 8:00 pm in the Greenspring Ballroom. You can register to compete at the Masquerade table in the Atrium on Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Masquerade staff will be at the table to answer questions and help you fill out your show entry form.
For a complete schedule, please click here. ** Please note: This schedule is subject to change, so pick up the final schedule at the convention!
Talking books and buying books are two favorite things to do at a convention for many people. Farpoint Convention makes this easier for you to do by setting aside a special place for authors and book lovers to gather, our FARPBooks Lounge, which will be located in the Dulaney Valley 1 room. You will find Novel Places, our bookseller, in this room along with display tables for many of our author guests including David Gerrold, Crazy 8 Press and Firebringer Press. The autograph tables for author signings and readings will be in the FARPBooks Lounge – see your convention schedule for individual author signings and readings.
Two favorite Farpoint hang-outs will be returning in 2016. Our KHAAAN Sweet will again host a casual spot to sit and relax for awhile, chat with friends and enjoy a quick snack and drink. Our very popular Hal’s Place Gaming Oasis also returns with any number of pick-up games, demonstrations and crafts for all ages. You are welcome to bring a game of your own into Hal’s Place to invite others to play or select a game from our large library. Our annual Gamers’ Flea Market will also return to Hal’s Place. You can bring games and supplies from your closet and place them at our market during the weekend for sale. There is a small fee to sell an item at the Flea Market, which is donated to our Charity Auction each year. The KHAAAN Sweet and Hal’s Place both offer a break from the hustle and bustle of the convention floor for you to enjoy some down time while still partaking of the Farpoint Convention experience.
Farpoint 2016 is coming and we are very excited about the many new special events happening at our convention this year! Make sure to check out the following interactive events at this year’s convention:
TESLA will be at the convention on Saturday and Sunday with their Model S sedan for you to check out. You can even take it for a test drive if you’re over 25 (ID required). Learn about what some call “The Car of The Future” today.
The Muggle Dueling League will be conducting a beta test of their rules and spell-casting techniques in our Atrium on Saturday morning. If your letter to Hogwarts went missing in the mail, here’s another way to hone your magical abilities.
Maryland Kunst des Fechens will be conducting a class on European style sword fighting in our Atrium on Saturday at 3:00 pm. If you are interested in learning authentic sword fighting techniques, this is a must-attend!
Your favorite Game Shows will be returning to Farpoint! Join host Dean Rogers for SciFi Jeopardy on Sunday at 10:00 am in the Greenspring Ballroom to test your knowledge on all things science fiction. 2015 Volker/McChesney award winner Diane Sahar returns on Sunday at noon in Greenspring with her Cosmic Game Show. Join in to win fabulous prizes and see what games and contests she’s come up with this year!
Sci-Fi Fights! will debut at Farpoint on Sunday at 1:00 PM. This event steals, honors, borrows from the Screen Junkies’ web series and will feature Bob Greenberger, Keith RA DeCandido, and Steven H. Wilson fighting for supremacy over a number of topics including “Best SciFi media of 2015”, “Which Star Wars character deserves their own spin-off movie?”, and “Pitch a new Star Trek TV show!”
We are happy to announce that fan favorite John Morton, “Dak” from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, will be joining us at Farpoint 2016! He also appeared in the film as Boba Fett on Bespin when Boba utters his famous line to Darth Vader, “He’s no good to me dead” substituting for an unavailable Jeremy Bulloch. John is a regular contributor to the Official Star Wars Blog and the U.K.’s Jedi News. John will be at Farpoint talking all things Star Wars; he should have a unique perspective having played both a hero and a villain in the saga!
Yelp Baltimore is now an official Farpoint Convention sponsor! Representatives from Yelp Baltimore will be at Farpoint Convention this February with great Yelp swag and to help you learn more about the services they offer. Yelp will be the official internet check-in site during Farpoint Convention so that you can let your friends find you and join you at the convention.
Yelp is a free internet based service which you can access on your computer or smartphone to find local businesses wherever you are. Yelpers share reviews and photos of businesses and events to help fellow members find the best events (like Farpoint Convention), restaurants, stores and services in their local area. You will find our Farpoint Convention Yelp page at http://bit.ly/1RNZ9Ov.
Congratulations to Todd Brugmans, winner of the 2016 Volker/McChesney Award for Service to Fandom. Todd is a talented artist and his talent is exceeded only by his generosity in sharing his talents and his friendliness to all. He has created original art for Firebringer Press, many Starfleet and Colonial Defense Force chapters, and Farpoint Convention as the creator of our beloved FARP. Todd not only donated all rights to the FARP character to the convention, he is our volunteer “FARP Artist In Residence”, creating whimsical covers depicting FARP’s continuing adventures in fandom.
Todd’s support of local conventions and fan groups through his art is an example of the sharing spirit of fandom. He will be presented with the Volker/McChesney award on Friday, February 12, 2016 at the Farpoint Convention Opening Ceremonies beginning at 8:00 pm. Everyone is invited to attend and shout “Huzzah” in his honor.