The best time of the year is upon us! No, not Christmas. The most sixth-iest Skepticon is here, and in just one week you’ll be able to hear talks, participate in workshops, and drink alongside some of your favorite movement leaders. And the best part? You get all this for the low, low price of… free? That’s right, Skepticon is the United States’ largest free atheist/skeptic convention! Of course, you still have to pay to get there and find somewhere to stay (and most importantly for all the booze you’ll drink at the after-parties) – but with such a stellar line-up, it’s still a great value if you can make it.
Speaking of the line-up – holy crap! Skepchick’s own Rebecca Watson will be entertaining as usual, and you’ll also be able to see Greta Christina, PZ Myers, David Fitzgerald, Richard Carrier, Amanda Marcotte, and others. And that’s without even getting to the workshops! I’m a huge fan of the workshop environment, so the workshops are one of my favorite parts of Skepticon. There are few places where you can get advice from some of your favorite movement leaders like Dave Muscato, Amanda Knief, and Stephanie Zvan. Topics will range from “Handling Public Criticism” (knowing Stephanie, I’d bet this will be a phenomenal session) to “Stuff You Didn’t Know About YouTube.” You can check out the full schedule on Skepticon’s site, so start planning your days!
Not a workshop fan? That’s fine! At Skepticon, there’s something for just about everyone. You can head down to the Main Hall to see the Atheist Film Festival, hosted by David Fitzgerald. If you’re like me, I had no idea atheists even had films – much less film festivals – so last year I enjoyed being able to immerse myself in atheist-themed documentaries, features, and short films. This year, David Fitzgerald will be showcasing “Sophia Investigates The Good News Club,” “Ron Goes to Heaven,” and “Hug An Atheist.”
In between talks, make sure to stop in the commons area to visit the tables and pick up some awesome skeptic-themed swag. Surly Amy will be selling her beautiful Surlies and will also have adorable dino-themed Skepticon 6 Surlies like the one pictured to the left! Half the money from the Skepticon dino necklaces will be donated to the event – so it’s a win-win for everyone! Rebecca Watson will be holding down the Skepchick fort, so make sure to stop by and tell her “hi!” You can also get buttons, bumper stickers, car emblems and other awesome merchandise from vendors like EvolveFISH. And of course, don’t forget to pick up your favorite speaker’s book from their table. They might even sign it for you!
Like last year, Skepticon is partnering with Friends Against Hunger, and their goal is to pack 1,000,000 meals in a three-day span. Last year, they packaged 960,000 meals, as well as raw ingredients for another 150,000. These meals were distributed around Springfield, as well as to victims of Hurricane Sandy. They need roughly 100 volunteers every 30 minutes to meet that goal, so if you’d like to be a part of this badass volunteer opportunity, go sign up!
And who could forget the parties. Oh, the parties! The hotel ragers and pub hangouts are one of the more famous parts of Skepticon (or the most infamous part if you ask anyone on Sunday morning). I won’t be able to attend this year, but I trust my fellow Skepchicks (and you lovely readers) will have enough fun in my absence.
Of course, none of this would be possible without lots of help from sponsors and donors like you! As of this writing, Skepticon needs about $3,000 in order to meet their fundraising goal for the convention. If you have some spare cash lying around, hop on over to their page and make a donation for a good cause. And if you can make it, make sure to give a big Skepticon “thank you!” to the organizers and volunteers who make this event possible!