Back in 2004, the Chicagoland Browncoats decided to hold a one-night banquet that was planned as a formal Sino-Western ball like the one in the Firefly episode “Shindig.” The event was such a hit that Browncoats decided not only that they would do it every year, but that they would take it nationwide as well. Officially dubbed the “Browncoat Ball,” the event has moved from location to location, year after year, and has gradually evolved into a full weekend of social activities, sightseeing at local tourist attractions and celebrating all aspects of the Firefly and Serenity fandom.
So far the ball has been held in Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Austin, Portland, Charlotte, Warwick (RI), Albuquerque, Phoenix, Greenville (SC), Virginia Beach and Salt Lake City. This year the event returns to eastern Pennsylvania, as the Pennsylvania Browncoats host the 2017 Browncoat Ball in Gettysburg, PA from August 11-13.
This is the second time that the PA Browncoats have organized the Browncoat Ball, and it’s also the second time that the Delaware Valley Brigade, more commonly known as the Philadelphia Browncoats, have taken point in the preparations.
Matt Black is the head of the planning committee for this year’s Browncoat Ball and a friend of many of us here at Take Back the Sky since 2013, when we spent a weekend working side-by-side at the Browncoats tables at Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con. We asked him to take a few moments away from his hectic schedule to answer a couple of questions about the Browncoat Ball, this year’s host city of Gettysburg and why he thinks naming a SpaceX Crew Dragon Serenity would be all kinds of appropriate…
Pictured: My pick for best costume(s) of MegaCon 2015. You have to be old enough to have owned an SNES as a child to even grasp how stupendously awesome these people are.
MegaCon began not long ago as a minor anime convention in Orlando, Florida. In recent years, however, it’s grown much larger with added panels and more prestigious guests to become the annual sci-fi and general fandom con in Florida.
Having recently returned to my dear home and old stomping grounds, I was looking forward to seeing how the con has changed in the years since I’d last seen it, and I was proud that it would be Take Back the Sky’s first con outing in the southeastern United States. Even better, the supremely awesome people at D&B Comics offered to partner with us at the event, without which our participation simply wouldn’t have been possible.