Thousands of attendees were delighted to celebrate their fandoms and favorite shows and stars at Fan Fest Chicago 2018 over the weekend of April 7th & 8th at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL.
Favorite features of Walker Stalker Con and Heroes & Villains Fan Fest goers are the live question and answer panels, as well as the highly coveted meet-and-greet opportunities with their favorite stars of film and screen. CW18's primetime network stars were once again well represented on the Heroes & Villains Fan Fest side of the convention center.
Saturday featured the event's first ever Chicago RIVERDALE panel with stars Lili Reinhart (Betty Cooper) and Madelaine Petsch (Cheryl Blossom). Fans of the pop culture phenomenon packed the house to see two of the show's River Vixens, who took questions from the eager crowd during a 45 minute session guest-moderated by CW18's own CW Insider Bryon Jende. The up and coming actresses talked storylines, shared behind the scene stories, and cemented their place in the fan base's hearts.
Next, the panel main stage hosted BLACK LIGHTNING stars Cress Williams (Jefferson Pierce), Marvin "Krondon" Jones III (Tobias Whale), and renowned character actor James Remar (Peter Gambi) for their own well-received question and answer session. All three earnestly shared their appreciation for the support of fans and a cast that rises to the challenge of breaking ground and exploring timely, heavy issues that are faced by real-life Americans and people around the world today.
ARROW star (and Heroes & Villains Fan Fest advocate and co-founder) Stephen Amell took to two separate stages over the course of the weekend. Saturday saw a flurry of activity at Fan Fest's live stage on the convention floor as Original Team Arrow (or OTA) cast members Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak) and David Ramsey (John Diggle) joined Mr. Amell for an interview on the secondary event stage that puts celebrity guests right in the thick of things. He also kicked off Sunday's lineup on the main stage with a Green Arrow panel with fans of the Emerald Archer.
The always entertaining John Barrowman (CW's ARROW-verse villain Malcolm Merlin) cosplayed in a custom Wonder Woman ensemble and heels for his live panel on Saturday. He shared stories of his time in the ARROW-verse, his disappointment in seeing his character killed off (at least for now), and his other projects including theater, Dr. Who and Torchwood. Mr. Barrowman teased attendees with his trademark flirtatious, saucy stories and interactions with fans.
Over the course of the weekend these guests and a full roster of others spent hours at their booths and in photo sessions, meeting with and chatting up fans who adore their talents and work. Another memorable weekend is in the books, and the Fan Fest staff and volunteers will return for a sixth year to Rosemont. Fan Fest organizers are promising an even bigger event April 19th-21st, 2019 with more panels, activities, and celebrity guests. Early bird discounted tickets are already on sale here.
See you next year, Chicago!