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FantasyCon 2014 

When: July 3-5, 11 a.m. 2014
Price: $25-$40
fantasycon.com
Like Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, Salt Lake City’s FantasyCon is set to begin with one helluva dwarf party. The kick-off event for the multi-day fantasy convention will feature eight dwarves, two hobbits and a wizard, who all journeyed from Tolkien’s Middle Earth to party together on one stage to the fine dance stylings of DJ Frodo—that is, DJ Elijah Wood. Promoted as being one of the most interactive conventions on the market, FantasyCon not only provides amazing access to various guests from the world of fantasy movies, television and literature, but is also a great way for fans to soak in the culture via immersive experiences. There will be real movie sets and props that visitors are invited to explore, as well as a bunch of hands-on craft and demonstration opportunities. Or, if you feel up for the something even more interactive, there are live gaming and live-action role-playing opportunities galore. Then there are panels and discussions on such wide-ranging topics as Iceland’s influence on the world of fantasy, how to make realistic cosplay outfits and making your personal fantasy a reality. If you like more debate-oriented panels, consider Disney Princesses vs. the female royalty from Game of Thrones, Twilight’s werewolves vs. vampires, and Lovecraft vs. Rowling. The point is that FantasyCon is far more than a chance for an expensive photo op with the likes of Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, The World’s End) and Frodo. Although, of course, you’re welcome to do that, too. (Jacob Stringer, City Weekly)

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