Rivercon XXV, the last Rivercon ever, was held over the weekend of July 28-30, 2000, at the Executive West hotel in Lousiville, Kentucky. Because the people who had been running Rivercon were losing their energy and enthusiasm after having run it so many times, they decided they wanted to have it go out with a bang instead of a whimper, and threw a spectacularly big convention. Every guest from previous Rivercons was invited, although not all were able to make it.
We arrived as early as possible on Friday, although the dealers' room wasn't technically open for another hour. However, the room was already set up and we had our table assignment, and we wanted to get an early start and beat the heat. Actually, we weren't even the first dealers to start bringing stuff in -- we were the third.
We got our stuff in and got our tables set up and ready to do business in good time for the actual opening of the dealers' room to the general con membership. I also got my art on the art show.
Business was good all afternoon, although not spectacular. We ordered a pizza for supper, since there would be no time to go out to eat after the dealers' room closed and before time for the ice cream social in the evening. Since the ice cream social was also going to be the only scheduled time for author signings, we gathered up books by the guests to get them signed.
The ice cream social was handled a little differently this year. In past years, the ice cream has been in large bowls, and people could ladle out as much as they wanted for themselves. This time it was pre-scooped into bowls, two scoops per bowl, and only the toppings were self-serve. However, it was an overall success.
After the ice cream social, we made the rounds of the parties. There were a number of excellent parties, including the one for the new Louisville con, ConGlomeration, which will begin next year. After the parties, we turned in for the night.
Saturday began bright and early, since we had to get down to the dealers' room and get our tables opened for business. Sales were somewhat slow at first, but relatively steady throughout the day. I also was quite happy to note during my visits to the art show that I had bids on a number of my pieces.
After the dealers' room closed for the evening, we joined the FOSFAX crowd for their annual dinner in the hotel restaurant, the Golden Targ. There we had a delicious meal and wonderful conversation.
After dinner, we made the rounds of the parties. I also learned that one of my pieces had received a last-minute third bid and went to auction (the art auction was at the same time as the FOSFAX dinner, so I wasn't able to attend).
Sunday was in some ways a letdown-day, since there was the profound awareness that the con was almost over, and this time there would not be another Rivercon to anticipate next year. We did fair but rather slow business in the dealers' room. I went up to the art show and collected my unsold art, as well as the biggest check I have ever received for an art show. Then it was time to pack up and load out.
After we had all our unsold merchandise out of the dealers' room and loaded, we went back to the con suite one last time to say our good-byes. Then it was time to head back to mundania.
Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel
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Last updated October 21, 2012.