My Little Pony-mania – it’s not just for kids
By Natalie Hayes Sun-Times Media September 13, 2012 4:58PM
“Bronies”—adult fans of the fourth generation My Little Pony series — “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” will converge at Pheasant Run resort from Sept. 14-16 for a celebration packed with karaoke, vendor booths selling My Little Pony memorabilia and h
Gathering of Bronies
Although the Midwestria My Little Pony convention is geared toward Bronies, pony-lovers of all ages from children through adults are welcome.
Midwestria takes place Friday through Sunday at Pheasant Run resort, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles. One-day tickets sold the day of the event start at $10 (varying by day) and go up to $45 for a three-day pass.
For more information visit Midwestria’s web site at www.midwestria.org.
Updated: September 13, 2012 7:03PM
Proving that 10-year-old girls aren’t the only My Little Pony fans, more than 500 die-hard adult followers will celebrate their mutual passion for the colorful cartoon equines at the Midwestria “Brony” convention this weekend in St. Charles.
“Bronies” — adult fans of the fourth generation “My Little Pony” series — “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” — will converge at Pheasant Run resort Friday through Sunday for a celebration packed with karaoke, vendor booths selling My Little Pony memorabilia and homemade crafts, concerts, a carnival, costume contests and a charity 5K run.
The Brony movement, an almost cult-like following of fans, started about two years ago with the debut of the fourth version of the 1980’s-born series “Friendship is Magic.”
Known as the “G4”, or generation four series, the shows — which fans say carry meaningful messages about friendship — quickly became a huge hit, sparking the formation of fan Facebook groups and other Internet-based communities where fans could bond over their love of the colorful ponies.
Midwestria is one of eight or nine My Little Pony conventions that have sprouted up throughout the U.S. over the past two years, according to Chris Oliva of Kollision Ink, the company running Midwestria.
“The convention is really about all these people who communicate about the show online finally getting to meet face-to-face,” Oliva said.
Wearing shiny bodysuits adorned with pony wings and faces splashed with body paint, more than 4,000 people of all ages — both male and female — turned out for “BronyCon Summer 2012,” in New Jersey in July.
Midwestria is expected to be a smaller-scale version of that event, but with all the decked-out fans and pony-loving fun.
Justin Chappelle, a 27-year-old fan who lives in Lake Zurich, is the chairman of Midwestria. He started watching the show last winter after noticing chatter about its popularity popping up on the Internet.
“At first I thought it was funny because why would any adult want to watch a show about magical ponies?” Chappelle said. “But after watching it I saw how much talent, art, writing, and music actually go into the show.”
“It’s not just a show for little girls anymore,” he said. “A lot of people enjoy it.”
Chappelle started a few Facebook fan groups, and local followers started getting together about four times per month for what Chappelle calls “meet-ups” or group outings.
“We usually get together in Chicago and go to a museum or a restaurant and talk about the show,” Chappelle said. “We also share other common interests like drawing or music, for example.”
But what’s the sudden appeal of modern-day My Little Pony in contrast to the original TV series that ran from 1986 to 1987?
“The ponies of G4 are tougher than the original ponies from back in the ’80s,” Chappelle said.