Plan for This Year’s Events

Alice FallingWith a new year comes new adventures, and we want to help you enjoy as many as you can with as little stress as possible. While many ill-prepared adventurers may have gone on quests without their pocket handkerchiefs, there is no reason you must lose sleep and stomach lining.

So here’s an overview of The Pandora Society’s upcoming attractions with tips, tricks, and timelines to help you prepare.

February 6th: The Voodoo Carnival

2016 Voodoo Banner 111615

First get your tickets and make your plans. Will you be bringing a date? Will you be attending with friends?

Use January to get your costume ready. We’ve all done the whole make-a-costume-the-night-before gig, and while it can be a rush in the fun sense, it’s always a rush in the literal one.

Find directions ahead of time if you can, because this is the Ohio River Valley, where even the seasons don’t know what’s going on. I won’t say the s-word, but it will be February, and the s-word is a possibility. Fighting the s-word and a bad batch of Google map print outs is a recipe for frustration.


April 7th – 10th: The International Steampunk Symposium

January – If you do not have your tickets, you ought to – and soon. Discounts frequently appear on our Facebook page, where you can also find further information about this event, and keep up to speed with acts, vendors, and events as they are announced. Even more importantly, following our Facebook page will let you know when rooms in the host hotel open up, and as anyone who has ever attended a party in the Hall of Debauchery can attest – it’s important to have a landing site ready for the inevitable crash.

This is a good time to begin gathering materials for your costumes and/or props. Making can be a long process, and it’s better to get a head start than to fall behind. Besides, a lot of shops offer discounts in January and February on old stock as they bring in wares for the new season.

If you plan to spend money on anything besides your ticket (the vendor hall is calling…) start saving now. Saving ten or fifteen bucks a week won’t put too much strain on your finances, but it will add up to a pleasant wad of pocket money by April.

February – Airships will be mobilizing to build dirigibles and other unconventional items for the annual airship games, but even if you are not affiliated with a larger group, this is a good time to look ahead. Do you want to participate in the costume competition? If so, you might want to double check that hem. Are you creating an item for the Curiosities Exhibit? If you haven’t already gotten started, this is the time.

Take this opportunity to plan the next month’s projects, because the Symposium is closer than you think.

March – A lot of your friends have not planned ahead. They are now requesting help with not only projects, but lodging. The Symposium is right around the corner – it’s time to make final plans. How many people will you share a room with? How will you work out expenses?

If your New Year’s resolutions are going well, you may be a rather different shape than you were when you started making that jacket. This is a good month to put together all the half-finished pieces you’ve been procrastinating over without going into full-blown panic.

April – You have a week. Keep calm. Do you have your tickets? Do you have your hotel room? Is your costume ready? Are your props ready for action?

Regardless of whether or not you are sharing a room, it’s a good idea to think about food. Bringing food from home can save you time and stress during the Symposium. Even if you can afford to eat out for every meal, the sad fact is that by the time you leave the concerts, panels, and room parties you’ve been waiting all year to attend, most restaurants will be closed. There are some places nearby that serve patrons 24 hours, but let’s be honest – do you really want to drive around in a corset if you don’t have to? The pinch is real, my friend.

If you want to balance fun with efficiency, simply make sure the room you have reserved has a mini fridge (most do, these days) and leave a little earlier than planned so you can visit one of the many nearby grocery stores – Jungle Jim’s is obviously the most fun!

Pack as much as you can a couple days before the Symposium. Obviously, you can’t pack your toothbrush that early, and for the love of Cthulhu, don’t skip deodorant for half a week. But any dress shoes, secondary layers, and costume make-up can be readied in advance.

Get as much sleep as you can beforehand, because you will be on a somewhat different schedule over the weekend.

Relax, and remember that the fun is so close you can almost touch it.


July 16th : Cincinnati Midsummer Masquerade

Midsummer 2016 113015 Banner

April – The Symposium is over and you can take a minute to breathe. Or be generous and take two minutes. Then it’s time to start planning for the Masquerade.

Do you have tickets? Are they available yet? If so, get ‘em. If not, keep an eye on the Facebook page so you can take advantage of advance sales.

What, oh what, shall you disguise yourself as this year?

May – Use seasonal fabric sales to supplement your existing stock and start working on any time-consuming props. Think wings.

Begin construction asap.

June – Continue your good work, and remember that this event is in the summer, and it will be outside. If you’re brave, take your costume for a test run and see if it suits the weather. If not, you have plenty of time for alterations.

July – Finishing touches! Make driving arrangements in advance – like drawing lots for the DD.


October 15th : Cincinnati Halloween Masquerade

2016 Halloween Banner 111515

July – You know the drill. Shift from mourning the end of one event to prepping for the next! It’s time to trade in the glitter for bat wings – or apply the glitter to your bat wings – whatever flips your flappers.

Check for ticket availability and make sure you’re up to speed with any recent developments.

August – Consider season, theme, and venue as you design and gather materials for your costume. This is an all house event at the Southgate House Revival.

September – Costumes! Costumes everywhere!

October – Tis the season to get spooky. Figure out who you are attending with, make driving arrangements, and get directions ahead of time.



November 11th – 13th : Pandoracon

April – July: Get tickets and a hotel room. Sales and discounts will pop up on our Facebook page from time to time, and it’s best to get the big items out of the way so you can focus on the important things – like how many lights you need to sew into those new leggings you bought.

Plan your costumes and take advantage of summer sales at craft, fabric, and hardware stores. Visit your favorite curiosity and second-hand shops as often as you can so you can get inspiration and practical elements for your design.

Begin saving a little at a time. Even five bucks a week will add up by the time November arrives, and you’ll be really happy you thought so far ahead when you see the vendor hall.

August: Let the construction begin! Although November is a long way off, there are plenty of other events happening throughout the autumn, and Pandoracon will sneak up faster than you might expect. Keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates and event details. You may desire certain practical elements in your costume you hadn’t anticipated, or you might decide that this is the time to break out that one design you’ve been too cautious to actually build.

September: Plan this month and next month very carefully, because the closer Pandoracon gets, the greater the anxiety will grow. You can make enormous projects if you just break them into manageable pieces.

October: Figure out final lodging details. Keep on truckin’.

November: Calm down. You have a week and half before the first day of the convention. You can do this. Pack early, leave early, go to bed early. It’s easier to say than do, but it is possible (sometimes).

Check out what food is nearby. Will you be able to eat out a lot? Are there places nearby open late? Really late? Or you could go grocery shopping and keep some goodies in your room.

Do not wait until the last minute to figure out directions. Getting lost can be an adventure, but a detour on the way to an adventure you have tickets for can be a struggle.

Click here to see the FULL list of ALL events offered by The Pandora Society for 2016


M. Leigh Hood is a rare beast of the Cincinnati wilderness typically preoccupied with writing, nerding, and filming The Spittoon List. For more articles and stories by M. Leigh Hood, look HERE.

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