Over the years, OKon raised thousands of dollars for local charities (the Tulsa Recreation Center for the Physically Limited, the Brass Ring Society, Project Get-Together) as well as national organizations (the American Diabetes Association, the Arthritis Foundation, the American Cancer Society). OKon 8 in 1985 was the largest, with attendance well over 2,000. That year, the convention raised $8,000 for charity.
||OKon I||Guests of Honor: C.J. Cherryh and R. A. Lafferty||The first OKon was expected to draw about 300 people; over 900 showed
up. The dealer's room at the Trade Winds Central Hotel was so crowded
people lined up to go through one door, were herded through in single
file, then out another door. The
hotel room of Wilson "Bob" Tucker was burglarized during the con; the intruders took everything, including Tucker's glasses. The tradition began of having OKon on the third weekend of July every year. The first OKon was able to donate $1,000 to the Tulsa Recreation Center for the Physically Limited.
||OKon II||Guest of Honor: Joe Haldeman
Fan Guest of Honor: Lee Killough
Toastmaster: C.J. Cherryh
|The second OKon found a home in the majestic Mayo Hotel in downtown
Steve Kimmel was chairman of Okon that year. Films were to be shown in one of the large meeting rooms which had a beautiful skylight-- unfortunately, it made showing films during daytime hours impossible. Rolls of black plastic were purchased by the con committee and taken to the roof to cover the skylight. Over 1,500 people attended, and the con raised $2,500 for the American Diabetes Foundation.
"Star Wars' won the Hugo at Worldcon that year for Best Dramatic Presentation.
||OKon III||Guest of Honor: Jack Williamson
Fan Guest of Honor: Margaret Middleton
Toastmaster: Robert Aspirin
|The Mayo Hotel again was the site for OKon, which attracted 1,200 fans,
despite several problems. One month before the con, there was a comic convention
in Tulsa which many fans attended thinking it was OKon. The hotel also
booked a wedding for Sunday of the con-- to be held in the dealer's room.
So, Saturday night, the con had to move all the dealer's tables out of
the dealer's room and into the smaller video room; some tables ended up
in the hallways. Nevertheless, a grand total of $1,500 was collected
on behalf of the Arthritis Foundation. At opening ceremonies, Williamson
received a standing ovation on behalf of his achievements in science fiction.
Okon held its first masquerade that year.
C.J. Cherryh's "Cassandra" won the Hugo that year for Best Short Story.
||OKon IV||Guest of Honor: Alan Dean Foster
Fan Guests of Honor: Shelby Bush III & Mary Kay Jackson
Toastmaster: Gordon R. Dickson
|Over 2,000 people attended the 4th OKon, and the convention was able
$4,500 to the Arthritis Foundation. Guest of Honor Alan Dean Foster had an unpleasant experience at OKon which was later recorded in an editorial on the state of fandom by Harlan Ellison. ("Xenogenesis," reprinted in "Edgeworks: the Collected Ellison.") Ellison was in fact once invited to be a guest at OKon. In his reply letter, Ellison declined, stating he would rather "eat a maggot sandwich" than visit Oklahoma in July. (He also copyrighted the letter so that the con could not publish it.) .
||The majestic Mayo Hotel, OKon's convention hotel in downtown Tulsa, was suddenly sold and closed down early in 1981. With no other suitable venue to relocate to, that year's OKon had to be cancelled. However, much of the con committee worked on Panopticon West, a Doctor Who convention in Tulsa which featured Peter Davison, the 5th Doctor, as Guest of Honor.|
||OKon V||Guest of Honor: Wilson "Bob" Tucker
Artist Guest of Honor: Frans Kelly Freas
Fan Guest of Honor: Polly Freas
Special Fan Guest of Honor: Frederic Pohl
Toastmistress: Lee Killough
Special Guest: James P. Hogan
|C.J. Cherryh won the Best Novel Hugo that year for her novel "Downbelow
||OKon VI||Guests of Honor: Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
Artist Guest of Honor: Real Musgrave
Fan Guest of Honor: Marty Burke
Toastmaster: Gordon R. Dickson
|OKon '83 was held in downtown Tulsa at the Excelsior Hotel (later sold and renamed the Doubletree), which gave the convention such grief that the con announced in the program book the next year's convention would be held at a different hotel. One fan managed to shove a broadsword through one of the hotel walls. Over 1,500 attended the con, which raised money for the American Cancer Society. OKon also hosted FilkCon East that year, with Bill Maraschiello and other filkers in attendance. Flyers promoting a bid to have the 1988 World Science Fiction Convention in Tulsa were distributed at several conventions that year, but not enough support was gathered for the bid.|
||OKon VII||Guest of Honor: Stephen R. Donaldson
Artist Guests of Honor: David Cherry & Victoria Wheeler
Fan Guests of Honor: Buck & Juanita Coulson
Toastmaster: James P. Hogan
|At OKon '84, the hat was passed to raise money to help Kansas
writer Rob Chilson, who suffered a recent apartment fire. A charity auction
raised almost $800 for him. The big thing at the con that year was the
preview of the upcoming film "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai." Banzai
headbands floated around town for years. It marked the first time OKon
met its room block at the con hotel-- it this case, it was even exceeded.
