Wild Wild West Con Was An Experience! (Review)
When asked if I was going to attend Wild Wild West Con, I will admit that I wasn’t too excited. The genre of Wild West films never caught my interest and I had similar feelings towards Steampunk. Both were incredible in their own ways and I have a healthy respect for them but they just did not do it for me. A friend of mine continued to harass me with invites to Wild West Con and eventually promised her that if I applied for a press pass and got accepted, I would take the two hour trip from Phoenix to Old Tucson. Sure enough, they responded to our request immediately and granted me a pass.
Holy shit was I glad they did.
Wild West Con was unlike any other convention I had ever been to before. I, like many others, are accustomed to the cold, hard concrete convention floor with stale air, and vendor booths sprawled out. there are usually a handful of great photography spots around the convention center that a number of photographers take turns using and then you dance between those two areas and maybe some panel rooms all weekend.
So you can imagine my surprise when I drove to Old Tucson and in order to even get to the event area i had to drive down a winding trail on the mountainside that offered a breathtaking view of Arizona that I had honestly never knew existed. Shortly after, I arrived to the location which was a park that is filled of various filming locations used in classic westerns. This place was an actual town with operational buildings and everything. I spoke with the staff who were incredibly kind to obtain my pass, they guided me to their press area and in that short walk I saw horses walking on the road, folks dressed up in their favorite western or steam punk garb, and photographers racing around with cosplayers to make full use of the environment and perfect lighting.
I should mention that the weather this day was partly cloudy with no rain but a slight breeze. This meant that the harsh, Arizona, sun was not beating down on the attendees all weekend while still allowing for fantastic lighting. This was the perfect mix for an outdoor event like Wild West Con. I felt like such a kid racing around to explore the many nooks and crannies of the park. I can honestly say that when I thought of Wild West Con I did not expect to ride a carousel, horse carriage, run around a train, watch gun fights, and fight the overwhelming urge to spend all of my money to buy a cowboy hat and ride a horse.
While Wild West Con was unique in so many ways, it still remained true to some common convention elements such as having an area dedicated to vendors who engaged with fans to try and sell their many wares. They also had guests like Flash Gordon and panels that were held in various buildings like a Church or a tavern. While I did appreciate those aspects, they were completely overshadowed by how wonderful the park was.
As far as cosplay goes, costumers went above and beyond to show off their costumes. Krash Cosplay, Elfy Aubrie, and Lava Shadow Cosplay were just a few of the cosplayers I saw at the event who were running around getting into all sorts of shenanigans in costume. I enjoyed that many folks took time to customize their favorite characters into a western or steam punk theme to match the event. Original renditions always win points with me! Photographers like Alvin Johnson and Melissa Wambolt Photography were just a couple of the incredible folks racing around for fantastic shoots with various models. I can’t blame them, the scenery and lighting was far too amazing to resist!
Overall I had a blast attending Wild West Con and the only true regret I have about it is that I only went for a single day. If you have the chance to attend in 2018, I can not recommend attending enough! It is worth the admission fee and drive!
Wild West Con
- Outdoor Convention
- Fantastic Places for Photography
- Various Forms of Entertainment
- Hardworking Staff
- Maintains Common Elements of Normal Convention
- Random Horse Droppings/Pee(Small price to pay for horses though!)
- Strong Winds Blow Dirt Into Eyes/Food(Added to the experience in my opinion)
- Travel Time to Location(Personally a bonus but I know this isn't the case for everyone)