Man participates in 40th Chattacon event - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Man participates in 40th Chattacon event

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - It's an event that grows in popularity every year.

This weekend, Chattacon, the science fiction convention, is being held at the Chattanooga Choo Choo.

It's the 40th year for the event and we spoke with one man who's been going since the very beginning.

"There were less than 100 of us that first year," said  'Orange Mike' Lowrey, Chattacon participant. 

For the 40th year in a row now, characters from all walks of science fiction life have converged on the Scenic City.

"Science fiction celebrates what could be. The possibilities," said Lowrey.

"We've gathered at one place or another in Chattanooga to talk about science fiction, the literature of the imagination," said Lowrey.

Mike Lowrey, better known as 'Orange Mike,' has been coming to Chattacon since the very beginning, saying many who participate have grown close over the past decades.

"Chattacon is a nice medium sized science fiction convention. It's a fan-run thing. It's not for profit. It's not like that big old commercial thing Dragoncon down in Atlanta," said Lowrey.

Originally from West Tennessee, he now lives in Milwaukee.

"I decided I wasn't going to let a little thing like living 700 miles away stop me," said Lowrey.

While he likes the size of the convention, he still welcomes newcomers, like children's book author Chris Everheart from Johnson City.

"Chattacon has been great to me. I've gotten to meet a lot of parents and their kids. Also some educators," Chris Everheart, Chattacon participant.  

"Basically, I'm an arms dealer," said Bill Harrison, Chattacon participant.

Chattacon has also been a draw for Bill Harrison, who's been a vendor for 20 years.

"Basically what I do is I buy toy guns, then i modify them," said Harrison.

He and others say besides bringing the wildest imaginations to life, being a part of Chattacon really comes down to one thing.

"It's a family, really. It's just so much fun to come here," said Harrison.  

Last year, Chattacon brought in a half a million dollars to the local economy.
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