September 29, 2020

SBBalloonsBy SPENCER BEEBE

A geeky get-together was held at Kitchener’s Victoria Park pavillion on March 29.

Nerds of all ages and interests gathered at the pavillion for Nerd Fest 2014 – the first one ever held, where all sorts of activities were held for fans of fantasy and fun. Nerd Fest was hosted by the creators of Nerd Nite KW, a monthly event where nerds get together to watch presentations on a variety of topics.

“It’s aimed to be a celebration of all things nerdy in K-W,” said Ryan Consell, a member of Nerd Nite KW and one of the event organizers, who wore face paint in the style of Magneto’s mask from X-Men. “It’s for anyone who likes to learn and know and play.”

The pavillion was transformed into a hub for geeks, with tables set up with dozens of board games (including a set of giant Jenga blocks) and booths set up with representatives from many of the nerdy organizations that helped form Nerd Fest, including KW Vintage Games who had an area for visitors to play old video games like Duck Hunt and Mortal Kombat in front of a cheering crowd.

One of the Fest’s most fantastic feats of fantasy was a large display of ornately designed balloons; local balloon artist Drew Ripley had created a giant “Nerd Fest 2014” sign of balloons along with a replica of the Iron SBOculusRiftThrone from Game of Thrones – complete with swords and dragons and severed balloon heads.

“It’s tricky; the sign took me most of yesterday, and it’s composed of 285 balloons total,” said Ripley while tying up a balloon sword for his Iron Throne display. “The final build will be around 800, but I think it’s worth it, if just to see people’s faces when they get a look at the finished product.”

Also on display for visitors to try out was the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset. Anyone who tried the Rift was blown away by the realism of the display.

Throughout the day a variety of presentations were held for visitors; some were informative, such as a talk about archeology in popular culture, while others were more silly and fun, like presentations about Spider-Man and the platypus.

If all this talk of Mortal Kombat and Game of Thrones has brought out your inner nerd, check out kw.nerdnite.com or facebook.com/nerdnitekw to learn more and to participate in future events.

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