Friday, September 6, 2013

The 2013 Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention

As expected from frequent readers of my blog, here is my annual endorsement for the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention held annually in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Located thirty minutes from Geppi's Entertainment Museum (next door to Camden Yards) and minutes away from Diamond Distributing (the leading distributor for comic books in the United States), this three-day festival is held at the Hunt Valley Wyndham (formerly the Hunt Valley Marriott) and recognizes the good old days of nostalgia from vintage movies, old-time radio, retro television, pulp magazines, comic books and more.

Patty Duke signs autographs for fans at the 2011 event.

The Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention has a lot going on. Slide show seminars are put on every hour, on the hour. A drive-in movie theater outside the hotel in the parking lot provides a nostalgic look back at the days of outdoor entertainment. Abbott and Costello and Three Stooges impersonators wander the hallways recreating their classic routines. Over 200 vendor tables offering merchandise ranging from tee shirts, books, magazines, movie posters, lobby cards, vhs videos, DVDs, bobble heads, vintage toys and collectibles and more. A movie room screening rare gems from the past 24 hours a day, all three days. Hollywood celebrities sign autographs all weekend and participate in Q&A sessions on stage for fans.

Highlights of this year's event: Garyn Roberts, author of Dick Tracy and American Culture (2003), will provide us a fascinating slide show about the famous comic strip that debuted in October 1931. A special screening of Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) with weekend guest Margaret O’Brien introducing the classic motion picture and answering questions from the audience. Author Cynthia Miller will take you back to the days of the TV rocket men with Buzz Corey, Commando Cody, Tom Corbett and others. Carol Lynn Scherling, the author of Blondie Goes to Hollywood, will provide us a fascinating look at the Blondie comic strip and how it inspired a series of motion pictures during the 1940s. Bob Daniels, the grandson of Brace Beemer, will premiere exclusive excerpts from his up-coming documentary about Beemer, the man who voiced The Lone Ranger on radio for more than a decade. Gene Crowell will host a nostalgic look back at Captain Chesapeake who, for more than 20 years, entertained children on television with his puppet friends.

For anyone who is not aware, the convention (often referred to as MANC) is a non-profit event that helps benefit the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital with a bonus: a charity auction featuring memorabilia donated by Hollywood legends. Check out some of the items up for auction this year!

Rhonda Fleming donated a signed photo!

Valerie Harper's autographed photo for sale!
Johnny Crawford autographed this LP record for the auction!

One intriguing aspect of the show this year is the introduction of video streaming the slide show seminars. This means people who live in Alaska, Canada, California and other areas across the country who otherwise cannot attend the convention due to distance or expenses (airfare isn't getting ay cheaper) now have an alternative. They can watch the events as they unfold live from the hotel. I agree it is not the same as wandering the hallway and meeting and greeting celebrities and vendors and folks who share a common interest... but it's the next best thing. For information all about video streaming at this year's event, CLICK HERE.

Attendees from Belgium, Canada, England and all over the country attend year after year. The attendance has grown in size every year as well. If you stumbled on this blog post and never heard of MANC, I hope the description above convinces you to check it out. I can assure you... I am not steering you wrong.

A recap of last year's event can be found here:
If you want to see a ton of photos (some of them are really cool) from last year's event, click here:
Either way, video streaming or a live personal appearance, I hope to see you at MANC as I haven't missed a single year yet.

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