Rivercon XXIV is the next-to-last gathering of the annual science fiction convention held in Louisville, Kentucky. It was held over the weekend of July 30 to August 1, 1999, at the Executive-West Inn in Louisville.
Because the weather forecast for that weekend was calling for extreme temperature and humidity, we made a point of getting there as early as possible, so we could start carrying merchandise in the moment the dealers' room opened. Even so, it was already miserably hot and humid, which made the labor even more unpleasant. But we were able to get everything inside and set up in reasonably good time. We also got checked into our room so that we could take our personal belongings inside to air conditioning. Then I got my art on the art show. and we went to get our badges as soon as con registration opened.
The con suite was open by that time, and had the usual supply of snackies and sodas. The latter were particularly welcome to throats parched by doing so much hauling in such unpleasant weather.
Then the dealers' room opened and we settled into the routine of keeping shop. Business was rather slow but steady all afternoon, until time to close up shop for the evening.
We ordered a pizza, since there weren't any good restaurants within walking distance and we didn't want to risk losing our good parking spot. We also visited the Ice Cream Social for some desert. Then we made the rounds of the parties before turning in for the night.
Saturday was another hot and humid day, which we hoped to spend entirely indoors under air conditioning. However that was not to be. A little after noon, the fire alarm suddenly went off (not more than fifteen minutes after we'd scooted out a guy who was traipsing around the dealers' room with a huge smelly cigar). At first we were hoping that it was just a false alarm, but con security came around and told us we had to evacuate the building. So we trudged out into the unbearable heat and humidity with a crowd of other fen, all speculating about what could be the matter. The fire engines came, and after what seemed like forever, we finally got the all-clear and could go back inside.
After the dealers' room closed, we joined the FOSFAX crowd for the annual FOSFAX dinner in the hotel restaurant. There was good food and really great conversation to be enjoyed by all. Afterward I headed upstairs to catch the remainder of the art auction. However, there didn't seem to be that many pieces up to auction and worse yet, the bidding was somewhat less than enthusiastic. After it was over we made the rounds of the parties and turned in for the night.
Sunday we finally got some rain, which did make a little dent in the heat. Business remained rather slow in the dealers' room, but I did sell several of my pieces in the art show. I went up to retrieve the unsold pieces and get my check for my sales. By then it was time to start breaking down and packing for the long trip back home. The rain had stopped by the time we actually carted things back out, but it was still hot and humid enough to be unpleasant. Then it was time to say our last goodbyes to fannish friends before heading back home.
Next year's Rivercon, to be held the weekend of July 28-30, will be the last Rivercon ever. The concom has decided to make sure the con will go out with a bang instead of a whimper, and is inviting as many as possible of the con's previous guests back. Because it is going to be such a big event, it is very likely that the hotel will fill up rapidly, so make your reservations early if you wish to attend.
Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel
Permission is granted for reproduction in fanzines and other non-profit fannish publications.
For permission to quote or reprint in other venues, contact Leigh Kimmel
Last updated October 21, 2012.