There's nothing like celebrating Star Trek than with the annual Creation Entertainment convention in Las Vegas, billed as the official Star Trek convention each year.
The 2015 edition, celebrating 49 years of the franchise, has a guest list a mile long — and so much activity you won't even find time to hit the slot machines. So for those who have limited time, or simply want to make sure they have a chance to see the best of VegasCon, here's our list of musts at this year's convention.
RESTORING THE ENTERPRISE
One of the most exciting things to happen on the classic "Star Trek" side is the ongoing restoration of the USS Enterprise's 11-foot filming model for the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum.
The Official Star Trek website has brought in members of the Smithsonian Special Advisory Committee that have been working on the model and will provide some special insight as well as a status update. Once the restoration of the filming model is complete, it will join the Spirit of St. Louis and other famous real vessels in the Smithsonian.
Longtime Trek technical experts Michael and Denise Okuda had a chance to visit the Enterprise while it was undergoing restoration in Virginia and recently shared that experience with 1701News readers right here.
The panel takes place at 10:40 a.m. Friday in the Leonard Nimoy Theatre.
Edith Keeler. Need we say more?
Even if you don't know Joan Collins from "Star Trek," you have seen in her in so much more, including the 1980s prime-time soap "Dynasty."
Not only will she entertain audiences Saturday in the Nimoy theater, but she'll be signing autographs as well. And she'll warm up the audience for William Shatner's appearance immediately following.
Collins will start at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
IT'S THE PROMENADE
The hotel for VegasCon is huge ... and we mean it. For the average fan it's a mile walk from their room to the convention floor.
But beginning last year, Creation made that walk far more entertaining with what it's called the "Promenade Experience." And it's getting even better this year with photo ops, craftspeople and more. Roger Grodin, who amazed crowds with his balloon artistry, will be back, as will be "Star Trek: The Experience" alum Celestia Ward.
Why should the hallways be long and dull? This isn't Star Wars. And Creation shows that they don't have to be.
REMEMBERING GRACE LEE WHITNEY
For the first time in, well, ever, there is going to be a VegasCon without the amazing woman behind the original series character Yeoman Janice Rand.
Creation is remembering Grace Lee Whitney with a special panel at 9:30 a.m. Sunday in the Nimoy Theatre.
Whitney died in May at the age of 85, just months after her fellow co-star Leonard Nimoy.
"Her talks on stage were always a highlight, and her dramatic life with its ups and downs were truly beacons of light that added hope to thousands of lives," the convention said.
There are no announced guests for this particular remembrance, but it should be one worth attending.
STAR TREK AND THE MILITARY REALITY
We all know that Starfleet is supposed to be about keeping the peace, but these scientists venturing out alone in space must also be soldiers from time to time.
But how has Star Trek respected and handled the military, especially when it comes to the film series reboot from J.J. Abrams?
Veterans will be available in the DeForest Kelley Theatre to talk about the military's impact on Star Trek, beginning with its actual conception by World War II veterans.
The panel starts at 10:35 a.m. Friday.
SCI-FRIED TO PERFORM
Why write or talk about science-fiction and Star Trek when you can sing about it?
The official "house band" of VegasCon is an awesome fan group called Sci-Fried, which has released five albums in seven years. The Orlando, Florida-based band performs frequently in Central Florida but has found itself traveling all over the country in recent years. And one of those stops, of course, will be in Las Vegas.
If you haven't heard Sci-Fried perform before, you should check out their site. Then be sure to listen for them throughout the weekend at the Rio.
And finally, the son of "Star Trek" icon Leonard Nimoy, Adam, will be on hand around lunchtime Friday to share memories of his father, listen to what fans have to say and talk about his new upcoming documentary featuring the famous Vulcan-playing actor.
Adam Nimoy is an accomplished director on his own and had planned to do a more Spock-centric documentary before his father passed away in February. Now the project will shift focus a little to celebrate the life of Leonard Nimoy and the impact he had on fandom over the years.
The gathering will take place in, appropriately enough, the Leonard Nimoy Theatre, beginning at noon Friday.
This is just a smattering of the great events to check out. And, of course, we can't forget those of our partners — Roddenberry Entertainment. The Roddenberry.com booth will be the place to be on the convention floor with planned events that include the popular Mission Log podcast with John Champion, Ken Ray and Rod Roddenberry, as well as a Trek Initiative event.
For the complete schedule and ticket information, click right here.