Fal-Con draws hundreds to Montevallo

Fal-Con committee members during the closing ceremonies of the convention. From left, convention-goer R.J. O'Connel, Fal-Con Events Chair Mollie Wyatt, Technology Chair Jimmy Boynton, PR Chair Susan Sabia, Finance Chair Trevor Jones, Fal-Con volunteer Peyton Talley, Media Chair A.J. Diaz, and Security Chair Sara Cucksee. (Contributed)

Fal-Con committee members during the closing ceremonies of the convention. From left, convention-goer R.J. O’Connel, Fal-Con Events Chair Mollie Wyatt, Technology Chair Jimmy Boynton, PR Chair Susan Sabia, Finance Chair Trevor Jones, Fal-Con volunteer Peyton Talley, Media Chair A.J. Diaz, and Security Chair Sara Cucksee. (Contributed)

By MICHELLE ADAMS / Community Columnist
Anime, gaming, sci-fi and fantasy—these are the entertainment genres celebrated at the first annual Fal-Con, held in Montevallo, October 18-19.
Fal-Con developed from an off-handed comment by a University of Montevallo student, “wouldn’t it be cool if Montevallo had an Anime convention” into a fully conceived, city-sponsored event.
“Originally, we hoped to hold the convention on the UM campus,” Fal-Con Finance Chairman and University of Montevallo senior, Trevor Jones said. “Due to certain UM campus policies, we had to seek another venue, which caused us to focus on other Birmingham-area locations in Pelham and Hoover, but I really wanted to keep this a Montevallo event.”
Jones sought support from the city, presenting the idea for the convention to the city council, as well as to the Echizen, Japan sister-city commission.
“We were fortunate that both groups loved our idea, and since we are ultimately celebrating a Japanese entertainment and art form, it makes sense that our convention remain in the city with a sister-city in Japan,” Jones said.
Now, as a city-sponsored event, Montevallo High School opened its doors as the venue, and welcomed more than 300 Anime and gaming fans from all over the Southeast, traveling to Montevallo from Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida and even Virginia.
Activities provided to convention-goers included a concert by Jennifer Cihi, English singer for “Sailor Moon,” as well as fan panels to discuss particular Anime, gaming or technology topics and a cosplay (costume play) contest.
The hope of the Fal-Con committee is that everything about our convention is inclusive,” Jones said.  “From appreciating a variety of characters through cosplay to the variety of topics and gaming tournaments we offer, we want there to be something for every type of fan.  This is an opportunity for fans to celebrate the genres they love, to meet and socialize with other fans, to learn about new elements of the culture and to celebrate the fans themselves.”
The first Fal-Con was a success and future hopes are focused on making this an annual event and expanding in such a way that improves the opportunities for convention-goers and highlights assets of the city of Montevallo.