By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey
The days of using “nerd” as a pejorative term are long gone. In Sandpoint, the nerds are here to stay, and they’re proud.
Nerds of every variety are invited to unite at this year’s Sandemonium event on Saturday, May 14 at the Sandpoint Library from noon-4 p.m. The event, which launched in 2015 as part of the library’s teen summer reading program, serves as a sort of comic-con for locals interested in characters and stories from pop culture beyond just comic books.
“The overwhelming interest and passion for cosplay, anime, gaming, sci-fi, fantasy and all things nerdy was so strong in the local teen community that a board was formed to create the first ever Sandemonium event where everyone could celebrate their inner — and outer — nerd,” said Cassandra Koszarek, current vice president of the group’s board.
“Sandemonium has since continued to provide a safe space where locals can have a comic-con experience,” she continued, “and hopefully make new friends with shared interests.”
In 2022, Sandemonium will be free to all attendees.
“Access was our primary motivator to make this year’s event free,” Koszarek said. “We wanted to make sure anyone could attend and discover what Sandemonium is all about. Partnering with the library venue is ultimately what made it possible to do the event with no cost to attendees.”
This year’s event will feature meet-ups throughout the afternoon for people interested in everything from manga to eSports, as well as panels, tabletop gaming and the chance to try out the library’s virtual reality system. Local vendors will also be on site to display their creations, and the event will culminate with a cosplay contest. While one costume will earn Best In Show and $50 cash, all participants will receive a prize.
A complete list of Sandemonium activities and times are available at sandemonium7b.com/sandemonium-2022.
As for Koszarek, she said she is most looking forward to the cosplay contest.
“The cosplay contest is always the most exciting part of any con event, and that’s true for Sandemonium,” she said. “It’s amazing to see the creativity and talent that we have in our community, and attendees also love seeing their favorite characters brought to life.”
Sandemonium 2022 will be held Saturday, May 14 from noon-4 p.m. at the Sandpoint Library, 1407 Cedar St. Learn more at sandemonium7b.com.
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