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Star Trek 50 Year Mission Tour New Jersey: A Great Little Con

Michael Nguyen and Nicole DeBoer rock on out stage at Star Trek New Jersey

Last month Star Trek fans celebrated their love of Trek at Creation Entertainment’s 50 Year Mission Tour in Cherry Hill, NJ.

The convention was held at the Crowne Plaza Cherry Hill, a much smaller venue than what Star Trek Las Vegas fans may be used to, but don’t let size fool you! This convention was filled with guests from The Original Series and every spin-off Trek television show.

One of the great things about smaller conventions is the ability to spend more time interacting with actors (see, for example, the image above of the author rocking out with Nicole DeBoer). Fans had the chance to talk to their favorite stars in the autograph room about everything from their favorite episodes to convention memories.

Garrett Wang (VOY) entertained guests with great stories and memories from Voyager. Fans enjoyed the one on one interaction that doesn’t always happen at larger cons. One of the most popular and memorable events of the convention was karaoke night with Nicole DeBoer (DS9) Dominic Keating (ENT), Connor Trinneer (ENT). To say that actors and fans rocked karaoke to the end of the universe and back that night would be an understatement. Almost every great song was sung at the top of everyone’s lungs from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.” The phrase “one more song,” was chanted and demanded many times, and the “last song” was sung multiple times.

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Connor brings down the house

While the con offered a more personal experience with actors it also offered fans the chance to relax and mingle. Larger conventions are sometimes as hectic as they are enjoyable, rushing from panels to photo ops and trying not to miss anything. With a smaller convention there was ample time to enjoy drinks in the Crowne Plaza’s lounge, relax in large comfortable chairs with a drink and talk until the late hours of the evening about all things Trek.

Deniz Cordell, a composer from New York, made use of the lobby piano and entertained fellow fans with many a variety of renditions of Star Trek theme songs. Gerry Ferretti, an independent writer/producer, was surprised with tickets to the con as a gift and enjoyed meeting fellow fans and taking pictures of cosplayers. Liz Lyons from Pennsylvania took the opportunity to mix family and fandom and brought her Mom to the con as a mother-daughter bonding trip. Fans got to enjoy the convention, fellow Trekkies, and build personal memories.

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Overall the Creation team members were extremely professional, hospitable, and put on a great show. The next Creation Entertainment convention in New Jersey will be in Parsippany in 2017, and we look forward to it!

Cover photo credit Ron Snowden

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I did karaoke with Connor Trinneer, Anthony Montgomery, and Dominic Keating back in Vegas 2015. Amazing time and my personal convention highlight. I can only imagine these folks had the same experience.

Excellent coverage! Many thanks.

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“The next Creation Entertainment convention in New Jersey will be in Parsippany in 2017, and we look forward to it!”

Thought Creation was ending their con in NJ. Are they just moving it?

They have been bouncing it between Parsippany and Cherry Hill for a while. I have been to both. always a good time.

Jesus, that last picture proves the Klingon Empire actually died from eating too much deep fried Gagh, not the destruction of Praxis.

Well, I guess it has been a long time since the glory of the empire was actually defended with Bat’leth in hand. Now it’s all just another desk job ;-)

Would love to do shots with Trinneer and Keating!

If I was Nicole DeBoer, I’d probably be royally pissed off by people calling me ‘cute’ by now. But SHE IS!

Nicole looks too hot in that photo, lol

“With a smaller convention there was ample time to enjoy drinks in the Crowne Plaza’s lounge, relax in large comfortable chairs with a drink and talk until the late hours of the evening about all things Trek.”

I really miss doing that at the Spacequest Casino at the Las Vegas Hilton. There is simply no place to do that at the Rio.

Atoz the Unforgettable

The Rio, while nice, is like having a convention inside a Borg cube.

I think the ENT cast must have the most fun at these things, especially Dominic — guy’s a riot! Connor seems chill, but I bet he has a wild side behind the mic.

Atoz the Unforgettable

Sang with Conner last year. He’s a blast. The whole ENT cast has developed a great convention rapport.

The Crowne Plaza Cherry Hill seems to have collected several fannish events: this; Monster-Mania Con (August); New Jersey Collectors Con (also August); and America’s oldest SF/F convention, Philcon (November). (Shameless plug for the Philadelphia Convention of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, with which I’ve been associated for 15 years, and the only one I’ll mention herein with a major focus on written SF/F.)

The hotel isn’t an ideal site, though — the ballroom level (six rooms) is short on toilets (just one pair of restrooms), and the mezzanine level (seven breakout rooms) is even shorter. If you’re a hotel guest who wants to use the pool, you have to pass through the ballroom prefunction area. The lobby, restaurant and bar are very nice, though.

The Philadelphia metro area has plenty of hotels, but it’s short on venues with the right space, amenities and pricing for mid-sized fannish conventions and expos — that’s why Philcon has been *outside* Philadelphia — heck, outside Pennsylvania — since 2007. The Fort Washington Expo Center closed in 2006, Wizard World is the only one big enough to use the Pennsylvania Convention Center, anime convention Zenkaikon (which formerly used the Scanticon in Valley Forge) has moved to Lancaster, and the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks (a former industrial facility which has been slightly spruced up in the past few years, but remains grungy around the edges) hosts BrickFair, Minefaire, Great Philadelphia Comic Con, and Retro Con.

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