Editor's Note: This festival has again been canceled for 2021. Organizers plan to bring it back in the Fall of 2022.
I’m going to be honest. I’ve never seen an episode of Doctor Who (ducks head). But when I visited Who North America to chat with Jany and Keith Bradbury about the annual Doctoberfest (a Doctor Who-themed fall festival) coming up, I decided I should give the show a try. Because this fall festival sounds like a blast.
Doctoberfest will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 at Who North America, 8901 S. State Road 67 in Camby.
If you are anything like me, at this point you might be asking yourself: Who (or what) is Doctor Who?
What is Doctor Who?
Doctor Who began as a British sci-fi television program featuring a time lord called “the doctor” who hails from the planet Gallifrey and explores the universe on a traveling spaceship called the TARDIS (which stands for Time In Relative Dimension In Space). For a show with such a huge cult following, that’s a very basic synopsis.
The show has featured a total of 13 doctors, and a new series of Doctor Who has been produced by BBC America and can be viewed on Amazon Prime.
Doctoberfest will feature staples as in years past, such as vendors, music and games. But Jany and Keith work hard to make each year unique, and this year is no different. Here are the top features for this year’s Doctoberfest:
- Cosplay Competition - While this is standard to Doctoberfest, it’s much-anticipated by everyone. This Look-A-Like Competition encourages attendees to create costumes of characters from the show. There will be two categories to this contest. One will be the best look-a-like, and one will be the judge’s choice. This Judge’s Choice Award will be based on the costumes’ material and how well-made they are. For the best lookalike, patrons of Doctoberfest will be able to purchase tokens to vote on which costume they think is best. Winners will receive a plaque.
- Doctor Who Pumpkin Carving Competition – Competitors can use real or styrofoam pumpkins to design and carve out images from any aspect of Doctor Who. These will also be up for a vote via tokens, and the winner receive a plaque. In addition, details are still being finalized for a Mini-Pumpkin Painting contest.
- Balloon Sculpturist – D&D Balloons will be there creating balloon scultpures for the kiddos. Jany herself said the balloon game will be kicked up a notch this year so come see what all the fuss is about!
- Carnival Games - While every year features fun games, there are two brand new ones this year! When I asked Jany what they were, she refused to say, wanting it to be a surprise! (Sorry, guys! I tried!) This alone is definitely drawing me into the excitement.
- Food Truck - A new addition this is a food truck! Who doesn't love a food truck? Firehouse Cooks will be on-sight serving Americana-style food. So plan to stay long enough to partake in a meal!
There will be 20 vendors displaying and selling their Doctor Who-themed crafts and products.
The Bradburys pride themselves in producing a family-friendly community event that appeals to diehard fans and newbies alike. In years past, 750 to 1,000 people have attended, and Jany said they expect closer to 1,000 this year.
So if you’re tired of the run-of-the-mill fall festivals, plan to attend this fall festival with a science fiction twist! Whether you’re a fan or not, Doctoberfest will deliver the fall fun everyone loves this time of year.