Airship Athena, the local steampunk community, was on hand as always. Ryan Spellman displayed steampunk chic at the group's table.

Ratha Con: Athens’ Own Pop Culture Convention is taking place this Saturday at the Athens Community Center.

Running from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the event will feature more than 30 artist/author/non-profit tables and over 15 sellers/artists’ booths, according to a news release. In addition, the event will include panels, presentations, workshops, kids’ activities inside and outside, performances, costume contests, a raffle, tabletop gaming, video gaming and more.

Food vendors will be Holy Guacamole and A-Town Pies and Fries. Admission is $25 VIP, $10 general adult, $5 youth 12-17 years old, and 11 and under free.

The night before, at 10 p.m. on Friday, April 26, a pre-Ratha Con “Nerd Prom” will be held at Casa Cantina, featuring DJ B-Funk spinning the tunes and a special performance by the “Goddess Collective” burlesque troupe at 11 p.m. There’s a $5 suggested donation at the door.

On the night of the convention, a post-Ratha Con party, “Cosmic Costume Bowling,” will be held at Rollerbowl Lanes, 28 Palmer St. Athens, from 8 p.m. to midnight. It’s a BYOB event, and attendees are encourage to come dressed in their cosplay and be ready to bowl a few games. Rollerbowl sells soft drinks and food. $2 donation gets you shoes and bowling.

Ratha Con, Inc. is a non-profit organization that presents an event once a year to highlight the local/regional artists who create the work that represents popular culture whether it be comic art, crafts, painting, game design or costume design, according to the news release. 

Ratha Con: Athens’ Own Pop Culture Convention, the release continued, “is an all-inclusive event without discrimination of race, gender or sexual orientation, and is intended to bring fun, awareness, and a safe environment to a faction of the community that loves popular culture. Ratha Con, Inc. partners with other organizations and non-profits in our region that benefit children, families, and the arts.”

This year Ratha Con’s non-profit partner is the Stuart’s Opera House Arts Education Program. Part of the admissions taken in at the convention will go to Stuart’s to help them continue to offer arts education to children in our area.

This year’s Ratha Con sponsors includeAthens Arts, Parks and Recreation Department, Arts West, Baymont Inn & Suites, The Union, Devil’s Kettle, Casa Nueva, Emunah Graphics, Applebee’s, Rollerbowl Lanes, Stuart’s Opera House, Green Mantle Studio, Waxing Dog Studio, Hrothgar’s Hoard and Steve Richter Art.

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