Westercon (or WesterCon) is a regional science fiction and fantasy convention founded in September 1948 by Walter J. "Doc" Dougherty of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. The location of Westercon each year is determined by a bid and voting process by the society members. Acceptable locations are cites on the continent of North America, west of the 104th west meridian, or in the state of Hawaii.
Guests of honor are chosen to showcase professionals who reside in the Westercon region. Given that there are hundreds of potential honorees, it is preferred that guests are chosen that have not been to Westercon before.
In August 1985, the first openly publicized funny animal fan party was hosted by Mark Merlino and Rod O'Riley (co-founders of the C/FO) at Westercon 38 in Sacramento, in Sheldon Linker's and Toni Poper's room.
Most room parties at sci-fi and fantasy cons have a theme, so the party was called "The Prancing Skiltaire party", after the name of Merlino's house. Animalympics was screened, along with some Warner Bros. short cartoons, and collections of furry artwork and short stories were on display. Several visitors to the party were very interested in the videos and the art. Some showed sketchbooks and collections of their furry art.
The popularity of the Prancing Skiltaire party led to the first "furry party" a year later at Westercon 39.
Through the years many events and activities have been held at Westercon. These traditions are common to most science fiction and fantasy conventions.
The First Night Icebreaker is held early on the first full day of programming to allow an informal setting for members to meet the professional attendees of the convention. Mike Glyer introduced the Ice Cream Social as a convention icebreaker in 1978 and has been popular ever since. A Masquerade costume contest is typically held on the second night of the convention. A Regency Dance has been a staple for many years, with a rock and roll dance being held as well.
- Westercon.org Official Site
- Westercon 60: "Gnomeward Bound" - San Jose, California, July 6-9, 2007
- Westercon 61: "Burning Fan" - Las Vegas, Nevada, July 3-6, 2008
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