October 25-27 was Creation Entertainment’s Salute to Supernatural convention in Chicago, and Claudine Hummel and I were lucky enough to attend.
We arrived the Wednesday before the convention in order to take part in a “Weird and Haunted Chicago Tour”. It was very spooky and informative. We visited the sites of the Eastland sinking on the Chicago River and the Saint Valentine’s Day massacre. We also spent some time a The Congress Hotel—the site of fifty-nine active hauntings. It’s a gorgeous hotel, but very creepy.
The site of the Eastland sinking - The Chicago River
The Congress Hotel
We had a little free time on Thursday, so we decided to play tourist. However, we couldn’t decide between the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum. Thankfully, we had a little help with that decision.
We had a blast!
We arrived back at the hotel around 5:30, and decided to go ahead and get in line for registration. We had a long wait ahead of us, but sitting in line for three hours turned out to be an incredible amount of fun! (The cocktails didn’t hurt).
We reunited with past con-goers, spotted several familiar faces, and got to know some first-timers; and once we broke out the Apples to Apples (and fixed ourselves a second drink) the time just flew by!
After registration was Carry On’s Convention Kick-Off Party! We ordered some pizza, had a few drinks, played some classic rock…but apparently we were too much for the Westin to handle, because we got told to quiet down. (Oops). Even though the party was cut short, it was a whole lot of fun! Thank you to everyone who stopped by!
Friday began with a welcome from our wonderful host for the weekend—Richard Speight Jr.!
Then it was time for our first guest—Osric Chau!
I had never met Osric before, so I was incredibly excited. He is such a sweet person and such a big fan of the show! He actually hung around for the entire weekend in order to see everyone else’s panels and to meet the fans.
Julie McNiven was up next, followed by (my lady crush) Samantha Smith. Both ladies looked gorgeous as always. Richard stuck around for both of their panels, so there was some hilarious back-and-forth.
After Julie’s panel, we gave her the book of messages for her brother Scott. She seemed very moved, so thank you to everyone who contributed!
Friday night was the Halloween-themed karaoke party. What a blast! It’s always fun to see everyone all dressed up, especially the actors. Everybody looked wonderful! Claudine and I went as the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter.
And with the help of a little (okay, a lot) of liquid courage, we actually got up on stage and sang.
However, the best part of karaoke (imo) is the photo ops! We couldn’t have asked for a better one!
Saturday kicked off with one of our favorite Supernatural duos—Richard Speight Jr. and Matt Cohen!
It’s always a good time whenever these two are onstage together. They play off one another so well, and it’s easy to see why they’re such good friends.
I was in stitches throughout the entire panel, but the funniest moment had to be when Matt brought our friend Heather up on stage to apologize for an incident that had happened at the previous night’s karaoke party.
Here’s the story: Heather had been dressed in a full gorilla costume. Matt, wrongly assuming that the gorilla was a man, ran up to her and twisted the gorilla’s nipples! It was only after Heather’s high-pitched squeal that Matt realized his mistake. He was mortified!
So, he brought Heather up on stage to apologize to her…and her breasts.
Next up—Sebastian Roche!
As always, Sebastian’s panel was wild, raunchy, and hilarious! Very few questions were answered (maybe three?), but no one really seemed to mind.
There was actually a serious moment from Mr. Roche, where he spoke about how much he truly loved the fans, the cast/crew, and the Creation team.
Back at ya, Seb!
Mark Pellegrino and Mark Sheppard were up next. I absolutely adore seeing these two pros! Especially together. They always have such wonderful stories to tell.
After the Marks, was the Supernatural Costume Contest. It’s always amazing to see the talent and creativity of the Supernatural family. Everyone did such a great job!
There was a separate costume contest for all of the Castiels, with a special guest judge…Misha Collins!
Look who else decided to get in on the fun…
After the costume contests, it was time for the always wonderful Misha Collins!
Misha’s panels are always funny and engaging. It’s easy to see how supportive he is of the fandom, and he handles heated topics with grace and sensitivity.
This year’s ChiCon brought us the first ever “Cocktails with Castiel” and the last “Centerpiece Contest” at the Saturday Night Cocktail Party. Both were a blast!
“Cocktails with Castiel” was a nice change from the rapid, speed-dating feel of the cocktail party. Only 100 tickets were sold, and Misha spent 5 minutes at each table. It felt much more intimate and relaxed. I know that our table certainly enjoyed having a few extra minutes with Mr. Collins!
“Cocktails with Castiel” was immediately followed by the “Saturday Night Cocktail Party”. Any excuse for a cocktail is just fine with the Carry On team! The party was a lot of fun, and it’s always great to spend some more time with the actors. (Hugs from Matt Cohen are always a plus too!)
After the cocktail parties, and some Apples to Apples in the lobby, we finally dragged ourselves up to bed around 4:00am.
Sunday arrived far too quickly, but Sunday means J-Day!
Our Sunday started at 9:00 with the Gold Breakfast. You may have mistaken us for zombies that early in the morning, but when Jared and Jensen hit the stage we were looking a lot more alive! The boys were in such a great mood as they talked about how much they were enjoying season nine. It’s great to see them so excited about the material after all these years.
We had our Jared and Jensen photo ops after breakfast, and at 2:00 it was time for Alaina Huffman’s Supernatural convention debut!
We feel so honored to have been a part of Alaina’s first Supernatural con. She seemed pleasantly surprised by how well her character has been received by the fandom. The funniest moment had to be her story of how a friend of hers sent her a link to a porny fanfic! She was shocked to learn that we were writing porn about her! She was a very good sport about it though.
Welcome to the family, Alaina!
After Alaina’s panel, it was time for Jared and Jensen!
It’s always so great to see the boys and hear stories from the set. Their panel was both incredibly funny and very informative, but it was a serious moment at the very end of the panel that has really stuck with me.
Jared and Jensen were asked a question by a fan who has struggled with suicidal thoughts in the past. She wanted to know how Sam and Dean managed to stay strong and not give up, even after everything they’ve been through. Jared responded by telling her that “getting rid of yourself is never the answer” and to keep on “fighting the fight”. I couldn’t have stopped the tears if I’d waned to. As someone who has struggled with depression in the past, I can’t tell you how huge it is to have someone like Jared Padalecki tell you that you’re strong enough to keep fighting!
At 7:15 it was time for the final panel of the convention—Nicki Aycox!
This was Nicki’s first Supernatural convention in quite awhile. It was so wonderful to meet her, though if I would have passed her in the hallway I wouldn’t have recognized her!
All-in-all, ChiCon was amazing! Supernatural conventions have begun to take on the feel of family reunions to us! The best part about them is reuniting with old friends and making lots of new ones! Getting to spend time with the actors is really just the icing on the cake!
Thank you to Creation Entertainment, Chris Schmelke, the volunteers, the actors, and all of the fans who helped make this convention an amazing experience.
See you in Vegas!
~By: Taya Hill