Icon 29 was held over the weekend of October 8-10, 2004, at Zazza's Clarion in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The con is always held on a weekend when Iowa doesn't have a home game because the hotel is where the opposing team always stays. The entryway is festooned with pennants from all the teams that have stayed there.
We arrived at about noon on Friday, having gotten a head start by staying with family on the way the night before. We located our tables, and saw that "Mad Mike" Williamson had the tables catty-corner from us. We had some stuff for him that we were to drop off at his tables -- except then one of the other dealers told us that Mike was having car trouble and might not even make it.
We got in touch with the person in charge of the dealers' room, who verified the situation and agreed that we could run his tables until or unless he arrived. So we carried things in and got set up. Sales were very slow, but running so many tables kept us busy.
After the dealers' room closed, we went back to our room and got supper. Then we came back to see a bit of the opening ceremonies skit before the artists' reception. We also checked out the parties. However, the Demicon party still wasn't open a half hour after their sign said they would, so we gave up and headed back to our room to get some sleep.
Saturday we had breakfast and went down to the dealers' room to get our tables open for business. That was also when we got definite word that Mad Mike wouldn't be making it, and we were on our own.
The art show was letting dealers come over and look early, so we took advantage of the opportunity and got to see some stuff that hadn't been up earlier. Then we hurried back to take care of our customers. Business actually picked up, which was an improvement over the previous day.
At 1PM I went over to the art show to participate in Art in an Hour. Erin McKee had her airbrush setup and was doing some really interesting work. I ended up playing with some pens I had with me, doing some random dragons and seeing what someone else might do with it.
Then I had to hurry back to our tables and keep up with business. We got a couple of really big book sales that really helped us, but took a lot of time to deal with.
After the dealers' room closed for the night, we went back to our room to have supper. Then we took it easy for a while before time for the parties. The con suite had pizza, so we got ourselves some. We also ended up in some interesting political discussions.
Saturday night's parties were interesting. There was a birthday party, and a party for Minicon. However, it looks like the grand old days of the huge Minicons are gone for good, and they are staying quite small. After talking to the organizers of it, we finally decided to head back to our room and get to bed.
Sunday morning we got up bright and early and had breakfast before cleaning our personal belongings out of our sleeping room. Then we headed back to the main hotel and killed time in the con suite while we waited for the dealers' room to open.
Unfortunately, sales were quite slow on Sunday, so we ended up starting our packing early. I also picked up my unsold art and got it packed back up. By the time we got finished packing, there were no shoppers, so we decided to go ahead and start loading. We were able to get some people to help us, which also speeded up the process, and we were able to hit the road early.
We stopped in Moline to eat supper at a TGI Friday's, since we had a gift certificate to eat there. We were within sight of the John Deere museum, and could see antique tractors and farm implements through its glass walls.
Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel
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Last updated October 21, 2012.