Hundreds of Sherlock Holmes fans from all over the country converged on the Mariott Perimeter Center in Atlanta for the 2nd 221B Con. Last year the organizers were shocked to have twice as many attendees as they anticipated. This year was even bigger with between 850 and 900 attendees, really amazing for a convention in it 2nd year.
Also this year, there were more men in attendance, compared to last year when the ration was about 2 men to 100 women. Still, the audience was primarily female. It will be interesting to see if that changes in the next few years.
This convention is so much fun. There is a costume contest, a dealer' room, and vendors' tables. But the main attraction here is the lively and intelligent selection of panels. There were discussions of Sherlock Holmes from the original canon to present-day books, from movies to TV. In addition attendees had the chance to learn about Victorian art, the history of fingerprinting and the rise of Scotland Yard, and much more. There was a crafting circle and a workshop on fan fiction writing. Every discussion featured people who knew their subjects well and engendered enthusiastic audience participation.
An addition this year was a Saturday evening concert by The Extraordinary Contraptions and while the attendance was a bit small, the Contraptions gave a very enjoyable performance.
It truly is amazing that this convention is so well-organized and so diverse and entertaining when it is so new. The founders and organizers deserve a lot of recognition for doing such a great job, as do the volunteers who helped them. We came away already looking forward to next year when we can do it again!
Check out the slideshow for some of the action with a particular emphasis on the costumes!