Golden Con: Thank You for Being a Fan hits the white sandy beaches of ... Chicago in April of next year.
The Golden Girls
Credit: Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

Much like Betty White, the love for The Golden Girls is alive and well!

The beloved sitcom ran from 1985 to 1992 but has remained a staple on television long after Dorothy (Bea Arthur), Blanche (Rue McClanahan), Rose (Betty White), and Sophia (Estelle Getty) sliced into their final cheesecake, thanks to syndication, streaming, and of course, the gays.

The Golden Girls fandom is so strong that it has survived the loss of three of its beloved stars — Arthur in 2009, McClanahan in 2010, and Getty in 2008 (White is still going strong!) It was really only a matter of time before someone came up with a Comic-Con-like gathering to share St. Olaf stories and tales of Sicily involving Pablo Picasso and Golda Meir. Allegedly.

Well, that wait is over, kids! Mark your calendars for April 22-24, 2022 — the dates of the "first-of-its-kind" Golden Con: Thank You For Being a Fan convention in Chicago.

Cue the piano: And if you threw a convention... invited everyone you knew... you would see the biggest shoulder pads would be on me... and my wicker purse would say, "Thank you for being a fan!"

The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls
| Credit: Everett Collection

The event takes place in Chicago's historically queer Northalstead neighborhood, which honestly seems like a missed opportunity. Why not Miami? As Dorothy and Rose once famously sang, "It's got style! Blue skies, sunshine, white sand by the mile." It's cuter than an intrauterine. It's so nice, I'm tempted to say it thrice.

But event producers Zack Hudson and Brad Balof chose Chicago because of Northalstead and its LGBTQ legacy, as the show has been a particular touchstone for the queer community and its cast was staunch supporters of gay rights. Besides, who wants to wear all those turtlenecks, belted tracksuits, and sequined evening gowns in 80-degree heat?

According to the Golden Con website, attendees can expect a "Greatest Gift" vendor's market, live parody shows from the Hell in a Handbag Theater Company, appearances by guest stars and producers on the show, a "Mother of a Solid Gold Dancer" dance party, a pop-up Rusty Anchor bar, the "Chicago: You've Got Style" costume parade, and the "Grab! That! Trivia! Dough!" contest.

The organizers are trying to get future centenarian Betty White to put in some kind of appearance, but haven't had any luck as of yet. In an interview with Edge Media Network, they noted that they "do have a growing lineup of folks who've appeared on the show and been a big part of the show's success."

So, if you choose, like Blanche would, to show up in a bathtub "with just enough water to cover your perky bosoms" — or like Dorothy in a drop-waist velvet gown with Chanel doorknockers dangling from your ears, it's nice to know that you'll be surrounded by people who just get it, y'know?

Tickets for Golden Con haven't gone on sale yet, but like Rose always said, "Back in St. Olaf... "

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