Decongestant 4
This year partnering with ARCANA
With Sucker Guest of Honor: Clay Harris

Roller skate mascot

It's the fall 2019 convention from Minn-StF: Sept 27–29, 2019 at the Hilton Bloomington, 3900 American Blvd W. (Already convinced? Skip to registration.)

What's Decongestant 4 going to be like?

Decongestant 4 is a small science fiction and fantasy convention geared primarily towards relaxation. There will be good food, music, gaming, a teen room, a bit of programming, and whatever else you bring to it. If you were at Decongestant 1, 2 or 3, you can expect pretty much the same thing, except that this year we also have a special partnership bringing us the:

ARCANA Track

Believed dead after 2017, ARCANA's (Celebrating the Weird, the Macabre & the Dark Fantastic) spirit & programming will rise again at Decongestant 4, somewhere between Henry Frankenstein's, "It's Alive!  It's Alive!" and Bauhaus', "Undead!  Undead!  Undead!"

In addition to our usual 3/4 track of fallcon programming, we will also have a track of ARCANA panels and movies with the theme "Scary Science Fiction".

Hotel/room reservations

Map of 2nd floor

Book online using this link or call 1-844-856-8554 by Friday, August 30, 2019 to get the con rates: $109 king, $119 queen/queen ($125, $136 with tax) for Thursday through Sunday nights, and $159 for the adjacent Monday through Wednesday nights. Give them the code "DCON".

If you find that the kind of room you want isn't available at the con rate, try booking directly the hotel (as though you weren't with the con). And if you can get a better rate some other way, go for it. We do not need to fill our block to meet a financial obligation to the hotel, so book however works.

Directions to the hotel and airport shuttle information.

Late checkout may be available, but we do not have a special deal. Normal checkout is noon.

What should I bring?

We have a list of suggestions! (But just yourself is fine.)

When should I show up?

3D mascot

On Thursday night, the consuite will be open, but we don't promise food or drink until Friday.

The consuite will open at noon on Friday. At-con registration and pre-reg badge pickup will be available starting 2pm in room 211. Other rooms will be opening up soon thereafter. See those departments' sections for details.

The con will run all weekend through the dead dog party Sunday night. We expect to still be partying into the wee hours Monday morning.

Programming

We have one track of films and fairly light programming which will give you something structured to do if you want that. We don't exclude the possibility of heavy programming if there's interest in that.

Here's the complete schedule as it currently stands!

Contact us if you'd like to schedule something.

We will have one programming item with limited space:

Beta Test of "Hands-On Raspberry Pi" — Sunday at 10am

At Minicon, we plan to have a hands-on Raspberry Pi event. This event is to figure out the structure of that event.

Learn what Raspberry Pi can do in a hands-on event with a small Raspberry Pi computer in a group setting. Computer programming experience not required. We’ll build two simple projects, decide which one works better in a group setting, and discuss where to find resources to learn more. Materials provided for up to 6 projects. If you’d like to keep your materials, you may reimburse us the actual cost. If you’d just prefer to borrow, we will re-use the materials at future conventions. The two projects we plan to test are:

  1. Pirate radio broadcasting units, with magnets
  2. Scrolling text display — LED matrix panel / eye catching badge

Since there is limited space, we will choose participants by lottery. Rules:

Teen Room

There will be a teen-run teen room! There'll probably be videogames and other fun objects. The teens will run some D+D. The teen room is available 24h throughout the weekend starting 6pm Friday and running until 3am Monday, as long as there's interest.

Child Friendly

Decongestant is family and child-friendly, so please bring yours! However, we don't have child care or specific children's programming (we're just not big enough for that).

Gaming

Mascot sitting with tissue

There will be a dedicated gaming room available 24h during the convention, starting 6pm Friday (or maybe a little earlier) and running through 3am Monday morning.

Music

There will be space available for musicians after programming ends all three days. Friday and Saturday nights the room will be available all night. Sunday night, we have it until 3am.

Transportation

The Hilton is reasonably well served by buses. As usual, the problem for commuters is getting home at night. The last bus north is at 11:56pm. See Metrotransit to double check that and for more details.

For drivers, there is free parking in the attached ramp.

Food!

Consuite:

happy mascot

There will be a consuite. This is a room with snacky food and drink (included with your membership) and social space available during all reasonable hours. There will be a fair amount of food here, but it shouldn't be counted on to feed you three meals a day.

The consuite will be open Thursday night through Sunday night. Thursday will be setup, but you can hang out, too. On Friday, it will open as a socialization space (no food or drink) around noon. By 5pm, we'll have soft drinks available and after Opening Ceremonies full snacky-service will begin. We will endeavour to have consuite open as late as people are awake and somewhat vertical. It might close ~2am if people aren't.

Friday dinner:

There will be an optional organized Friday dinner from Noodles & Company. Everyone will order individual dishes and we'll place one big order. There will be paper menus available, or you can look at their website. They have two different non-wheat noodles available.

We'll take orders and money to cover them (cash or check) 4:30–5:00pm. You can also write sraun at fireopal.org ahead of time with your order. We expect the food to be at the con and ready to eat by 6:30.

Saturday dinner:

We may have an optional group dinner delivered to the hotel on Saturday. If so, details to follow.

Food theme!

If you'd like to bring food to share (totally optional!), let us inspire you with our culinary theme this year: Spooky Snacks.

Art show/craft swap

There is no formal art show this year, but you are welcome to bring art for display or to sell. There will also be table space for freebies, craft swapping, etc. Label your objects clearly, especially if they are not meant to be taken freely!

Accessibility

Hecto mascot

Decongestant 4 is a small con with minimal programming and minimal financial resources. Panels and other activities are expected to be reasonably accessible by virtue of being very small. With this in mind, if you anticipate needing accommodations in order to enjoy the con, please contact us and we will see what we can do.

Code of Conduct

You should read the code of conduct.

Want to be Guest of Honor?

Taken! Clay Harris has signed up to be Sucker Guest of Honor!

You can be our Sucker Guest of Honor for the low price of $500, first come, first serve. You'll get your name in lights, the chance to make a speech (or avoid making a speech), and it will fund us to rent an additional social room at the hotel for the con. Just select the Sucker Guest of Honor option on the registration form below!

Join Us!

Original mascot

Pre-registration closes Sept 9, 2019. You can register online or by mail. You can also register at the door. In person, we accept cash and check. No credit cards. There is an ATM in the lobby.

AgePre-regAt the door
21+$50 *$60 †
13–20$10$20
0–12, continuously supervisedFreeFree
0–12, free range$10$20
Day rate (8am–8am)$40
Just-a-few-hours rate$20
Really-just-one-hour rate$10

* If you are short on cash, instead pay $40 — no questions asked (nor will we publish who paid what). If you're shorter on cash, e-mail decongestant4-aidNONOPNO@mnstf.org and let us know your situation.

† Similarly, you may instead pay $50, no questions asked, or less if approved by the chair. However, for practical reasons, confidentiality is not guaranteed at-the-door.

‡ Partial memberships can only be purchased at the door.

For posterity, here's the paper reg form.

Members

Want to know if you are already registered? Or if a friend of yours is coming? Check out the list of members.

Contact

All inquiries: decongestant4NONONO@mnstf.org