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Attention all nerds: Steel City NerdCon is almost here

Annual display of nerdiness and pop culture to take place at Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre July 2
20190928-Nerdcon 2019-DT-22
File photo. Darren Taylor/SooToday

The organizers of Steel City NerdCon are set to unleash the annual celebration of nerdiness and pop culture upon Sault Ste. Marie for a fourth year. 

The one-day event is slated to take place at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Museum on Saturday, July 2 from 12-6 p.m., marking the first time NerdCon has been held during the summer. 

“It’s going to be a learning experience one way or the other,” said Steel City NerdCon co-founder Michael Turcotte, who also owns and operates Vintage Games and Junque on Queen Street East. “Someone else asked me if I thought that too many people would be out of town — and I said quite possibly, but at the same time, there will be quite a bit of tourism in town. So, you’ve got to weigh it out both ways, right?”

At least 50 vendors will set up shop for NerdCon, with new vendors from Ontario and Quebec taking part this year. The event will also feature live face painting and illusionist Ryan McFarling, in addition to Yu-Gi-Oh! and Flesh and Blood trading card game tournaments. 

The ever-popular video game tournament also returns for this year’s event.

“It’s kind of your classic NerdCon,” Turcotte said. 

Exposure is always a big deal for vendors, Turcotte says, but Steel City NerdCon also gives collectors an outlet to expand or specialize their collection by selling certain pieces. It’s also a way for vendors to network and make connections.

“If they don’t have a storefront or a brick and mortar, they have their online community. But this gives them more of an in-person community that may not have found them online,” he said. 

Although organizers lost “a ton of money” by cancelling NerdCon in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Turcotte says they’re hoping for a big turnout this year. 

“Every year it’s gotten bigger crowd wise. I mean, the first one we did was at our store location and the attendance was roughly 1,000 people, and it’s just went up since then,” he said. 

Tickets for this year’s edition of Steel City NerdCon can be purchased online or by visiting Vintage Games and Junque.