It's the fall convention from mnstf. It will be Oct 7–9, 2022 at the Hilton Bloomington (3900 American Blvd W), Minnesota. (Already convinced? Skip to registration.)
Decongestant 5/Arcana 2022 happened. There were roughly 62 members, including 47 pre-registered and 49 warm bodies. Final count to come.
We had a good time! Programming was fun and educational, with the GoH presentation on Blacula getting escpecially good reviews. Plenty of food and drink was had. Late night fandom was on display, with the con finally wrapping up in the gaming room around 3am Monday morning.
A three-issue hecto newsletter was produced, with photos eventually to be available here.
As of October 10, 2022, there are no firm plans for another Decongestant, nor indeed any other small cons by minn-stf, held in the fall or not. This may change soon. In any case, we have two Minicons coming up: Minicon 56 on Easter weekend 2023, and Minicon 57 on Easter weekend 2024.
Decongestant 5 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 any of the earlier Decongestants, say 4, you can expect pretty much the same thing.
Here's the complete schedule as it currently stands!
You! If you are a fan of science fiction, fantasy or horror and would like to hang out with same. Come join us!
This year, for the second time, we are partnering with ARCANA, a convention "Celebrating the Weird, the Macabre & the Dark Fantastic". In addition to our usual fallcon programming, we also have a track of ARCANA panels and movies.
Under the name Toothpickings, Brian has been vlogging and blogging for five years about the crossroads of vampire fiction, folklore, and popular culture, including literature, film & TV.
He has interviewed such vampire luminaries as John Edgar Browning, J Gordon Melton, Dacre Stoker, William Crain, Michelle Belanger, Jonathan Maberry, and Rose Sinister.
Presenting at numerous conventions, he has been a guest on John Gaspard's "The Occasional Film Podcast" and the Rosenbach Museum's "Sunday With Dracula".
His paper on BLACULA will appear in the forthcoming issue of the journal "Dracula Beyond Stoker" and "Studies In The Fantastic" and will be presented at the Children of the Night Dracula Congress in November 2022.
Brian may or may not be the Gothic double of the vampirologist 'Toothpickings' as he claims to be. This does not preclude him from being that which his GoH designation indicates, either.
To find Toothpickings before the next sunrise, try Twitter or the nearest plot of native soil.
Decongestant 5 was originally scheduled for Oct 2–4, 2020. As a primarily-social event, that wasn't going to happen under the Stay Safe MN plan, so we rescheduled for September 24–26, 2021. Then there was the Delta variant. Although the con would have been legal, our survey of the potential membership showed that very few people would have come. Rather than hold a con for 15 people, we postponed again.
If you registered before either of the postponements, you are still registered. If you'd prefer a refund, write to decongestant5NONOPENO@mnstf.org; we can do that too.
Vaccinations: attending members must be fully vaccinated as defined by the CDC at their "Stay Up to Date with Your COVID-19 Vaccines" page. (Find your age group, then pull down the type of vaccine for the definition.) We also highly recommend that you get the boosters that are recommended for you, something that we believe the vast majority of our members have done already.
Air filters: We will have high-quality HEPA air filters set up and running in gaming, the consuite, and each of the programming rooms.
Subject to change: We may have to change the rules if the covid situation changes. We promise not to do this capriciously. If you buy a membership, you're agreeing to follow whatever the rules turn out to be. If you don't like the rules, you can transfer your membership, but you cannot have a refund.
Book online using this link, or call 1-844-856-8554 and use the group code "DECON" to get the con rates: $109 king or queen/queen ($125 with tax) for Thursday through Sunday nights, and $129 ($148 with tax) for the adjacent Monday through Wednesday nights. (If you call, make sure you book at the Hilton at 3900 American Blvd W; there are two Hiltons on American Blvd.) The deadline to get these rates is Tuesday, September 6, 2022.
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.
Late checkout may be available, but we do not have a special deal. Normal checkout is noon.
All the con space is on the 2nd floor. Go up the main stairs and you'll be in the middle of it. Here's a guide to the rooms:
Jefferson: Function space, main programming and film room — masks required. Becomes the gaming room after closing ceremonies — masks then optional.
Roosevelt: Function space (board room style), teen room — masks optional. Being a teen required.
Lincoln: Function space (board room style), 2nd programming room — masks required, except for 5-7:30pm Friday (for dinner). Only a few events are scheduled here. Otherwise, it can be used as masked social space.
209/211: Two room suite (with folded-up beds), the consuite — masks optional. Largely open Thursday through wee hours Monday.
207: Single sleeping room (with folded-up bed), gaming room — masks optional. Open 3pm Friday to noon Sunday.
Where (and how): Come to the 2nd floor, room 211 for registration (that's the eating half of the consuite). We will be there live 3:30–6:00pm on Friday for badge pickup and new members. Outside these hours, the registration head may not be present all the time, but there will be a number posted in 211 to call to summon her.
When: On Thursday night, the consuite will be open, but we don't promise food or drink until Friday.
The consuite will start having food+drink sometime in the afternoon on Friday. The gaming room will be open 3pm Friday through noon Sunday. The programming and teen rooms (Jefferson, Roosevelt, Lincoln) will be for sure open 6pm Friday (probably earlier) through 3am Monday.
In general, the con runs all weekend through the dead dog party Sunday night. We expect to still be partying/gaming into the wee hours Monday morning. (Opening and closing ceremonies are purely ceremonial as far as the "opening" and "closing" go.)
We have one, or possibly a bit more than one, track of fairly light programming and films 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.
There will be a teen-run teen room! Stand by for details! It will probably be open starting sometime on Friday through sometime on Sunday!
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).
There will be a gaming room, room 207, available 24h during the convention, starting 3pm Friday (or maybe a little earlier), through noon Sunday. After closing ceremonies Sunday (about 5:30pm), the Jefferson room becomes the gaming room, and is open through 3am Monday morning.
The Hilton is reasonably well served by buses during the daytime of weekdays, but it becomes progressively more challenging after business hours and on the weekend. The last bus north is at 11:18pm, and you have to walk 0.8 miles for that. See Metrotransit to double check that and for more details.
For drivers, there is free parking in the attached ramp.
There will be a consuite. For the uninitiated, 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.
We will have an (optional) organized dinner on Friday. Scott and Irene are planning it. It's a mass order to Noodles & Company.
Here's their menu. You can e-mail Scott orders before the convention. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org with the Subject line "Decongestant Friday Night Dinner Order". Or you can write them on the paper sign-up sheet he brings to the con on Friday. Either way, please have them in by 5pm. Bring cash or check to pay for your order.
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!
Decongestant 5 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.
You should read the code of conduct.
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!
Pre-registration closes September 21, 2022 Extended to Sept 25 for online registrations only! You can also register at the door. In person, we accept cash and check. No credit cards (or other newfangled payment methods). There is an ATM in the lobby.
Pre-registration is closed. You can still register at the door.
If you registered for 2020 or 2021, see COVID info above.
|Pre-reg||At the door|
|21+||$50 *||$60 †|
|0–12, continuously supervised||Free||Free|
|0–12, free range||$10||$20|
|Day rate (8am–8am)||¶||$40|
* 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 email@example.com 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.
‡ Supporting membership can be converted to attending (before the con, or at the door) for the difference in rates.
¶ Partial memberships can only be purchased at the door.
For posterity, here's the mail-in registration form.
Want to know if you are already registered? Or if a friend of yours is coming? Check out the list of members.
All inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org