Fandom Fest, round two

Drake Karns, 5, of Lafayette, Ind., has his face painted as Captain America during last year’s Fandom Fest at Lake Michigan College in Benton Township. Painting his face is Jenni Bush from Funny Face in St. Joseph.

BENTON TOWNSHIP — Geeks will again descend on the Mendel Center in Benton Township for the Second Annual Fandom Fest June 9, sponsored by 13 local libraries.

This year, the free convention will be twice as big, Benton Harbor Library Director Kat Boyer said.

“We rented the entire Grand Upton Hall this year,” she said of the hall at Lake Michigan College in Benton Township. “We had over 500 people from four different states come last year, and we had really good feedback.”

Returning will be Ring of Steel, an action theater and stunt troupe from Ann Arbor. Their live stunt demonstration will be 2-3 p.m.

Doors will open at 11 a.m. Kids cosplay awards will be given at 1:30 p.m., with adult cosplay awards at 4:45 p.m. The event ends at 7 p.m.

With the additional space are more booths. New activities this year include:

• A video game contest hosted by House of M Gaming. Featured games – “Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition,” “Dragon Ball FighterZ” and “Tekken 7.” Registration and rules can be found at

• A maker space area with 3D printer demonstrations and plenty of crafts to be made.

• Local fiction author Gerry Hines of Sawyer.

• The Lake Michigan Cosplay Club.

• An open bar from 3-7 p.m.

• Kevin Tracy, writer/illustrator of MSPaint Comics.

• Food trucks – Doggie Bag, 3D Barbeque and Mimi’s Cupcakes.

• Lemmy Cornhole from Dowagiac with cornhole boards painted with pop culture figures.

The 12 local libraries joining the Benton Harbor Library to host the event are from Berrien Springs, Bridgman, Cass District, Coloma, Dowagiac, Eau Claire, Galien, Lincoln Township, New Buffalo, Niles, St. Joseph and Watervliet.

Boyer held a mini-version of the event called “Geeky Con” the summer of 2016 at her library. She said the other library directors jumped at the chance to organize a larger event. 

No realistic weapons, gore or revealing outfits are allowed. More information can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

Contact:, 932-0361, Twitter: @HPWrege