• Paredes de Coura Fan Weekend


    Kim Thomsen

    Given the sheer number of AFOLs and events around the world, there is no chance I'll ever be able to go to all of them. Not even once, if I for example decided never to go to the same place twice. Luckily the AFOL Community drives some events which pull in tons of AFOLs in once place. Recently I was a BrickFair VA which pulled in more than a 1.000 AFOLs for the weekend. That was hectic and quite intense - but that is not for this blog post.

    No, this blog post is about the 2nd Fan Weekend - the one in Portugal which takes place every June. Or at least has taken place in June up until this year! We're all eagerly awaiting news on next year's edition so we can book our travels and negotiate budgets.

    The Paredes de Coura Fan Weekend is special, as all events are - no matter where or the size of them. There's something to an AFOL event which makes it like coming home. You're with "family" - people who know and who share the same passion. So that's not what makes it special. The weather is usually good, but this year it was more like a Danish summer with decent temperatures (in my Scandinavian opinion - the locals disagreed) and rain which I hadn't seen for months because of the drought back home. So that's not that special either. What makes it special is the fact that the entire city backs the event. All the way up from the Mayor's office and the Town Council to the people living in Paredes de Coura. They all love the PdC Fan Weekend.

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    And you feel it when you're there. You can feel the connection and relationship between the city and Communidade0937 when you're there. It's not visible but you sense it - it's like some sort of electricity in the air which you can't really pin point. It's one of those events where everyone is happy and everyone pulls in the same direction.

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    There's Talk Shows with prominent AFOLs and every now and then a LEGO designer or employee. I was lucky to get interviewed last year which was really fun. In the cinema (yes there is a cinema at the event) BrickFlicks are running throughout the day as well as presentations on all things AFOL.

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    The New Elementary team did a Parts Festival workshop in the local Comunidade0937 workshop (yes they have a pretty amazing workshop in the city). Plus you get to meet all (almost) the famous and skilled AFOLs from around the world. 

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    You can even get the "small" French Toast (?) at the local restaurant - which you should! Both restaurant and toast is worth the experience. A suggestion is to skip breakfast and evening dinner if you do though. Sorry about the blurry picture - my phone is in dire need of repairs. I'll get a better picture next year and that's a promise.

    There's tons of beautiful MOCs there - but you will have to go look for them yourself. Either at the event or by searching the internet. A lot of kind AFOL took much much better pics than my phone did and I will let their superior photography represent the MOCs rather than my blurry distorted images.

    So the final question is - are you coming next year? I know I want to and plan to.

    To learn more - visit the PdC Fan Weekend Facebook page and/or the official website

     

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    Edited by Kim Thomsen

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    Great review of this event. This one has been on our list the last few years and we really hope to get there sooner than later. Coming from the west coast of Canada there are lots of logistics to consider but hopefully we can make it happen as we've only heard great things about this event.

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    The most awesome part is that with your sign up and fee paid - everything apart from getting there is taken care of. So booking a place to sleep and food is handled. That takes away a lot of the usual stress around participating in an event. All you need is the flight to the nearest airport and getting from there to the event and back of course. The connected forum allows coordination with other participants in regards to renting cars together and so forth.

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    And you should :) it's the best catered event i've ever been to..  Everything is taken care of for you.. And the organising staff does do a lot of extra miles for you :)

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