A Short History of
Conestoga -- Tulsa's Best Science Fiction Convention
 
1997: Conestoga I  
Held the weekend of March 21-23, 1997 
Guests of Honor: Barbara Hambly & George Alec Effinger 
Artist Guest of Honor: Joy Marie Ledet 
Toastmaster: Robin Bailey 
Fan Guest of Honor: Gerald Burton 
Filk Guest of Honor: Tom Smith 
Play: "The Star Bores Trilogy" 
Charity: The American Cancer Society 
Chairman: Curtis Berry 
 
Notes: The first Conestoga was held at the Radisson Inn at the Tulsa Airport. The con suite doubled as a second video room, showing British movies and TV episodes. Saturday evening, the tap on one of the beer kegs broke, and beer had to be saved in pitchers from the hotel kitchen. Parking was difficult, and there were few places nearby for fans to eat. Only a couple of people signed up for the masquerade, so one person came out on stage in several different costumes. 
Click HERE for pictures of Conestoga 1. 

1998: Conestoga II 
Held the weekend of June 26-28, 1998 
Guest of Honor: Connie Willis 
Artist Guest of Honor: David Cherry 
Toastmaster: Mark Simmons 
Fan Guests of Honor: Jim & Susan Satterfield 
Special Guest: Carole Nelson Douglas  
Play: "Hairsalon 5: the Wheel of Hair" 
Charity: The Tulsa Zoo 
Chairman: Roger Allen 
 
Notes: The second Conestoga was held at the Sheraton Tulsa Hotel, on 41st St. near Highway 169. The con suite was disrupted by a party of football players across the hall holding a going-away party for their coach. This was the year that Soonercon and Thundercon (both in Oklahoma City) and DefCon in Tulsa all decided to shut down operations. 
Click HERE for pictures from Conestoga '98. 

1999: Conestoga 1999 
Held the weekend of June 25-27, 1999 
Guest of Honor: Harry Turtledove 
Artist Guest of Honor: David Lee Anderson 
Toastmaster: Gardner Dozois 
Mystery Guest of Honor: Barbara Hambly 
Fan Guest of Honor: Keith Stokes 
Special Guest: George Alec Effinger 
Play: "Star Bores: The Fandom Menace" 
Charity: Our House 
Chairman: Tim Frayser 
 
Notes: For the second year in a row, the Tulsa Trek Expo held their exhibition the same weekend as Conestoga. Lots of live-action role-playing gamers showed up Saturday night. At the last minute, George Alec Effinger was unable to attend. 
Click HERE for pictures from Conestoga '99. 
 

2000: Conestoga 4 
Held the weekend of July 14-16, 2000 
Guest of Honor: David Weber 
Artist Guest of Honor: Lubov 
Mystery Guest of Honor: Nancy Pickard 
Toastmaster: Roger Tener 
Fan Guests of Honor: Tim & Kimber Chessmore 
Play: "SpandeX-Men" 
Charity: Operation School Bell 
Chairman: Randy Farran 
 
Notes: The costume contest had its biggest turnout to date. The convention added mystery writing panels that year. Guest of Honor David Weber won a Silly String duel with several fans Sunday afternoon. Winners of the Bulwar-Lytton Bad Writing Contest were announced at closing ceremonies. 
Click HERE and HERE for pictures from Conestoga 2000. More pictures HERE. 
 

2001: Conestoga 2001 
Held the weekend of July 27-29, 2001 
Guest of Honor: Joe Haldeman 
Toastmaster: Tim Powers 
Fan Guests of Honor: Mike & Karla Weaver 
Artist Guest of Honor: Kelley Vandevir 
Play: "Plan 9 of the Apes" 
Charity: Tulsa Air & Space Center 
Chairman: Tim Frayser 
 
Notes: This was the biggest Conestoga to date, with over 420 attendees. The art show grossed over $3,300, and the charity auction made $300. The Friday evening "Dinner with Joe Haldeman" was a big success. 
Click HERE and HERE for pictures from Conestoga 2001. 
 

2002: Conestoga 6 
Held the weekend of July 19-21, 2002 
Guest of Honor: Elizabeth Moon 
Toastmistress: Lee Martindale 
Artist Guest of Honor: Nene Thomas 
Fan Guests of Honor: Lori Wolf and A.T. Campbell III 
Special Guest: Joe R. Lansdale 
Play: "Star Bores: Attack of the Groans" 
Charity: Tulsa Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DVIS) 
Chairman: Danny Myers 
 
Notes: Attendance was over 500. Several guests went on a special trip to a shooting range. The art show did over $5,000 worth of business, and the charity auction pulled in over $1,000 for DVIS. The SFWA Musketeers performed a brilliant fencing demonstration on Sunday. 
Click HERE for pictures from Conestoga 6.   More Conestoga 6 pictures HERE. 
 

2003: Conestoga 7 
Held the weekend of July 18 - 20, 2003 
Guest of Honor: David Brin 
Toastmistress: Esther Friesner 
Fan Guest of Honor: David Lee Anderson 
Artist Guest of Honor: Keith Birdsong 
Play: "2XL: Spandex Men United" 
Charity: TSHA, Inc. (Tulsa Speech and Hearing Association) 
Chairman: Randy Farran 
 
Notes: Attendance was over 450. The art show did over $4,600 in business, and the charity auction brought in $489 for Tulsa Speech and Hearing. The Friday night "Dinner with Esther Friesner" was a lot of fun. The SFWA Musketeers returned for a panel, and local falconers brought their birds for show. This was the first year of the Conestoga Short Film Festival, and the response was astounding. The old OKon mascot Okie the Penguin returned as the official mascot of Conestoga. 
Click HERE for pictures from Conestoga 7. 

