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“Rise Of The Robots” Coming To SyFy Bartow 2021

“Rise Of The Robots” Coming To SyFy Bartow 2021

by James Coulter

We interrupt this program with breaking news: robots have been sighted marching towards Bartow. From iron giants to droids and Daleks, these mechanical marvels and menaces are making their way downtown. Sources claim they will be assembling along Main Street for the annual SyFy Bartow on Feb. 20, 2021, from 11 AM to 6 PM.

Despite these uncertain times, the eighth annual outdoor sci-fi event will go on as scheduled this year with more than 100 vendors showcasing memorabilia for comic books, video games, and other sci-fi geek-related properties.

Whether you prefer Star Trek or Star Wars, Marvel or DC, Game of Thrones or Harry Potter, if you are a member of any fandom, you are sure to find something that appeals to you at the annual outdoor convention. Participating in this year’s event areguests including Robert Robinson, author of “Legend Tripper,”and Mark Muncy, author of “Eerie Florida.”

The annual SyFy Car Show will also be hosted this year in conjunction with the main event. Dozens of cars will be on display, many inspired by fictional vehicles such as Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine, Back To The Future’s DeLorean, and even a giant replica of a Cylon Raider from Battlestar Galactica.

More than merely serving as a gathering place for geeks and fans of all sorts, SyFy Bartow also serves as a fundraiser for Main Street Bartow, Inc. Many local eateries and shops will also remain open and participating, allowing attendees to peruse and support local businesses.

“It is all about bringing awareness to Main Street Bartow,” said Sean Serdynski, event host and organizer. “People have beenstruggling through the COVID year, along with our main street businesses. We are trying to bring them a little light because this is one of the biggest events that Bartow hosts.”

Main Street Bartow, which helps host the event, hosts many others throughout the year, including the upcoming Jeepin’ With Judd, the annual Fall Festival, and monthly Third Fridays. To help promote Third Fridays, SyFy Bartow will be hosting a special Friday Night event on Feb. 19 with live entertainment, vendors, and social distance-friendly activities.

The biggest challenge hosting this year’s event, no doubt, will be ensuring the health and safety of attendees during the current COVID-19 crisis. Special precautions will be taken, including hand sanitizer stations, mask requirements for vendors, and booths socially-distanced.

Because of the cancelations of events over the past year, and with this event being the biggest of the year, SyFy Bartow will be the example that all other events will follow in the coming year, Sean said.

Typically SyFy Bartow draws in more than 30,000 with nearly 170 vendors; however, due to the current situation, necessarydownsizes had to be made for the event, though hopes remain high that it will still draw in sizeable crowds.

“A lot of people plan to come to this event, and I am expecting it to be large as well because everyone has been cooped up and looking for something to do,” Sean said.

Sean especially loves the car show, as it helps draw in an equally sizeable crowd, especially due to all of the themed cars and replicas of fictional vehicles such as Doctor Who’s Tardis and the Dukes of Hazzard’s General Lee. Usually, nearly 150 vehicles are displayed each year, though their numbers have since been downsized to 75 to maintain safety guidelines.

“I call the car show the heart of SyFy Bartow because everyone loves a good car show, and we do not have regular cars…That has been my favorite part of the event,” he said.

SyFy Bartow will be hosted in Downtown Bartow on Feb. 20 from 11 AM to 6 PM For more information, visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/syfybartow

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Staff Reporter

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