Convention Banquet

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A convention banquet is an activity that takes place at a convention, usually on the con's last official night (most often a Saturday).

It is not only a community meal, but was often the place for speeches by guests of honor and other leaders. [1]

Sometimes fans attend in costume. [2]

Some of the con's social activities also take place at this banquet, or shortly afterwards in a separate program. These activities include the announcements of fan awards, skits, and other entertainment.

The banquet's cost is sometimes included in the cost of the con admission, but is just as often a separate fee.

Guests of honor are seated at tables with fans of stature, or with fans who have won a contest.

The food is usually fairly forgettable.

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Fan Comments


Well, as you've probably heard by now, about half the people at the con ended up sick during the next week, with some mysterious weakening ailment. Dubbed Trekkionaire's disease (or con-stipation) or as Lori Chapek-Carleton calls it, the convention crud. It was probably caused by those hot dogs, or the hotel ice, or that "banana cream pie from the kitchens of Landru" from the banquet. [3]


Saturday evening featured the big Summerfest banquet. The cocktail hour and costume judging coincided and this is where the little procession through the casino on the way to the main hall raised the most eyebrows. Costumes were judged on Catherine, Vincent, juvenile Vincent, couple, tunnel dwellers, and best of show. Most people went as tunnel dwellers or in very beautiful costumes from "Masques", but some of the more original were the costumes from Germany (best Catherine and Vincent), a woman with a lantern, a Catherine from "Temptation", and best of show - a couple dressed as the original Beauty and the Beast. We were treated to a Las Vegas high school group called The Madrigals in medieval costume who did a Tunnel Con tape, including music set to Sonnet 29 and to Shelley's poem "She Walks in Beauty".

The banquet began with a moving candle lighting ceremony from "Dead of Winter" ("Each year, we begin this feast in darkness ...") and we linked hands for grace. Armin Shimerman and Ritch Brinkley read prepared blessings and after an excellent buffet meal we heard more from The Madrigals, who were enjoyed especially by the guests at the head table. The guests were presented with leis from a Hawaiian fan and the costume awards were then given out. [4]

Roy Dotrice was not involved in any "planned 'skit' for the banquet that went awry, etc.," actually the Dotrices had planned something totally different. They had hoped to secretly cut their stay in England short, send a videotaped greeting as planned to TunnelCon, then sneak into Las Vegas, even stay at another hotel, and make a surprise entrance at the banquet. Wow, would that have ever made a stir — like a Caesar returning to Rome. [5]


... [I got] dressed in my long dress, I went down to the ballroom for the Medieval Banquet. Before we ate, the Pavanne dance from Hernes Son was performed by about a dozen folks, led by Julianne Toomey. It was done very well. The banquet itself was relaxing and fun-good conversation and good eats! [6]


All the meals were included in the reasonable weekend cost. They were served in the university dining hall lined with long tables. The Brits called it "institutional food" but it was really pretty good and plentiful. The special Saturday banquet fare was quite elegant, consisting of a large salmon mold, wine and a variety of other dishes.[7]


Banquet Saturday night "Hawaiian dress-up" affair. Program to include various guests, retrospectives, perspectives, etc. Hope to have fan "music" videos done on the show; stage parody:"Every Hawaii Five-O Episode Ever Filmed — in Five Minutes"; announcement of art show winners; blooper reel? Many surprises. [8]


  1. ^ "On Saturday night, Dorothy C. Fontana was the Toastmistress at the banquet; and some banquet it was! Ms. Fontana, along with Gene Roddenberry and David Gerrold, made this banquet the most enjoyable I have ever attended." -- Dave Lillard in Star-Borne v.2 n.9
  2. ^ "Everyone in their finest and some in costume." -- from Of Love and Hope #1 (1994)
  3. ^ from the back cover of Star Trek America -- 1977 -- A Retrospective
  4. ^ TunnelCon 1 Con Reports, Archived version
  5. ^ about TunnelCon in Pipeline v.3 n.8/9
  6. ^ Weekend in Sherwood III
  7. ^ about Closet Con in Come Together #21, Sept 1995.
  8. ^ from the progress report for Mahalo Con