Ketchikan's second annual GeekFest is upon us

Gayle Brooks gives Thierry Oyedegi a wizard's wand on Sept. 13, 2018 during GeekFest at the Ketchikan Public Library. Brooks designed and crafted each wand herself. Staff photo by Dustin Safranek

GeekFest is four weeks away! And wow, do we have a line up for all ages! (Consider carpooling with friends, if you’re worried about parking.)

Following last year’s “First Annual Evah” Geekfest, where we focused on Harry Potter, this year’s fandoms are a triple threat: We’ll be featuring interactive experiences relating to “Star Wars,” “The Hunger Games,” and “Carmilla” the webseries.

The festivities kick off Friday, Sept. 27, with a costume party from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., complete with refreshments and plenty of exciting door prizes, like a Gold Pan Pizza gift card (Thank you Gold Pan!), plush Pikachus, Funko Pop Figures, and more. The party is co-hosted by the Teen Advisory Group, but is definitely an all ages event. Bring yourself, family, friends, and costume up!

Saturday, Sept, 28, is our big day of activities. Local artists are invited to sell their geeky-themed art and wares from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Vendor space is free, but vendors must fill out an application in advance. Teens and younger people are encouraged to apply.) We will have take-home crafts available all day, plus displays of collectibles and fun things to take your photo with. Thomas the Train will even be hanging out in the Children’s library!

From 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. will be our main “Star Wars” and “The Hunger Games” experiences. For “Star Wars,” participants get a little taste of Jedi and Stormtrooper life. For “The Hunger Games,” we’ll have escape rooms set up for people to pit their puzzle-solving skills against the clock.

From noon to 3 p.m., Gateway Games will be in with the board game StarFinder for live gaming. Don’t know how to play it? No problem; they’re there to help you! (Recommended ages 13 and up.) And at 3 p.m., Carena Williams will lead our second-annual Gaming World Update on exciting developments in the gaming world.

Also to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the publication of “Catching Fire” of the “Hunger Games Trilogy,” Chet Hugo will lead a Tribute Training session. Here, “tributes” (participants) will be trained and compete in basic outdoor survival skills as though they have been chosen for an “Arena” set in our own Southeast Alaska terrain. (Space limited, first-come, first-serve. We recommend a minimum age of 10, with an adult accompanying children who are younger.)

To mark the five-year anniversary of the now cult-classic geekdom phenomenon that is the Canadian Youtube webseries “Carmillia,” we will have a library-wide self-guided scavenger hunt that runs throughout the day. (Recommended for teen and up due to themes.)

Finally, to close out GeekFest, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. will be a competitive “Star Wars” Trivia party. With over $200 in prizes (including cash, thanks to a generous private donor!), be sure to polish up your “Star Wars” knowledge!

Oh, hey, we also have geek gear this year! For the first 200 attendees to check in at the front desk that Saturday, courtesy of IBEW’s generous support, we will have super-awesome, limited-edition commemorative wallet cards. Also, over the next two weeks, the Friends of the Library are selling (through pre-order only) T-shirts emblazoned with this year’s full-color GeekFest artwork. Proceeds go to the Friends to help fund future GeekFests. (Thank you, Friends, for making GeekFest possible!) Stop by the library and check out the display in the lobby for more details.

Interested in volunteering for a few hours that Saturday? Volunteers get a free T-shirt. Contact Michelle at the Library for more information on volunteering or being an artist vendor.

Ad-Lib is a regular feature column written by staff members of the Ketchikan Public Library and University of Alaska Southeast Ketchikan Campus Library.