The lobby of the beautifully remodeled Chattanooga Choo Choo.

Chattanooga has become a huge draw for those seeking outdoor adventure, or to witness the remarkable renaissance of the city’s downtown environs. This beautiful town has been frequently recognized as a great day-trip destination throughout the region, but this weekend boasts a great opportunity to make it a full weekend. Before their huge urban rebound, Chattanooga was already a mecca for fandom in the Southeast, bringing together loyal enthusiasts of genre literature and media for intellectual and social exchanges with their kin. All of this takes place, annually, at the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel — which has been experiencing a series of beautiful restorations and remodeling efforts — at Chattacon.

Cosplay: Always popular, for the whole family.

Organizers have assembled a full schedule of fascinating events, including a fire show, belly dancing, a concert by The Molly McGuires, burlesque, robot battles and more. Also as favorite draw is the convention’s  hospitality suite, featuring a variety of chow with actual substance. Rumors are even running rampant involving the words “free” and “beer.” Among all of these are gaming tournaments, a vendor hall, workshops, panels, contests, and an assortment of social gatherings for all ages.

Guest of Honor Mike Resnick.

In addition to those events, Chattacon 42 is bringing together a lineup of compelling guests, panelists and performers. Among them is Guest of Honor Mike Resnick, editor of Galaxy’s Edge. Mr. Resnick has a lengthy history of awards and works which will undoubtedly fuel a myriad of engaging discussions during the weekend. Along the lines of our more macabre readership here on the blog, fans of horror will be especially pleased to find the panelist lineup to include a variety of genre authors among the fantasy and sci-fi purveyors.

Events begin on Friday afternoon, January 20th, and many activities continue into the late evening both Friday and Saturday nights, with the convention scene winding down Sunday, midday. The Choo Choo is the place to stay, for sure, but a multitude of nearby hotels offer great options for those making a weekend of it. Thanks to the city’s free, wi-fi-enabled, electric shuttle busses, visitors to the con can easily pop in and out to enjoy Chattanooga’s attractions, awesome food and drink options, or travel back and forth to their hotel.

If you’re looking for a chance to experience one of the region’s longest-running conventions, in a relaxing and fun setting, Chattacon 42 is a great event to attend, kicking off a year of excellent fandom event options. We’ll see you there!