2004: Conestoga 8 
Held the weekend of July 16-18, 2004 
Guest of Honor: Eric Flint 
Art Guest of Honor: Darrell K. Sweet 
Toastmaster: Walter Jon Williams 
Fan Guests of Honor: Curtis & Marilyn Berry 
Play: "Dorks of the Rings" 
Charity: Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) 
Chairman: Tim Frayser 
 
Notes: The second year of the film festival gathered movies from all over the world. Suzette Hayden Elgin held a workshop on the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense. 
Click HERE for pictures from Conestoga 8. 

2005: Conestoga 9 
Held the weekend of July 15-17, 2005 
Guest of Honor: George R. R. Martin 
Artist Guest of Honor: Brad Foster 
Toastmaster: Brad Denton 
Fan Guests of Honor: Margene Bahm, Paula Helm Murray, and Jim Murray 
Play: "The Sith Hits the Fans" 
Charity: Big Brothers & Sisters of Green Country 
Chairman: Randy Farran 
 
Notes: Attendance was over 500. The art show sold over $4,000 worth of art. 

Click HERE for pictures of Conestoga 9. 
 
 
 


2006: Conestoga 10 
Held the weekend of July 28-30, 2006 
Guest of Honor: David Drake 
Artist Guest of Honor: Don Maitz 
Toastmaster: Robin Bailey 
Special Guest: James P. Hogan 
Fan Guests of Honor: Lynn Stranathan and Selina Rosen 
Chairman: Randy Farran 
Play: "A Night at the Space Opera" 
Charity: Royal Gauntlet Animal Rehabilitation Center 
 
Notes: Over 540 people attended the convention that year. The tenth Conestoga also celebrated the tenth anniversary of Yard Dog Press and Misha Merlin Publishing. "The Pirates of the Conestoga" dressed fans up in pirate costumes for a portrait contest. Best in Show at the film festival went to "Guidolon, the Giant Space Chicken." The art show did almost $4,000 worth of business, and the charity auction brought in over $1,500. 
Click HERE for pictures of Conestoga 10. 

2007: Conestoga 11 
Held the weekend of July 20-22, 2007 
Guest of Honor: Laurel K. Hamilton 
Artist Guest of Honor: John Picacio 
Toastmaster: Elizabeth Moon 
Fan Guests of Honor: Richand & Michelle Zellich 
Special 1632 Guest: Eric Flint  
Play: "Lost Heroes of Battlestar Galactica" 
Chairman: Randy Farran; Vice Chairman: Tim Frayser 
Charity: Safari's Sanctuary of Broken Arrow 
 
Notes: The convention drew 672 attendees. The Friday night concert featured performances by Queen's Gambit, Cedric of the Bedlam Bards, Eric Coleman and the Great Lukeski. The charity auction raised over two thousand dollars, and the art show did $8,000 worth of business. 
Click HERE for pictures from Conestoga 11. 

2008: Conestoga 12 
Held the weekend of July 25 - 27, 2008 
Guest of Honor: Diana Gabaldon 
Artist Guest of Honor: Stephen Hickman 
Toastmaster: Gordon Van Gelder 
Fan Guest of Honor: Tim Miller 
Play: "You Don't Mess with the Iron Man" 
Chairman: K.D. Wentworth; Vice Chairman: Tim Frayser 
Charity: Therapetics Service Dogs of Oklahoma 
 
Notes: Attendance was 675 that year. The art show did over $5,000 worth of business, and the charity auction raised over $1,500. The con chipped in to round off the donation to an even $2,000. Conestoga featured a Con Within a Con with Fangs, Fur and Fey. The bad writing contest asked for the worst opening lines from a "Scottish time travel romance." Yard Dog Press presented "The Merlene Show." There was "speed dating" for authors, a birds of prey exhibition by Royal Gauntlet, a writing workshop, music concerts, a special gala dinner with Diana Gabaldon, and Breakfast with Suzette Hayden Elgin. The film festival played to a full house (despite being left out of the pocket program). Video of the costume contest was posted online within hours of the masquerade. 
Click HERE for some pictures from Conestoga 12. 

2009: Conestoga 13 
Held the weekend of April 24 - 26, 2009 
Guest of Honor: Robin Hobb 
Artist Guest of Honor: Real Musgrave 
Fan Guest of Honor: Diana Bailey 
Toastmaster: Frank Wu 
Play: "Botchmen" 
Chairman: Randy Farran 
Charity: Safari's Sanctuary 
 
Notes: Conestoga moved from July to April starting in 2009. Yard Dog Press was featured as a "con within a con." Musical guests included the Sea Doggues, Queen's Gambit, and the Bedlam Bards. 
2010: Conestoga 14 
Held the weekend of  April 23 - 25, 2010 
Guest of Honor: S.M. Stirling 
Artist Guest of Honor:  Bob Eggleton 
Fan Guest of Honor: Leonard Bishop 
Toastmaster: Travis S. Taylor 
Play: "Derivitar" 
Chairman: Randy Farran 

Notes: Panels included "Speed Date the Author" and a concert by the celtic group Queen's Gambit. People in hall costumes were recruited for the costume contest. 

2011: Conestoga 15 
Scheduled for April 29 - May 1, 2011. Financial issues caused the convention to be cancelled. Guests were to have included Tim Powers, Alain Viesca, and James Blaylock. 
 
Conestoga flyer artwork (c) copyright by Randy Farran.
Conestoga link on Wikipedia
Special Link: pictures from The Penguin Playhouse
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Page updaged January, 2012