Having attended a number of conventions of various sorts it has been my experience that Saturday (including the evening) is the most important day to attend with Friday evening being second and Sunday trailing off to third and by the closing ceremonies most of the attendees have checked out of their hotels and packed their cars and don’t feel compelled to attend the final farewell session. That is usually what it is too. The con-chair will get up and say his/her thanks to the various folks that were involved and then everyone goes home.
Kawa Kon had some great programs for a small con including Quinton Flynn who I particularly enjoy. Quite honestly though, I was rather expecting Sunday to be rather ho-hum and I was just patiently waiting for the final good-byes so I could go back to my hotel, work on my photos and relax a bit as I was still recovering from Mardi Gras. I was wandering around taking a few Sunday afternoon pics when I came accross something that rather surprised me. Late Sunday afternoon I found a line of people waiting in front of the door to the main event room. Not only were they lined up in front of the door but they went up the stairs and wrapped around the stairwell and were all quietly and patiently waiting. I had to see what they were waiting for and so I followed the line around and down the stairs (and then went and took pics!)
They were waiting for the closing ceremonies. I had never seen such a neat, orderly, patient group waiting in anticipation of the closing ceremonies. In the main event hall, Quinton Flynn was having an autograph session and folks were patiently waiting for their autographs while Samurai Dan and Jillian were finishing up their panel on “No Sword? No Problem!” When they finished, con staff brought in chairs and Samurai Dan’s staging area was taken down. When all was done, the waiting group entered and, to my surprise, the fun began!
There were the sad good-byes (Quinton started that as he had to catch his plane!) and the expressions of grattitude, as can be expected but that wasn’t the sum and total as is often the case. Instead the closing ceremony was an event in and of itself. They had multiple prize giveaways of t-shirts and other goodies that they tossed into the crowd which got folks excited. Then they had Dan and Jillian come up and said a few words of thanks to them but went on to have them judge a Kiai contest. A Kiai is the yell a martial artist does while in the process of practicing his art. You hear it when a karate expert is breaking bricks or boards with his or her fist or striking an opponent in combat. They invited anyone interested in joining the contest to come forward and it seemed like half the audience went up.
After that they acknowledged the rest of the guests and staff, threw more prizes to the audience, said their goodbyes and a great convention came to a close.
Everything I saw at Kawa Kon was well run and fun. Quinton Flynn’s panel was standing room only (chairs would have been nice! 🙂 Samurai Dan and Jillian were great with their killer humor and they had an amazing singer, YukaPon, who had her inaugural concert at Kawa Kon. All in all, Kawa Kon was a con well worth attending!
To view more pics from Kawa Kon 2011 check out the 900+ pics on my Kawa Kon Album