StarQuest was formed to embrace the imagination of the universe, to scrutinize the knowledge of what we think the future will be, and to share this incredible experience with other tellurian beings. We are a fan run convention organized and brought to other fans by the media, and sponsored by Forester & Cohen Publishing, LLC. We are fans of and celebrate all things science fiction (sci-fi) and fantasy . We embrace the vastness of the Science Fiction Universe including "Star Trek", "Star Wars", "Babylon 5", "Flash Gordon", "Warehouse 13", and "Dr. Who"; just to name a few. After meeting over the years and discussing how one show related to the another, and debating the enormous sci-fi universe, we decided that we should have a fan based convention here in Frederick, to (1) find how many fans there are in our community, (2) to celebrate our interests with other fans, and (3) to make the rest of the cosmos aware that we are here to "Experience the Universe" together.
Reprint from the "Frederick News Post" July 29, 2017
Trekkies, furries and science fiction fans of all stripes found a space for their enthusiasm Saturday at the third annual StarQuest Convention in Frederick.
StarQuest is a locally organized science fiction and fantasy gathering. Proceeds from the event go to the Frederick Food Bank and the Frederick Rescue Mission.
This year’s convention featured special guests such as Star Trek: Voyager stars Garrett Wang and Manu Intiraymi, Power Rangers actresses Nakia Burrise and Catherine Sutherland, and Bill Blair, who holds the world record for most movie roles featuring special effects makeup.
StarQuest started when a group of local science fiction fans grew tired of always driving to Washington, D.C., and Baltimore for conventions, organizer Sandra Exum said. "We're just here to have fun and talk to other fans,” Exum said. “We’re not just geeks, we’re people with hobbies. Everyone should have a hobby that makes them happy, and this makes us happy.”
Exum is a long-time Frederick resident and a lifelong Star Trek fan. Her dad got her into watching the original series when she was young, but her favorite series is Star Trek: Voyager. “I liked Voyager for the female captain,” Exum said.
In addition to being a gathering for fans, StarQuest is a fundraiser for local charities, including the Maryland Food Bank and Frederick Rescue Mission. Exum and others are formally starting a Frederick science fiction society and have applied for 501©3 status to allow them to seek more sponsorships and donations, she said.
The group hopes to raise money to bring an anti-bullying Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live show to Frederick, Exum said. “We want to do events for fans but also events for children, for the community,” she said.
In addition to meet-and-greets with celebrity guests, StarQuest also featured activities such as Star Trek trivia, a special effects makeup workshop and a panel on anime science fiction.
Miriam Kelly, of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, made the trip to Frederick for the convention Saturday. Kelly has been a member of the 52-year-old society since 1971. The Baltimore society brought “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin to their convention in 2016.
“StarQuest is great because it’s smaller and you can really get close and meet the special guests,” Kelly said. “We hope they’ll grow and reach our level too.”
Frederick resident Natasha Johnson is a member of Fur The More, a group of of self-described “furries,” fans of anthropomorphic animal characters. Johnson brought Fur The More to StarQuest the past two years after connecting with organizers at another convention, she said.
StarQuest’s charitable aspect is in line with the furry community, Johnson said. Fur The More recently held its fifth convention in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, and raised more than $10,000 for Frisky’s Wildlife Sanctuary near Ellicott City.
“Furries are really big on charity,” Johnson said. “A lot of the geek community is really focused on helping other people, either financially or emotionally.”
Follow Cameron Dodd on Twitter: @CameronFNP
Hagerstown resident Rachel Cooper, dressed as a sock monkey, and Michael and Suzanne Parodi from Gloucester Virginia, dressed as Vulcan characters wait the costume contest during the StarQuest Sci-Fi Convention, held this Saturday at the Clarion Inn.
Actor Bill Blair takes part in a question and answer session during the StarQuest Sci-Fi Fantasy Convention, held this past Saturday at the Clarion Inn.