Sci-Fi Valley Con is an annual three-day Speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy, or SF) convention had in Altoona, Pennsylvania at the Blair County Convention Center; it is promoted by Assett Conventions, LLC (solely owned and operated by Casey B. Bassett) and is the first such convention in the area. The convention has featured a variety to different forms of entertainment over the years in order to drawl in the visitors, such as; Magic: The Gathering, HeroClix, & Warhammer 40,000 tournaments, video game tournaments, trivia tournaments, costume contests, guest speaking panels, film festival, dealers, artists, charity auctions, charity quick sketches, hourly give-a-ways, and celebrity guest appearances.
After outgrowing the Jaffa Shrine Center in only two years, the convention moved once again to its final location at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona, PA for its 2015 show.
Sci-Fi Valley Con is a Speculative Fiction themed convention. The convention focuses more than just science fiction, but instead have an umbrella over many fantastical fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history in literature as well as related static, motion, and virtual arts.
The first annual convention was originally supported be held in the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on May 18–20, 2012 but was forced to change venues and move north to Ebensburg's North Central Recreation Center because Johnstown's City ordinance requires all exhibitors to purchase a $150 peddlers license, whereas Ebensburg does not. The convention was such a success its first year that the promoter, Casey B. Bassett, decided to move the convention to Altoona's Jaffa Shrine Center. The Jaffa Shrine Center is a much larger venue, which will allow the convention to continuously grow in size.
The first year of the show was attended by approximately 1,000 people, according to Examiner.com. The guest list featured several actors and artists working in the sci-fi and horror genres, including: Mark Tierno, Monique Dupree, Sal Lizard, Stan Gordon, Jeremy Ambler, April A Taylor and Jeremy McHugh. There were over 60 exhibitors who setup tables for the first annual con located in Ebensburg, PA. The charity auction benefited Angels of East Africa and raised over $1,200 from artwork donated by the vendors and artists. Many events were planned, such as: guest speaking panels, gaming tournaments, live music, pro-wrestling and a costume contest. In addition, the convention even featured a life-size home made Stargate at its entrance.
Sci-Fi Valley Con, Part 2 was held on May 17–19, 2013 in Altoona, Pennsylvania at the Jaffa Shrine Center. Over 2,000 visitors came out over the three days to support the event. An exact number cannot be given because it is reported that the promoter sold out of admission wristbands early Saturday evening of the convention and had to use left over wristbands from the previous year.
This was the first year for the conventions "indie sci-fi/horror film festival". Many films were submitted for the film festival both from local and international film makers. Film makers such as: Ahmad Alyaseer, director of the first Jordanian sci-fi film, "When Time Becomes a Woman". David Lee Madison, director of the horror film "Mr. Hush". As well as the Farragut Films Star Trek fan episodes of the "Starship Farragut".
For 2013 the convention booked several additional recognizable celebrity guests, such as: Brian O'Halloran who played to role of Dante Hicks in the Kevin Smith films Clerks and Clerks II. In addition to Jim Krut who is best known for his role as the "helicopter zombie" in George Romero’s 1978 classic movie “Dawn of the Dead”. Also appearing was Mark Tierno, best known for his role as the featured zombie Beef Treats in George A. Romero’s 1985 film, "Day of the Dead". Sci-Fi fans should also recognize him from his leading role on SyFy Networks television series The Mercury Men as Edward Dorman. There are also many indie artists and film makers attending such as: Michael C. Dougherty, director of the firefly fan film "Browncoats: Redemption", David Lee Madison, director of "Mr. Hush". John Johnson, director of Plan9 and the Skeleton Key films.
In addition, over $1,500 was raised in the charity auction for the Shriners Hospital for Children.
Sci-Fi Valley Con, Part 3 was held on June 27–29, 2014 in Altoona, Pennsylvania at the Jaffa Shrine Center. Unlike the previous year, the convention utilized both floors of the venue for exhibitors and guests. In addition, it was the year the con debuts their first official convention vehicle; which was a Jurassic Park Jeep Wrangler (#12). It was built and funded entirely by the Sci-Fi Valley Con's promoting company, Assett Conventions LLC. The 2014 show also featured several other movie cars, such as; the Back to the Future DeLorean Time Machine, the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters, John Carpender's Christine, and the 1966 Batmobile. In additional, the convention featured a lifesize replica TARDIS from the hit BBC television show Doctor Who and a 21-foot inflatable Stay Puft marshmallow man.
Sci-Fi Valley Con, Part 4 made its final venue move to the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona, PA. The show was on May 15–17, 2015. The convention was only on the lower level of the two story convention center. The convention spent over 15 to 20 times more money on advertising for this 2015 show than they ever have before. The advertising includes TV commercials, radio commercials, 3000+ flyers, hundreds of yard signs, 1000+ direct mail postcards, billboards, and lots of cyber advertising such as Facebook and other convention focused websites. Over 210 vendors attended the 2015 show. Some of the movie cars featured at this year show include the Jurassic Park Jeep, KITT from Knight Rider, the Mystery Machine, the Doctor Who TARDIS, and the Green Goblin Head from Maximum Overdrive that was restored by Tim Shockey of Hollywood Prop Collector. Attendance was around 4,000 people for the year of 2015.
Sci-Fi Valley Con, Part 5 had the entire Blair County Convention Center in Altoona, PA reserved starting in 2016 and beyond; with over 330+ exhibitors. The show was on June 10–12, 2016. This was also be the first year it focuses strongly on flying celebrity guests in for the show. The higher profile guests include: John Rhys-Davies, Alaina Huffman, Zach Galligan, Alex Vincent, Fred Williamson, John Morton, Brian O'Halloran, Scott Schiaffo and Marilyn Ghigliotti. The show was well received by the community and attendance was around 6,000 people for the year of 2016.
Sci-Fi Valley Con, Part 6 show will be on June 9–11, 2017 at Blair County Convention Center in Altoona, PA. This year the convention decided to focus more on interactive and educational, hands-on Workshops and Demo for the attendees to participate in.