I arrived where the non-fan club line should be and, sure enough, folks were already lining up. Fold-out chairs were set, people were bundled and, most important of all, there were only about 20-30 people ahead of me. This pretty much guaranteed that I’d be seeing Lucas for the first show and also set up the possibility of getting in and upfront for the presentation. I was thrilled, it was midnight, I had at least 7 hours in the outdoors ahead of me, but at least I was under cover.
Around 12:30am, things began to change. A GenCon employee (the folks who were behind the operations of Celebration) came out and began hurriedly running around. No one really knew what was going on, but this guy was making us nervous. Were we in the right place? Had the fan club line caught wind that we were under cover and started complaining? No one knew, but our worries began to play out when the employee announced that we were lined up in the wrong area, and that we had to move. He then proceeded to lead our line out from under the cover and around the corner, into the rain, and up to a side door. Despite being in the cold rain now (and getting soaked viciously), I decided, being as close to the front as I was and determined to see Lucas, that I would not quit. Luckily a couple in line ahead of me stated that they had brought some trash bags, and gave me and some other folks the bags for protection from the rain. I promptly made a hood, and went about trying to secure that my mp3 player would not get soaked and ruined.
It didn’t take long for those of us in line to make good friends with each other, as we all began huddling together for warmth. A gentleman with the entrepreneurial spirit went out and bought supplies from one of the hotels, and then came to the line and sold poncho two-packs and umbrellas to us for ten bucks. One in my group bought a poncho for me, and later another in my group bought me a hot chocolate. We were freezing, we were wet, but we were friendly. And during all of this, the 501st started showing up and volunteering to stick around us to make sure we were safe (in full Stormtrooper get-up, of course). If only GenCon were so kind, as they were the ones who had moved us out into the rain and then, conveniently, disappeared.
The line continues in part four of LINE-A-PALOOZA: EPISODE III – REVENGE OF THE LINE>>>