Saturday, August 3, 2019, 4:15 PM: I enter Ballroom 1 at the Crowne Plaza in Rosemont and quickly take a seat next to my friend’s, Ron and Angela Urban. Those two always show up to panels and events early and get the best seats. The participants in this year’s costume parade were all lined up against the wall. The first thing I notice is how many kids there are. Usually, the Flashback Weekend costume contest kids division is lucky to have three or four entries. This year, however, they were a force to be reckoned with. But I’m getting ahead of myself here…
4:20 PM: WGN Radio’s Nick Digilio takes the stage as he does every year to introduce Svengoolie. Nick has made no secret that the costume contest is his favorite part of Flashback Weekend and I can tell by his enthusiasm he knows this will be one of the best ever.
4:25 PM: The costume contest kicks off with the kids!
Every year it seems like artist Mitch O’Connell’s son steals the show with his campy/fun costumes and this year he outdid himself! Dressed as the furry “Ro-Man” from Robot Monster (1953) this adorable contestant even brought along his own bubble machine!
Don Johnston literally helped cart out the next contestant dressed as Hannibal Lector. She’d been rehearsing her lines offstage and when Svengoolie put the microphone in front of her she yelled, “Fava beans!!!” It was really funny!
I always get a kick out of seeing Svengoolie with the Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988) because it reminds me of when he presented the film years back and did that hilarious parody of Jim Croche’s “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” (Bad Bad Killer Klowns). Here we had two Killer Klowns who not only looked the part but stopped for a bloody refreshment courtesy of their cotton-candied victim!
With the kids’ division over, it was time for the adults…
And the winner is…
4:55 PM: With a brief window of time before Svengoolie’s big 40th Anniversary VIP party, we all head to the main convention hall. It’s time for Sven to do his annual walk through while snagging as many interviews for his show he can.
And who will he get this year? Stay tuned for the FINAL chapter of my Flashback Weekend Diaries series to find out!