'Golden Girls' fan convention returns to Chicago this weekend

Fri. March 31, 2023 10:52 AM by Ross Forman

golden-con 2022 at chicago's navy pier

photo credit // gopride.com

'Golden Girls' fan convention to feature sitcom producers, guest stars, and drag performances, including RPDR alum Ginger Minj

Get ready Chicago for the second-annual Golden-Con, the 3-day fan convention that organizers boast as ‘The world’s largest event for Golden Girls fans’, kicking off Friday, March 31 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk.

Organizers have built a weekend event for superfans from around the world, all enamored with the legendary Golden Girls. “Golden-Con is fueled by fan energy. Golden-Con celebrates something we love and gives us a chance to hang out with like-minded friends from around the world,” co-producer Brendan Balof told GoPride.com.

This year’s event returns with many Golden-Con staples, including Golden Gab Fest, Lost Episode Performances, Bea a Friend, All About Estelle, Grab That Dough – Trivia Show, Unvarnished Gold, and more.

“Golden-Con is, first and foremost, a labor of love,” said co-producer Zach Hudson. “But we are working to fine-tune Golden-Con into a labor of business so that we can invest back into it to sustain it and help it grow. This year we’re set up to welcome more fans than we could (last year) due to our new venue and no current social-distancing mandates.”

Golden-Con will run rampant through the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk, filling 125,000 square feet of meeting space. “We’ll be able to equip our vendors and performers in ways we could not previously,” said co-producer Brad Balof.

Golden-Con will feature Chicago’s Stewpendous Trivia to host live trivia shows, one of the most popular elements in 2022.

“We’re stacking the weekend with fun events again, like the Mother of a Solid Gold Dancer Disco. And we’re bringing in DJ Paul Joseph from London for that as he did such a great job last year,” Hudson said.

Related: Kiersten Mikelas to remember Betty White with fans at Golden-Con

To that, this year’s Golden-Con will feature return appearances by most of last year’s guests and, Hudson said, “we’re adding another whole slate of guest stars, writers, and producers who we didn’t have last year. If you see a name on “The Golden Girls” credits, we’re trying to bring them in now or in the future.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Ginger Minj is bringing her version of sex-positive southern belle Blanche Deveraux to this year’s Golden-Con. Minj’s all-drag parody, “The Golden Gals Live!” plays the opening and closing nights.

“We’re packing up our cheesecake and coming back to Chicago for Golden-Con so we can show the world’s biggest Golden Girls fans how much we love Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sophia,” Minj said. “The Golden Girls have been getting the live drag parody treatment on stage since the 1980s when gay bars would stop everything to play new episodes of the show on Saturday nights.”

From 1985 to 1992, “The Golden Girls” was an Emmy-winning sitcom for NBC, showcasing the comedic talents of Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty, or as they were more commonly known - Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia.

Golden-Con: Thank You For Being A Fan

March 31-April 2, 2023

Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk, 301 E North Water