In the OKon art show, 45 artists displayed 379 works of art, grossing over
$7,200 in sales.
The 1984 Worldcon was in Los Angeles that year, with 1983 Toastmaster Gordon R. Dickson the Guest of Honor. "Return of the Jedi" won the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation.
||OKon VIII||Guest of Honor: James P. Hogan
Artist Guest of Honor: Phil Foglio
Fan Guest of Honor: Ken Moore
Toastmaster: C.J. Cherryh
Special Guest: Wilson "Bob" Tucker
|For the second year in a row, the Sheraton Kensington was home to OKon, which raised a record donation for the Brass Ring Society: $8,000-- OKon donated more to the organization than CitiCorp of New York.|
||OKon IX||Guests of Honor: Kelly & Polly Freas
Artist Guest of Honor: Carl Lundgren
Fan Guest of Honor: Forrest J. Ackerman
Toastmaster: Glen Cook
Filk Guest of Honor: Julia Ecklar
|Fan GoH Forrest J. Ackerman astounded the congoers with his behind-the-scenes
tales of Hollywood. Over 1,700 people attended the con, which again benefitted
the Brass Ring Society.
Following the Shuttle Challenger disaster, 1977 Guest of Honor C.J. Cherryh instigated the Challenger Campaign, to raise money for a full page ad in the New York Times supporting further activities in space. (Cherryh was nominated for a Hugo that year for her novel "Cuckoo's Egg.")
||OKon X||Guests of Honor: C.J. Cherryh & Wilson "Bob" Tucker
Artist Guests of Honor: Muff & Real Musgrave
Fan Guest of Honor: Jan Howard Finder
Toastmasters: Lee & Pat Killough
Filk Guest of Honor: Suzette Haden Elgin
Special Guests: Larry Niven & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
Comic Guest of Honor: Richard Pini
|Nineteen eighty-seven marked the tenth anniversary of OKon. R.A. Lafferty returned as Anniversary Guest, and C.J. Cherryh returned with Wilson "Bob" Tucker as Guests of Honor. Best in Show in the Costume Contest went to a fan dressed as the "Clam Man." Entertainment after the masquerade Saturday night featured the wedding of two con staffers. This was OKon's last year at the Kensington.|
||OKon XI||Guests of Honor: Janet & Chris Morris
Artist Guest of Honor: Vincent DiFate
Filk Guest of Honor: Leslie Fish
Toastmaster: Mike McQuay
|Okon moved to its new home at the Camelot Hotel, where it remained
end of its run four years later. OKon '88 was nicknamed "OKon 88n't no beer" because of the sudden removal of beer from the con suite. Over 1,200 attended, despite the absence of local publicity, and the con raised money for the Brass Ring Society.
"Star Trek IV: the Voyage Home" was nominated for a Hugo that year,
but lost to
||OKon XII||Guest of Honor: Robert Bloch
Artist Guest of Honor: David Mattingly
Fan Guest of Honor: Dr. David Govaker
Toastmaster: Steven Gould
Filk Guests of Honor: Technical Difficulties
|Robert Bloch and Bob Tucker exchanged badges during the con, and happily
signed each other's autographs for anyone who asked. OKon was able to contribute
$6,500 to Tulsa Community Aid.
C.J. Cherryh won the Hugo that year for Best Novel with her book "Cyteen." "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" won for Best Dramatic Presentation.
||OKon XIII||Guest of Honor: Hal Clement
Artist Guest of Honor: Tom Kidd
Fan Guest of Honor: Brad Sinor
Toastmaster: David Lee Anderson
Filk Guest of Honor: Mark Simmons
Special Guest: Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
|Over 1,300 attended OKon 90. Special guest Elizabeth Ann Scarborough,
received a Nebula award that year for her novel "The Healer's War." OKon's
charity that year was Project Get Together.
||OKon XIV||Guest of Honor: Jo Clayton
Artist Guest of Honor: Lucy Sync
Fan Guest of Honor: Real Musgrave
Toastmaster: Warren Norwood
Filk Guests of Honor: Barry & Sally Childs-Helton
Special Guest: George Alec Effinger
|By 1991, Okon was the largest and most popular convention in Oklahoma, with a core group of dedicated, hard-working staffers with over a decade of experience in convention operation. That was the year the convention chairman unilaterally announced that the 1992 convention would be the last OKon.|
||OKon XV||Guest of Honor: Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
Artist Guest of Honor: David Lee Anderson
Fan Guest of Honor: K.D. Wentworth
Toastmaster: Mark Simmons
Music Guest of Honor: Diana Gallagher
Dog Guest of Honor: Sammy Twosocks
|Held at the rapidly decaying Camelot Hotel, several room air conditioners
exploded over the weekend, and many congoers refused to swim in the sickly-green
Late Saturday night, someone set off a smoke bomb in one of the video rooms. Nine Tulsa Fire Dept. fire trucks responded to the alarm. The entire second floor was evacuated for several hours, and one person was treated on the scene for smoke inhalation. Immediately following closing ceremonies, lightning struck the roof of the Camelot, which soon closed down for good.
STARbase Tulsa kept meeting for another year, but eventually disbanded. Several ex-members later joined together to start Conestoga in 1997.