The Orlando Science Center has offered exhibits that have attracted attendees of all ages and walks of life. With the Orlando Nerd Fest in its first year at the center, an even more diverse attendance was facilitated.
The event took place on Saturday and Sunday, appealing to “nerds” from around the Orlando area and beyond, including UCF students.
“Some people have actually flown in for this event,” said Jennine Miller, spokeswoman for the Orlando Science Center.
The weekend festival hosted attractions that ranged from musical acts, to stands and other displays appealing to “nerd culture.”
Special appearances included NASA at the Kennedy Space Center exhibition, horror author Keith Rommel and Nintendo.
The center’s attractions only complemented the “nerdy” atmosphere in its scientific intertwinement. Unlike the usual crowd at the Orlando Science Center, some of the sights at the museum this weekend included extraterrestrials dancing beside a T-Rex skeleton and an a cappella group performing comical science fiction ballads.
On the fourth floor, where the dinosaur exhibits are located, a stage was set for bands to play throughout the day.
There were children gazing upon the Mesozoic displays while others were listening to the live music. It was in the midst of this scene that a group of aliens playing rock 'n’roll, known as The Brothers of Rock, danced and entertained guests, from small children to adult attendees.
“We’ve technically been together for about 400 years but we’ve recently resurfaced in about 2013,” said the band’s guitarist and vocalist, known by the stage name Inferno Being.
The four members of the band were clad in a Martian-esque appearance with as much charisma as alien presence.
Another musical ensemble that performed was a cappella group, Geekapella. Made up of UCF students and alumni, the dectet sang classic science fiction themes, such as Close Encounters of a Third Kind, Harry Potter, and Star Wars, with original, yet reference-filled lyrics.
“We all have our own fandom,” said Geekapella member Tina Fleming, who is in the UCF Master of Business Administration program.
The festival also hosted a costume contest that attracted different characters from mainstream and less-known origins. Some of the contestants had elaborate designs, such as Captain America and Edward Scissorhands.
The congregation of superheroes and other fandom-filled imitations created a vivid, lively picture. All the while these contestants enjoyed the scientific attractions of the Science Center, children and adults alike.
The regular exhibitions were a fitting medium between the stands and performances, between the Science Center’s more common exhibitions, such as DinoDigs and The Mummies of the World.
“The mummies are definitely the coolest thing,” said Kim Lopez, a UCF junior hospitality major, dressed as Copperhead from the video game Batman: Arkham Origins.
Daniel Ceruti is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.