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It’s About Time! SyFy Bartow Hosting Time Travel-Themed Convention This Saturday

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It’s About Time! SyFy Bartow Hosting Time Travel-Themed Convention This Saturday

by James Coulter

photos provided by Sean Serdynsk

Set your calendars and clocks. Fire up the Tardis. And get readyto go 88mph on your DeLorean. Because you’ll want to make it in time for SyFy Bartow this Saturday. This year’s theme for SyFy Bartow will be “It’s About Time!”, with the convention themed to all things time travel like Back to the FutureDoctor WhoThe Terminator, and Time Cop.

Hundreds of vendors will be lined up along Main Street and the adjoining streets in Downtown Bartow in this unique annual outdoor sci-fi convention. The event is free and open to the public, and cosplayers are always welcome to attend and compete in the costume contest.

SyFy Bartow will also include other activities and festivities including a sci-fi-themed car show. Also appearing at this year’s event will be Jack O’Halloran, the actor who played the henchman Non in Superman II.

Sean L. Serdynski has been hosting SyFy Bartow for more than a decade. He themed his second event nearly 10 years ago to time travel, so he thought re-theming this year’s event to time travel would be a fitting throwback to one of their original events, he said.

Serdynski has been attending and participating in sci-fi conventions for nearly 40 years. He attended his first convention 38 years ago. He helped a convention promoter that focused his shows on the television program, Star Trek. Sean quickly became the entertainment and panel coordinator and worked with VulKon for over 20 years.

For close to 20 years, with his wife, Lori, Sean has owned their entertainment company SLS Entertainment, which hosts car shows, karaoke events, weddings, and anything that requires a DJ. Two years ago, they started Bartow Con to help continue hosting SyFy Bartow along with other conventions across the state.

Sean decided to start his outdoor convention, SyFy Bartow, for two reasons: first, to draw traffic and attention to the Downtown Bartow area, and, second, to provide a free event that was open to the public and that anyone could attend without spending a dime. He owes much convenience to its overall success this past decade.

“I think the biggest draw is [being able to attend] without having to pay to get in,” he said. “I never intended SyFy Bartow to be something you had to pay to go to because we built SyFy Bartow for the fans. It pains me to see people pay thousands of dollars for them to go to these giant—I call them ‘box store conventions’–and they don’t have any money to spend with the vendors because they spent so much getting inside. So now my guests have money to spend if they want to buy that Pokémon figure or the GI Joe or the lightsaber or whatever they have that extra money, and that is why I think SyFy Bartow has been a success even after a decade.”

SyFy Bartow will be hosted in Downtown Bartow this Sat. Feb. 17 from 11 AM – 6 PM. For more information, visit their website at bartowcon.com.

Sean L. Serdynski recently appeared on our Chattin on the Ridge podcast to discuss the upcoming SyFy Bartow. Listen to our newest episode here on Acast: https://shows.acast.com/chattin-on-the-ridge/episodes/ep-22-syfy-bartow-2024-wsean-l-serdynski

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