Weekend Planning: Alabama Phoenix Festival 2013


Geek Alabama Weekend Plans

This weekend is going to be epic if you are around the Birmingham Alabama metro.  The 2nd annual Alabama Phoenix Festival will take place at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center along U.S. 280.  The festival is going to be bigger and better for its 2nd year and there will be plenty of things to do for the entire family.

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Let’s start with the guests, some big name guests at the festival this year includes Colin Ferguson (Eureka), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters 1&2, Transformers Prime), Gil Gerard (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century), Janina Gavankar (True Blood, Stargate Atlantis), Robin Shelby (Ghostbusters), and even more guests!  To learn about all the guests go to: http://alabamaphoenixfestival.com/guests.html

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There will be many authors, artists, and vendors that will give you a great time!  There will also be many tracks you can choose from.  It does not matter if you are in Star Wars, Star Trek, Anime, Game, paranormal, Whedon, steampunk, or if you are a fan of geeky stuff.  There will be something for you to enjoy!  If you are coming to the Alabama Phoenix Festival to enjoy the sights and want to attend the bigger panels, here is a list of the panels I would recommend.

- 5/24 5:30pm: Ernie Hudson Q & A (Main Stage)
– 5/25 10:00am: “Buck Rogers” with Gil Gerard (Main Stage)
– 5/25 1:00pm: “Golden” – Legendary creator Alan Bellman shares what it was like to create comics in the WWII era. (Room 7)
– 5/25 1:00pm: “Mass Hysteria” Q & A on all things Ghostbusters. (Main Stage)
– 5/25 8:00pm: Costume Contest (Main Stage) o Photos available upon request.
– 5/25 9:00pm: Bronies: It’s a Thing – interactive My Little Pony panel with hosts Will and Reed Lochamy of Birmingham Mtn Radio (Room 7)
– 5/26 10:00am: Janina Gavankar Q & A (Main Stage)
– 5/26 1:00pm: Colin Ferguson Q & A

Many guests at the festival will be available for autographs and to just talk too.  That’s what great about the Alabama Phoenix Festival!  Other events at the festival will include a charity auction to benefit the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund, a costume contest, a showing of the movie The Hospital, and of course, a gaming area featuring video games, board games, and card games.  If you are an ultimate gamer, you can register for the APF Top Games Throwdown.  To learn more go to: http://alabamaphoenixfestival.com/events/apf-tg_throwdown.html

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For the kids, they can enjoy the Blast A Trooper, Alabama Ghostbusters Slime Lab, Alabama Ghostbusters Proton Pack Build, The Wizarding Cup, Hero Academy, and they can also play with LEGO’s and games as well!  The festival will also feature a replica TARDIS from Doctor Who, a replica Delorean from Back to the Future, many people dressed in costumes, and much more!  Also, Doc Osborn also known as The Balloon Doctor will be there as well!

If you are in Birmingham and Central Alabama for the Memorial Day weekend, you need to come out to the Alabama Phoenix Festival!  Geek Alabama is going to provide a lot of coverage of this event!  Much more than the other media sources like AL.com.  If you are around this weekend, look for me at the festival!

Geeks Helping Others

And don’t forget, Geek Alabama is starting a fund called Geeks Helping Others that will benefit Toomer’s For Tuscaloosa and Operation Hug Me Tight.  You can learn more and donate at: http://geekalabama.com/geekshelpingothers/

Learn more about the Alabama Phoenix Festival at: http://alabamaphoenixfestival.com

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A.P.F. Raise Some Dough Event / Letter From Birmingham Jail 50th Anniversary


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Alabama Phoenix Festival Raise Some Dough Event at Slice Pizza & Brew

Tonight, the Alabama Phoenix Festival is hosting a special event to raise money for  Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund, Inc.  You will also get a chance to learn what will be in the Alabama Phoenix Festival this year which takes place on Memorial Day weekend in Birmingham.

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This event takes place at Slice Pizza & Brew in Birmingham on Tuesday April 16th.  10% of proceeds on Tuesday will be given to The Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund on behalf of the Alabama Phoenix Festival.  You will get to see some costumed characters and some LEGO creations.  You will also get to learn all the cool guests and activities that will be at the Alabama Phoenix Festival this year!  Best of all, you will be helping The Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund, which provides financial and educational assistance to surviving U.S. Military children and spouses affected by the Iraq or Afghanistan wars.

Also wanted to mention this, Birmingham Mountain Radio’s show Oh Brother Radio will be live at Iron City Bham every Thursday night from 7-9 pm.  Every Thursday until Memorial  Day Weekend, the radio team will choose the best dressed in costume to win a pair of passes to APF 2013!  I guess I need to find out how I can get on their show.

Learn more about the Alabama Phoenix Festival at: http://www.alabamaphoenixfestival.com/

Learn more about the The Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund at: http://www.childrenoffallensoldiersrelieffund.org/

Learn more about Birmingham Mountain Radio at: http://www.bhammountainradio.com/

Letter From Birmingham Jail 50th Anniversary

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Today is a big day in the history of Birmingham, Alabama.  On April 16th, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote the now famous Letter From The Birmingham Jail while he was behind bars.  The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racism, arguing that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws.

