The second year of the Great Lakes Geek Fest has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision was made in an effort to keep everyone safe, said Tony Capo, one of the organizers of the event.
“It’s difficult to put on a convention and properly space everyone to keep everyone safe,” Capo said.
The event was scheduled to take place on Oct. 3, Capo said.
Organizers had been trying to come up with alternative plans for the event for the last couple of months, Capo said.
The organizers pitched using the easternmost parking lot at Lakeshore Park for a drive-through event, but were told by park officials that it wouldn’t be possible, said Chris Panzone, an organizer of the event.
‘“We had thought of some other locations, but just logistically, we couldn’t put anything together,” he said. “We were trying, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t in the cards for this year.”
This would have been the second year for Great Lakes Geek Fest. The organizers are still hoping to hold an even of some kind this year, even if it is just something on the event’s facebook page, Panzone said.
“We plan on doing some cool virtual stuff, as long as we can get everything worked out,” he said.
The festival is also planning to host an event in 2021. The organizers came up with a number of good ideas while brainstorming that they would like to include in future events, Panzone said.
“People love this stuff, and right now, more than ever, you need an escape,” Capo said.
Capo, who owns Robot Zero comic store in Geneva, said his business has been busy during the shutdown. He attributed the business to people shopping local during the pandemic.
“I think it’s because there’s no comic conventions to go to, there are no sporting events, so if you want to be entertained, you shop local,” Capo said. “And luckily, that’s been happening quite a bit the last few weeks.”
Panzone encouraged people to visit the Great Lakes Geek Fest’s facebook page, and consider supporting vendors who have been effected by convention cancellations.
“That’s one thing I think people forget when all the events are canceled,” Panzone said. “It’s not just the Great Lakes Geek Fest, it was 40 vendors that also were there to make our convention what it was.”