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On May 1 Trekkies on two continents set out to break the world record for a gathering of fans in Star Trek costumes. The gatherings in Tampa, Florida and Bonn, Germany both succeeded in beating the record set in London earlier this year. But it was the group at the FedCon XIX Convention that wound up with what (pending certification) will be the new world record.
New Trek fans in costume record set at FedCon XIX*
Having heard of the initial world record setting in February in London (with only 99 costumed fans), FedCon staff were confident that they could raise the bar during their convention, which regularly attracts thousands of fans. FedCon officials applied for an official record attempt with Guinness and chose Saturday, the second and usually busiest day of FedCon, for an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record.
After noon, while some fans inside the convention hotel were still standing in line for photo shoots and autographs, a different group started to gather in front of the venue’s entrance. Starfleet uniforms dominated the swelling crowd, but many others had invested even greater amounts of time, fantasy, and accurateness into picking their costumes, which had to be canon in order to count for the record attempt. Fans had dressed up as Klingons, Andorians, Orions, Jem’Hadar, even as Seven of Nine, Mr Homn and Queen Arachnia.
At 1:00 PM the fans in costume were sent straight through the hotel lobby, where other convention attendees cheered as the dressed-up fans passed a doorway into the hotel atrium. Organizers separated the wheat from the chaff at the door: non-canon Stargate uniforms were separated out, fans without a costume had to stay inside and one could hear Richard Arnold, who acted as an arbiter on costume authenticity, asking "What’s the costume?" from time to time. Vulcan ears alone did not make the cut.
The counters quickly reached the number of 100 participants necessary to set a new record but masses of costumed fans kept on flowing into the atrium and within an hour it was all all done and a new world record standing at 507 costumed fans was proudly announced.
FedCon XIX Costume slide show
(photos: René Kissien and Henning Konnert)
VIDEO (provided by FedCon)
Tampa fans try for the record too
On the same day, but a continent away, costumed fans gathered at the Vulcan Events Convention in Tampa Florida. Fans gathered at 11:00 AM (Tampa Time, which puts it after the FedCon attempt) in the parking lot of the Doubletree Hotel. As the Tampa Con is not nearly the size of FedCon, they were not able to match the same kind of numbers, but they did beat the original London record. According to the Vulcan Events Facebook page, the final count was 110 costumed fans.
Florida Trekkies attempt to set costumed fan record at Vulcan Con in Tampa on May 1st, 2010 (Photo: Vulcan Events)
*Note: Both the German and the Tampa records are still unofficial until verified by the Guinness Book organization.
Look for a full report from FedCon 2010 later this week at TrekMovie.com.
Henning Koonert, TrekMovie’s new German correspondent, is one of the managers for The TrekZone Network, a leading German Star Trek website (and TrekMovie.com partner). Henning will be reporting from FedCon XIX, so look for more updates.