Here’s a little history behind this letter.  On April 10, 1963, Circuit Judge W. A. Jenkins issued a blanket injunction against “parading, demonstrating, boycotting, trespassing and picketing”.  Leaders of the campaign announced they would disobey the ruling.  On April 12, 1963, King was roughly arrested with Ralph Abernathy, Fred Shuttlesworth and other marchers—while thousands of African Americans dressed for Good Friday looked on.

King was met with unusually harsh conditions in the Birmingham jail.  An ally smuggled in a newspaper from April 12, 1963, which contained “A Call for Unity”: a statement made by eight white Alabama clergymen against King and his methods.  The letter provoked King and he began to write a response on the newspaper itself.  King writes in “Why We Can’t Wait”: “Begun on the margins of the newspaper in which the statement appeared while I was in jail, the letter was continued on scraps of writing paper supplied by a friendly black trusty, and concluded on a pad my attorneys were eventually permitted to leave me.”

The letter was published in publications such as the New York Post Sunday Magazine,  Liberation,  The Christian Century, The New Leader, The Atlantic Monthly, and in King’s book “Why We Can’t Wait.”  Alabama has made huge strides since the 1960’s in the terms of racism and segregation.  This is a moment of history we can never forget!

Read the entire letter at: http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/resources/article/annotated_letter_from_birmingham/

Watch this video with Dr. King’s voice reading some of his letter below.

Games, Auction, and Radio


I am going to show off some more scenes from the Alabama Phoenix Festival.  The first one is a War of the Worlds radio reenactment on Saturday.  Four guys did a great job telling the story of the original radio broadcast.

The next event was a fun game on Sunday.  The game called Marvel vs. DC Jeopardy pitted people who volunteered to answer questions from the comic books.  The people did have a good time.

The last event on Sunday was a charity auction featuring items such as an autographed shirt from Adam Baldwin, poster with all of the guest autographs, and several comic books and drawings.  Around $300 was raised for the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund.  One suggestion would be to move the auction to Saturday so more money can be raised!

Weekend Planning: 5-25 to 5-28


This post is going to very easy!  If you are from Alabama and reading this blog I encourage all of you to attend the Alabama Phoenix Festival this weekend in Birmingham.

The first annual Alabama Phoenix Festival is a celebration that spans the realms of creativity and imagination and shows how the impossible is possible for us all! The Festival invites all ages from 1 to 909 years of age to come together and celebrate The Arts, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Gaming and all interests from every quarter of the universe! There is something for everyone! The fantasies and dreams of today lead to the realities of tomorrow and Alabama Phoenix Festival is here to support that in our community!

The Alabama Phoenix Festival plans to provide an event where people of all interests can come together and celebrate those ideas and find new ones. The inspiration of tomorrow starts here and now! We have events, programming tracks, galleries, contests and guests that will make it possible! Check back for more updates about the Festival and other surprises as well!

The festival will have various tracks for all types of people.  No matter if you are in gaming, comics, science, paranormal, anime, or Star Trek and Star Wars.  You will find something to do during this three-day event.  But there’s more; there will be a Lego Expo featuring many scenes and you can even create your own masterpiece!  There will be a huge gaming expo featuring board games, card games, and video games you can jump right in and play!  There will be a comics corner and art show featuring works from many people and some works you can buy and take home.  And yes there will be a guest corner where you can interact with the many guests that will be at the festival.

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Plus there will be things to benefit several area charities.  Life South will have a donation vehicle for people who want to donate blood on all three days.  A charity auction benefiting the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund will have many items available for bid.  Plus a gala and rave dances will happen on Friday and Saturday night.

But the best part of this festival will be the guests!  Some of the biggest guests will include Adam Baldwin who was in the TV shows “Chuck” and “Firefly”.  Robin Shelby who was in the movies “Beverly Hills Cop III” and “Willow”.  And she was on the visual effects team for the movie “Ghostbusters 2″.  And C. Martin Crocker who is a 25 year veteran in the animation field mostly for Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.  His works include “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” and “Aqua Teen Hunger Force“.  Also Larry Hama who has written in many comics, movies, TV shows, and books will be appearing.  But there are many more guests from many genres that will be appearing at the festival as well!

So make plans to attend the Alabama Phoenix Festival from 12 noon May 25th to 5pm on May 27th.  The Alabama Phoenix Festival is at The Cahaba Grand Conference Center with additional activities happening at The Perimeter Park Hilton Garden Inn.  Both locations are located off U.S. Highway 280 in Birmingham.  http://www.alabamaphoenixfestival.com has much more information about guests and activities during the Memorial Day Weekend.  And yes you will see people dressed in costumes from many characters on TV shows and movies.  Look for pictures, videos, and interviews on Geek Alabama over the next few weeks!