Geeks invited to unite for first ever Craftcom

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published June 14, 2017

CLAWSON — Don’t be alarmed if you happen to see a stormtrooper or Stay Puft Marshmallow Man walking the streets this weekend. There is no world domination or paranormal activity happening, and the only thing your P.K.E. meter will detect is fun.

The inaugural Craftcom, presented by Black Lotus Brewing Co., will take place 5-11 p.m. June 16 and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. June 17 in downtown Clawson. Main Street will be closed from 14 Mile road to Broadacre Avenue for the event.

“We’re really excited and we think it is going to be a great thing for downtown Clawson,” said co-organizer, resident and Black Lotus Brewing Co. partner Mark Harper.

Event producers said this is a fusion event featuring craft beer and comic books, and they came up with the name “Craftcom” by combining one part craft beer and one part comic book.

The pop culture event will include beer, local crafters and artists, comics, collectors, comic and game vendors, locally made robots, a homebrew competition and live music — and cosplay is encouraged. A cosplay contest will take place at 3 p.m. Saturday and will be judged by Jill Janis from the TV show “Comics, Beer & Sci-Fi,” who also will be filming for the program that airs on CW50.

Entry into the event is free, and organizers said Craftcom makes a great family-friendly destination,  featuring a free Whole Foods Kids Zone with crafts, a bounce house, an inflatable obstacle course, lawn games, bomb bowling by the HUB Stadium, the Troy Nature Society, healthy snack-making and the Detroit Imagination Works creation station.

Harper said live entertainment will include Royal Oak favorite Detroit School of Rock and Pop, which will perform on Saturday, and the Clawson High School symphony orchestra, which will open the festival on Friday performing pop culture music scores.

“We’re really excited; the symphony is so gung-ho,” Harper said. “I think we’ve really put together a solid festival.”

Food vendors will include General Dogs, Treat Dreams and Detroit BBQ Co., and featured alcohol will include B. Nektar Meadery, Black Lotus Brewing Co., Lagunitas Brewing Co., Griffin Claw Brewing Co., and Brewery Ommegang.

The Great Lakes Garrison  of the 501st Legion — a Star Wars organization — will also attend the event.

“They are the only sanctioned group by Lucas films and Disney … and they will be present,” Harper said. “We also will have some sandtroopers, Jedi, the Ghostbusters of course will be there, Jurassic Park vehicle — there will be a lot of attractions for people.

“It’s just going to be such a great day, and the weather looks good.”

Harper said the idea for the happening was born from the want to have a family-friendly, fun event that wouldn’t kill people’s pocketbooks. He said they also wanted something smaller and cool and indicative of the downtown Clawson culture.

He said a lot of local customers at Black Lotus Brewing tCo. old him they wished there were more smaller-scale local events like the annual Downtown Development Authority movie night and the Lions Club Car Show, which started their wheels turning.

Harper said that as he looked around the community and saw two comic book shops, a brewery and a magic shop, it was a no-brainer that the community was “geek-central in a good way.”

Event co-producer Dustin Leslie said what makes the event equally exciting is that it takes place on the last day of school, so he encourages everyone to come out and experience a Disney-like experience right in the streets of Clawson. Leslie said members of the Clawson robotics team will be doing on-site robot building.

“It’s a wonderful, creative idea that will bring families into Clawson to see what we have to offer while they have a good time,” said Mayor Penny Luebs.

Luebs said she thinks the event is unique.

“It sounds amazing and I’m excited to be there,” she said.

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