It's Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary and Who North America’s 25th anniversary of being in business, so they will pull out all the stops.
Doctoberfest 2023 will take place on Saturday, Oct. 21 and feature events like they've had in the past. But, Who North America owners Jany and Keith Bradbury have worked hard to make this year extra special.
This year's event will be held at both the Courtyard by Marriott at The Shops at Perry Crossing outdoor mall in Plainfield and Who North America. In fact, a free shuttle will transport guests between the two locations.
The events that take place at Who North America do not require a badge so all are welcome to enjoy the activities. All events are free to attend except for the meals, panels and autograph and selfie sessions.
A costume competition, a shoebox diorama competition, a custom action figure competition and a Doctor Who look alike competition all remain free activities that anyone can participate and enjoy, with the winners receiving prizes.
You can find entry forms and more information on their event page. The events at Who North America provide a great place to start if this will be your first year attending the event. They have a wide range of things to see and do while at their store.
And don't forget to take a picture in front of the TARDIS!
Spreading the event over two locations allows for more people to attend as well as more variety of activities. The celebrity panels, meal events and autograph sessions require attendees to have a badge.
This year Sophia Aldred, companion to the 7th Doctor from the Classic series, will appear in person! Fans with badges can meet her during a Friday dinner on Oct. 20 or at brunch on Oct. 21 at the Courtyard by Marriott.
Fans will also get to listen to her during the two panels she will appear at and get autographs and pictures with her during Doctoberfest!
You'll be able to hear form custom action figure creators, actors and more. The list of participants and schedule can be found on Who North America's Doctoberfest page.
What is Who North America?
Who North America started in 1998 when Doctor Who fan Keith Bradbury wanted to bring Doctor Who products to the U.S. In 2016, Keith and Jany purchased their current location and have turned a love for Doctor Who into a detailed museum, event space and retail space.
One side of the building is a museum which showcases a variety of items from Doctor Who. They have vintage figurines as well as items from the more recent Doctor Who movies.
The other side of the building is retail where you can purchase everything from attire to DVDs to action figures and more. They even have Jamie Dodgers, a British cookie used by The Eleventh Doctor to fool the Daleks.
The rest of the building is used for movie viewings and games. They also have a Doctor Who pinball machine that is free to play.
A Welcoming Specialty Shop
I often feel intimidated visiting specialty shops of any kind, especially if I'm not very knowledgeable on the subject. But, I felt so welcomed at Who North America.
If you're unfamiliar with all things Doctor Who, do not be intimidated by their shop. I know very little on the subject, but they welcomed me, showed me around and answered tons of my questions.
I visited with my two young kids. Jany was very welcoming and showed me around and explained things clearly when I had questions. They also allowed my kids to play the available games and made them feel welcomed, too.
They also have a small selection of toys and items in their store not related to Doctor Who, which helped keep our 3-year-old's attention.
Doctoberfest 2023 Details
- Doctoberfest 2023 will be on Saturday Oct. 21, 2023
- Events will be at two locations and there will be free shuttle service between the Who North America facility and the Courtyard by Marriott at The Shops at Perry Crossing outdoor mall in Plainfield, Indiana.
- While a badge is required to enjoy the dinner or brunch and speaker panels, a badge is not required to shop the vendors at the hotel or shop and enjoy the events at Who North America.
- You can purchase festival badges and see updates on the official Doctoberfest website.