The Aftermath: Texas Frightmare Weekend 2017 – 4

As the greatest movie ever to namedrop the town of Garland, Texas noted, “sometimes it’s all about the little things.” We didn’t have Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone tearing things up out here, but the sentiment applied all weekend. Half of the fun wasn’t just in introducing new people to the world of carnivorous plants: it was meeting someone who was in middle school when she bought her first carnivore at her first Frightmare show, introducing her husband and first child all these years later. This is why I do this.

The Aftermath: Texas Frightmare Weekend 2017 – 3

One of the interesting side-effects of Texas Frightmare Weekend happening at the same time each year is that it’s generally the weekend before Mother’s Day. When I first started showing plants at Frightmare back in 2009, quite a few people used to pick up enclosures and arrangements as Mother’s Day gifts, on the idea that “Mom will love this, but I don’t know if she’d like to come out to the show.” This year, not only was Mom leading the way to the booth, but she’d simply look around, point at a container, and insist “I want THAT.” Next year, I’m going to have to set up a separate arrangement just for Mother’s Day pickup orders, so they already know what they’re getting as soon as they walk inside.

The Aftermath: Texas Frightmare Weekend 2017 – 2

This year’s Texas Frightmare Weekend was an interesting mix of people, and none more so than the folks who came by the Triffid Ranch booth. A lot of longtime Frightmare fans came by, with many deciding that this was the year they were finally going to break down and buy a plant. A lot, though, were out here for the first time, and the enthusiasm was obvious. That enthusiasm is one of the reasons why prepping for Frightmare in the spring takes priority over everything: you never know how attendees’ pocketbooks are from year to year, and I understand completely when folks walk by and admit that they can only look this year. The last thing I want to do, though, is disappoint.

The Aftermath: Texas Frightmare Weekend 2017 – 1

The eternal question at this year’s Texas Frightmare Weekend was “When will the gallery be open?” That was a very reasonable question if a bit surprising, because we had no idea how many people were waiting for that answer.  The eternal response was “Well, I could get the gallery ready or I could get ready for the Frightmare show, and Frightmare wins, every time.” And oh boy, this one was one for the books. Not only was it the largest show I’ve seen in nearly a decade of them, but the crowd was one of the most mellow yet enthusiastic I’ve ever dealt with. Texas Frightmare Weekend already has a reputation among Dallas conventiongoers for an excellent experience all the way around, but the number of people coming from all over the planet? That’s always surprising.


As far as the traditional pre-show incidents were concerned, nothing comparable to last year’s lightning-struck box truck happened this time, but the show starts earlier and earlier. That is, the doors open at 5:00 on Friday evening for VIP attendees, but previously that gave just a little time for people to wander back through the dealer’s room and check out the sights. Not this time: at 5 sharp, the crowds were already rushing back to see what we vendors had this time, and it didn’t let up for six hours. This normally isn’t a problem, but that was about the time the Dallas Observer photographers came through to take photos for its annual Frightmare slideshow. Naturally, I show up in the last slide, crusted with salt from hauling plant tubs inside, and no chance to change into decent clothes before the mob hit. We should all have such problems. (The additional joy was having Robert Whitus of Drink With The Living Dead across the aisle. A great way to keep a sense of humility at shows is to have your very own heckler across the aisle, and since Robert has known me for 30 years, he had a LOT of material.)


More to follow…

Have a Great Weekend

Have a Great Texas Frightmare Weekend

Out at Texas Frightmare Weekend. Don’t wait up.

Have a Great Weekend