Lightsaber training, quidditch practice: RidgeCon offers variety of pop culture activities

Pack your favorite cape and your best silver bracelets, it’s time for RidgeCon — Ridgefield Library’s annual celebration of all things pop culture.

This year’s event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, will include a superhero bootcamp, an obstacle course, a prosthetic makeup demonstration, lightsaber training, and quidditch practice.

“We’re going to turn someone into an alien,” said Kristina Lareau, head of children’s services, about the makeup demonstration. “It takes about two hours.”

John Casiello, the library’s adult collection specialist, is also helping organize the event. He’s excited about the expanded offerings this year.

“We’re bringing back stuff from the past — the craft making, the cardboard cutouts, the superhero storytime, the raffles and giveaways, the green screen, the photo booth, face painting, and our annual scavenger hunt around town,” he said, “but we’re really trying to reach a broader group of fans and find activities that they find engaging. And that’s why we’ll have something like the virtual reality workshop and showcase in the tech center upstairs.”

One of those untapped groups are video game players, specifically avid fans of the game Fortnite.

“We’re going to have a ‘Loot Llama’ which is from the game, and it’s going to be a physical piñata that people can open up and loot will come out,”  Lareau said. “Fortnite is very popular right now.”

“It’s exploded more than anything else has this year,” added Casiello.

Brooms and costumes

There will be a cosplay contest again this year for people who like to dress up as Wonder Woman or a Klingon.

“People love to dress up for RidgeCon,” said Lareau. “We encourage them to come out in costume and in character.”

Not all the events require participants to prepare something ahead of time.

The quidditch practice will include a make-your-own broom booth.

“Participants will make brooms and bring them with them to practice,” said Lareau.

Music trivia

Famous movies and television shows are the backbone of RidgeCon but the foundation of all of those cultural entities is music.

“The theme songs from TV and movies are quite iconic and that’s why we’ve incorporated a music quiz that’ll run throughout the day,” said Lareau.

“Singing your favorite show or movies theme song is one of the most pure way to celebrate fandom,” added Casiello.

In the village

While the library’s campus will be the center of most activities, Lareau and Casiello encourage young families with kids to visit RidgeCon-friendly businesses.

“When you to RidgeCon, you’ll receive a button and if you wear the button around town you’ll get discounts,” said Casiello.

“Each participating store will have a RidgeCon window sticker that you’ll recognize.”

What’s popular?

Besides Fortnite, RidgeCon organizers said that this year’s hottest commodity is Black Panther.

“It’s an original concept, unlike a lot of the sequels that have came out this summer,” Lareau said.

One of those sequels that has found traction amongst consumers is Incredible 2.

“We will definitely be incorporating that in somewhere,” Lareau said.

“We might also do something for Christopher Robin, which comes out a week before our event.”

“We like to keep things fluid as we go,” said Casiello. “We have ideas that come to us the week before and it’s our challenge to get them into our plans.”