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Nerd Fest Very ‘Uncool’

By Nick Schmidt
April 3, 2002 | Newpaper

Pocket protectors, polyester formalwear and headgear will steal the show at Duluth’s inaugural Geek Prom.

The evening of fearless costumes could be the largest rally of the "uncool" ever to descend on the Northland.

"This is going to be the best nerdfest in the Midwest," said Geek Prom organizer Paul Lundgren of the debut event which will be held at the NorShor Theatre on Saturday, April 13.

Lundgren, a self-proclaimed geek, said the event is the perfect chance for those who were uncool in high school to celebrate social ineptness.

"Being a geek means you can jump on the dance floor and spaz out and trip all over yourself," Lundgren said. "Being a geek is fun. Being cool is work. It is hard to celebrate being cool."

Highlights of the evening include a walk down the red carpet and introductions of all guests upon arrival.

During the grand march, a panel of local celebrities will judge costumes and later crown a king and queen geek who will sashay a spotlight dance to the Hospital People’s "We’ll Be Philosophers."

Duluth band Super D & the Double Chucks will provide tacky dance music, as will Minneapolis band Vinnie and the Stardüsters.

Pizza Lucé, Lake Avenue Café and Fitger’s Brewhouse are sponsoring the event and a limousine will shuttle ticket holders from those restaurants to the NorShor for the big prom.

The dance wraps up at 1 a.m. and will be followed by the post-prom party at Pizza Lucé.

Ragstock is the official supplier of Geek Prom attire and stocks a full line of outdated formal wear and costumes to provide perfectly geeky attire. Organizers expect to see plenty of superhero outfits, Star Trek costumes hideous prom dresses and pastel tuxedos.

Ragstock employee Jenny Hoffman said it doesn’t matter if you are a geek or not, "the dresses are ridiculous."

"I’m trying to locate a Denfeld (High School) A.V. shirt," Lundgren said as he planned his wardrobe for the evening.

For three years, Lundgren was wanting to organize a prom for adults, but knew it had to be different from high school. The Geek Prom evolved into the perfect solution.

"It’s harder to be cool as you get older," Lundgren said. "There’s less of a reason to be."

"Our main hope is that the jocks don’t crash the party," he said.

Tickets are $8 in advance and can be picked up at the Electric Fetus or the NorShor. Tickets will also be available at the door for $10.