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Thursday, July 18, 2024

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Bartow Con Boldly Goes into Inaugural Event with Star Trek Stars

by James Coulter

Robin Curtis reached for the stars as an actress, and that allowed her to star in many iconic roles. Her most famous role was playing Vulcan Lieutenant Saavik in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. She also played many smaller roles in television shows like Knight Rider, MacGyver, and Babylon 5.

Robin was one of the many guests of honor at the inaugural BartowCon hosted last Saturday. Having been invited by her old friend Joel Multz and his friends Lori and Sean Syndenski, she was able to meet many of her loyal fans to take photos, sign autographs, and answer questions.

“I am tickled pink to be here this year,” she said. “I understand these people galvanize local businesses and start to rock Downtown Bartow with a February event. It is wonderful to see such a great little town come alive. This event exceeded my expectations. There are lots of folks here in costumes. People are bringing their creative juices. It is well organized. It looks to be well attended with lots of vendors. What more can you ask?”

Another big star attending this year’s event was Vanessa Branch, another actress known for her performances in Star Trek and Pirates of the Caribbean. The event drew her to Bartow, and though she saw little of this little town, what little she had seen made her fall in love with it.

“It looks adorable,” she said. “We are excited to be here. It has a real community feel to it. I was invited to come. It is great so far. It is nice with a pretty good turnout. I enjoy meeting people. It is always the people you get to talk to that make a convention special.”

The Comic Con-inspired event was hosted at the Bartow Civic Center on Saturday. Aside from its special guest stars, the event also featured several vendors and booths, as well as many fun activities like costume contests. Attendees were able to share their love for their favorite sci-fi and fantasy media through cosplay, or “costume play.” One vendor even created their replica of a Dalek, a robot antagonist from the sci-fi series Doctor Who.

Bartow Con was hosted by husband and wife team Sean and Lori Seandynski. For more than a decade, these two have hosted similar local events like the annual SyFy Bartow. They plan on hosting Bartow Con again next year, and their next new event will be the Toy and Game Fair at Fort Meade in November.

Sean currently considers himself “retired”, working his current job at the 102.9 radio station. Nevertheless, he still participates in his wife’s events. His expectations for the inaugural Bartow Con more than met his expectations, and his expectations remain even higher for next year’s event.

“My expectations are over what I expected so far,” he said. “I am excited about it. The superstars I have today are drawing the people and I love it. We booked another event next year for the same location. We expect to grow for a bigger venue. We are looking at Winter Haven or

Lakeland. We love what we do. We love our guests and everyone who comes to enjoy sci-fi and fantasy.”

author avatar
Staff Reporter

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