Friday, September 16, 2011

Congrats, Mexico City—on your first Trek convention!

Hey world—we can't let this go by unnoticed!
Mexico City recently marked another historic first for that nation, and for the international office of Trekland: Mexico's first-ever Star Trek convention!

A Star Trek "expo" it was called, actually—"for fans, from fans"—and I'm proud to say I know the guy who helped lead it: Alfredo Ruanova is president of the city's Star Trek club, "Aztlan Earthstation - Star Trek Fan Club Mexico", Aztlan being the mythical birth city of the Aztecs central to Mexican history. Alfredo visited with me twice at recent Vegas Khhaaans and told me of their hopes and plans... someday. Well, "someday" is here.

"Just us fans here... no special guests... but still a collection expo, and some presentations by us, movie showings, and such" he says of the event, which ran two weeks from Aug. 29- Sept. 11 in the capital's Futurama Youth Art and Culture Center.  "It hasn’t been a commercial enterprise (pardon the pun): we got the expo hall for free, no charge for admission, and no one is selling stuff. We invited people from the local Paramount office, but they were a no-show."

"The attendance numbers will probably be pitiful by US Trek convention standards, but it has been better than we expected," he adds. Turnout ran about 20-25 a day until the final weekend ended with a bang: 200 on Saturday and 250 on Sunday, with major talks about Star Trek the franchise, and its history from "TOS through JJ."

Posters sported the literal translation of Star Trek used to market throughout Spanish-speaking countries, Viaje a las Estrellas—literally, "Voyage to the Stars." And, like other events all year long, was held with the theme of marking the 45th anniversary of the franchise.

 "Every day had two showings of one of the movies, starting with ST-TMP and ending with the JJ Abrams film—we also included Galaxy Quest as a "non-Trek Trek film," he says.  "We had a makeup exhibition, and a friend got made up as a klingon. We had some conferences, talking about propulsion, from steam engines to warp drives, and about Trek influence in technology. And we also had activities, like a drawing contest for kids, a trivia contest, and 'most unusual collectible' contest."

Yep, sounds like a fan convention to me—in all the purest, most glorious sense. I would have loved to have been there for this first, just as I would have loved to have experienced that first Serbian Trekfan convention in Novi Sad, headed by my longtime Trek penpal Veljko Vidic that was chronicled in Trekkies II.

"Hope it will be the start of a yearly show… and maybe something better down the road," Alfredo says—and somehow I think it will be.

The report is in Spanish, but local media did pick up the story here... the multicultural reach of Gene's dream moves on to even more corners of the globe. Meanwhile, good luck in 2012, Alfredo!

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