Boing Boing's Weekend of Wonder, in association with Baby Tattoo, is our 3-day extravaganza at the historic Mission Inn in Riverside, California September 18-20, 2015. Tickets are selling fast. If you are thinking about joining us, register now. If you can't decide, here are 10 great reasons to come:
1. Limited Size We've been to lots of other events and fairs over the years, and while they offered fun attractions, they were also very crowded. Much of the time we felt like sweaty herd animals, pushing our way through thick crowds just to get a glimpse of something cool or to buy a dried-up corn dog or a styrofoam cup of weak sour coffee. Weekend of Wonder is the anti-fair. We are limiting the number of attendees to 75, and everyone who comes will get to experience everything on the schedule without long waits or anxiety-inducing throngs. You will be pampered and delighted from the moment you arrive until the moment you depart. In the photo above, my daughter Jane, Boing Boing's publisher Jason, and our friends enjoy a Friday night meal at Beyond Brookledge, the Baby Tattoo event that served as a model for Weekend of Wonder.
2. Luxurious Venue For three days Happy Mutants are taking over a fantastic resort that Jason and I have visited and fallen in love with. You will too. Framed by its breathtaking Spanish Mission-style architecture, the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa has remained faithful to the grand style and ambiance enjoyed by its very first guests in 1876. The majestic visuals remain in the form of grand archways, flying buttresses and lofty domes and towers. It's a perfect venue for a 3-day festival of creativity. We are giving special tours of this awe-inducing resort that will take you into unusual areas that are closed even to employees of the hotel. I've been to the Mission Inn several times, and each time I go I discover something new about it. It occupies a full city block of Riverside and is a truly magical place. (See additional photos below.)
3. Fantastic Food We have lots of group dining activities planned! On Friday evening we are taking a tour of a local printer, Prints on Wood, where we'll enjoy a catered dinner while Prints on Wood produces the limited edition prints by Coop that the artist will sign and give to each attendee. On Saturday evening we will take a short walk to Tio's Tacos, a delicious Mexican restaurant, where we will dine in the mind-boggling outsider-art garden that was created and maintained by the restaurant's owner. The Sunday brunch at the hotel is an all-you-can eat affair with dozens of dishes to choose from. And as a special bonus, Mark will bring his custom espresso machine to pull shots of tar-thick espresso for anyone who needs a jolt of caffeine.
4. Coop We are thrilled that our friend Coop, famous rock poster illustrator and fine artist, is joining us for the week. He is creating a special illustration for the event, and our sponsors, Prints on Wood, are going to make a limited-edition print (on wood!) for every attendee. Coop will sign each print and hand them out during the event. He will also hang out during the weekend to chat and enjoy the activities and performances with the everyone else. The Coop print is just one of many amazing goodies that Weekend of Wonder attendees will be given at the event.
5. Adventure Time Fun with Martin and Olivia Olson Meet a couple of Adventure Time superstars! Olivia Olson is a singer-songwriter and actress, known for her voice roles as Vanessa Doofenshmirtz in Phineas and Ferb and Marceline the Vampire Queen in Adventure Time. In 2003 Olivia sang "All I want for Christmas" in the movie Love, Actually when she was 11 years old. Here's Olivia singing as Marceline from Adventure Time.
Martin Olson is the author of the Adventure Time Encyclopaedia and the Encyclopaedia of Hell, published by our friends at Feral House and designed by the great Sean "Craphound" Tejaratchi. He was the lead writer for the first season of Phineas and Ferb and is the voice of Adventure Time's Hunson Abadeer (a.k.a. the Lord of Evil), Marceline's father and ruler of the Nightosphere.
Together Martin and Olivia made full-length CD of songs called The Father Daughter Album of Unspeakable Beauty. They will perform songs from the CD at Weekend of Wonder as well as sign copies of their upcoming book Adventure Time: The Enchiridion & Marcy's Super Secret Scrapbook. Everyone who attends our Weekend of Wonder will receive a copy of the Adventure Time Encyclopaedia, signed my Martin and Olivia.
6. Andrew Mayne Magician, author, and inventor Andrew Mayne, star of A&E's magic reality show Don't Trust Andrew Mayne will be one of our featured guests/workshop runners. He's going to teach a workshop on how to get out of a straitjacket and will also discuss and sign his new thriller, Name of the Devil: A Jessica Blackwood Novel, which stars a former magician who becomes an FBI agent.
7. Recreational Lock Picking Workshop John Edgar Park was the host of Make Television and is a producer at Disney Research. He's an amazingly multi-talented person who likes to spend his spare time walking up and down the streets of Burbank collecting broken-off street sweeper blades that he turns into lock picking tools. He's a lock-picking whiz. He even picked a lock on a door in my house that I didn't have a key for. John will be giving each attendee a lock picking kit and will teach everyone how to pick locks.
8. Toilet Train Your Kitty and Learn How to Market Your Ideas Cute pictures of cats are such a big part of what makes the internet great, to Boing Boing anyway, that we couldn't possibly put on the Weekend of Wonder with out "kittehs" being involved. Luckily for us, we happen to be friends with Perre DiCarlo! Perre's book Kick Litter won nine design and comedy awards and was featured in HOW's Design Annual. At Weekend of Wonder, he'll present his 9 steps to convince your cat to give up the litter box and use the potty instead.
9. 49 Boxes Michael Borys is a passionate collector of interesting artifacts and designer of unique puzzles. He has a deep love for magic. He is also a brilliant story teller. He has combined these talents to create 49 Boxes, a unique group puzzle solving challenge that is sure to be one of the highlights of Weekend of Wonder. Read Jason's account of the 49 Boxes experience, with lots of photos.
10. You! As guests, you will be treated like like happy mutant royals. We've already met several of you at our recent pre-WoW taco party, and we guarantee that a big part of what will make WoW special is getting to know each other. Guests and presenters are sharing all the experiences together, and while there will be time for informal conversation, we are looking forward to having everyone contribute to the energy of the weekend through some special events designed to showcase the real star: you. We're having a talent show on one evening, so if you happen to be a musician, ventriloquist, magician, juggler, or possessor of an unusual talent, we want you to get up on stage and show us what you've got.
We are also hosting a Show and Tell! Bring something to share! Something you treasure! Something you've made! Or just something you think will entertain the group!
We know that Boing Boing events attract engaged, creative folks who are every bit as expert and interesting as our presenters, so we wanted to make sure everyone has an opportunity to share! If you've designed it, built it, collected it, or just love it — bring something with you that'll fascinate us all!
Every attendee who brings something they deem cool will have a few minutes to describe, or demonstrate, their THING to the group.
I could easily give you another 10 reasons to attend Weekend of Wonder, but I think you've got the picture. I can't wait for this to happen and I hope to see you there!
Here are some more photos of the Mission Inn, which I took when Jane and I went to Baby Tattoo's Beyond Brookledge event: