The creators of Christmas Con, the three-day convention devoted to connecting fans with the stars of their favorite holiday TV movies — particularly the dozens produced annually by Hallmark Channel — will bring the weekend event to the Midwest for the first time this summer. Organizers say tickets are going fast for the June 2023 event in Kansas City, with longtime Hallmark actor Jonathan Bennett serving as the event’s “Official Host.” Here’s what you need to know:
Multiple Hallmark Stars to Attend Christmas Con in Kansas City
The next Christmas Con will run from June 9 to 11 in Overland Park, Kansas — a suburb of Kansas City. Several hours after opening ticket sales on January 13, the convention’s parent company, That’s 4 Entertainment, posted on Instagram that its $250 VIP tickets — which provide perks like a “fast pass” to bypass lines during celebrity photo-ops — were already 50% sold out.
In addition to Bennett, organizers say more than 20 fan-favorites are scheduled to attend including Andrew Walker, Paul Campbell, Erin Cahill, Brennan Elliott, Benjamin Ayres, Wes Brown, Danica McKellar, Taylor Cole, Jen Lilley, Cameron Mathison, and Melissa Joan Hart.
In a statement issued in early January, Christmas Con co-founders Christina Figliona and Liliana Kligman said, “We have constantly been asked to bring Christmas Con to the Midwest and what better place to host a Christmas convention than the birthplace of Hallmark, Kansas City.”
Though the convention is not a Hallmark production, the event’s screenings and meet-and-greets heavily focus on Hallmark movies and stars, since Hallmark is the undisputed leader in the holiday movie genre. In fact, in a press release issued on January 11, Hallmark Media said that during the fourth quarter of 2022, Hallmark Channel was the No. 1 entertainment cable network for the ninth year in a row and that Hallmark’s original movies accounted for 97 of the top 100 movies across all of cable TV in 2022.
Hallmark Media is an offshoot of Hallmark, the iconic Kansas City-based stationery company launched in 1910. While Christmas Con will be held at the Overland Park Convention Center, the location provides attendees a opportunity to tour the Hallmark Visitors Center, located 18 miles away in downtown Kansas City.
Fans and Stars Love Chace to Connect at 3-Day Conventions
Christmas Con began in 2019 in New Jersey, attracting 10,000 fans, according to New Jersey Community Magazine. New Jersey, where Christmas Con’s co-founders live, is the home base for the convention, with an event held there each December. After the Midwest event this summer, a second Christmas Con will be held at the New Jersey Expo Center from December 8 to 10. VIP tickets for that event sold out in just 20 minutes, according to People magazine.
Hallmark stars often say they love attending the events because they get to meet and hear from their most loyal fans, as well as connect with fellow actors they haven’t seen in a long time. On Thats4Entertainment’s Instagram post announcing some of the talent scheduled to appear, multiple stars commented, including Paul Campbell, who wrote, “Can. Not. Wait. SO excited for this!”
During an Instagram Live with co-founders Figliona and Kligman in November 2022, Hallmark actor Wes Brown said it’s meaningful for him to connect with people about the movies he’s made.
“It’s really surreal, you know, when we’re shooting these movies, we’re kind of out in the middle of nowhere sometimes. It’s just us,” he said.
“And then to see the impact, so many months later, and even years later when they bring up a film we did one, two, three-plus years ago,” he continued. “I think that’s the best part about it, to see how many people show up to these things to let you know what traditions you’ve created in their life and so many memories. You don’t really see that or get a taste of that when you’re out on location filming sometimes.”
During each convention, stars frequently share photos and videos to their social media feeds so other fans can get glimpses of the fun. Following the Christmas Con held in December 2022, actor Paul Greene posted a montage video of his favorite moments from the weekend on YouTube, writing, “What a wild, Fun, delicious weekend we had together meeting all of you in New Jersey at #christmasconnj2022.”