By Leslie Pritchett
Northern California Fest attendees.
 This year's Northern California Hercules/Xena Fest was held in beautiful San Pablo, California, on July 26, 1997, and was hosted by Fan Tao. The site selected was the Montara Bay Community Center. The choice of location was ideal as it afforded a great amount of seclusion and freedom to move about without disturbing other patrons, a danger that sometimes happens in restaurant settings. We had access to a full kitchen, restrooms, and tables and chairs. Proving to be a well-prepared host, Fan brought along his extensive T.V. and stereo equipment, and 'fest participants were treated to some favorite Xena episodes on a big screen T.V. with stereo sound.
 The festivities kicked off with a viewing of a bloopers tape from my personal Xena Fan club kit, and then there were introductions all around. There were a total of 17 participants and after a brief poll, it was sadly discovered that there were no representatives from the Hercules camp.
 Next, we decided to have lunch, and our host supplied everyone with Carl's Jr meals and a toy from the Hercules/Xena animated movie, and of course, we all had to lose ourselves in our new toys. So little flying disks filled the air and we all chatted and got to know each other.
 After lunch, the games began! The competition was fierce due to the fact that there were prizes to be won. Everyone got the opportunity to win a Xena II doll by playing a throw the Chakram game. Each person got 2 chances to throw the Chakram (not the real one, of course, but a nice Frisbee rendition) and knock over Disney's version of Hercules. I personally took great pleasure in hitting that little rip-off. Laine Lawless was kind enough to give everyone whip cracking lessons, and then came the group photos.
 The charity auction was next, and $384 was raised for the Children's Book Press, a non-profit organization that publishes children's books about different cultures and customs. Fan, our host, read to us a book about a Chinese girl who grew up to become a general in the Army in order to pay her Father's debts since he did not have a son. The highest bids were for 2 plaques donated by Powerstar. The plaques were still photos, mounted for display and numbered, of Xena and Gabrielle from A DAY IN THE LIFE (#39) and one of Xena. Fan also donated an autographed still of Hudson Leick as our favorite villainess, Callisto. Other items up for auction were T-shirts and toys donated by Artemis Comics, Chakram jewelry donated by Nadavy, and Lucy Lawless pictures donated by Ellen. Also, Wit's End provided some cool buttons which were given with the purchase of a raffle ticket. The rest of the items were raffled off, and I do not believe anyone left empty handed.
Barron avec cake.
 Lots of collectibles were on display. Barron brought his magazine collection, someone brought photos of both the Burbank convention and the Xena contingent at the S.F. Gay & Bi Pride parade, and there were posters on display. I brought my Xena Fan Club kit to whet the appetite of those who had not received theirs yet.
 The day wound down with a dessert and, of course, a Xena episode. We were treated to a homemade, hand decorated Xena Warrior Princess chocolate cake. The cake was brought by Barron, and made by his ex-wife, and it was the best! Lots of pictures were taken of it, and it was almost too pretty to eat...I said almost, and it tasted as good as it looked. Special thanks to Barron's ex-wife, who could not make it to the fest.
 So, with full bellies and happy hearts, we settled down to end our day by watching our favorite Xena episodes and quoting them word for word. It was a blast!
 For next year, I think more time should be invested in advertising so more Hercules and Xena fans can enjoy and be a part of the 5th Northern California Hercules & Xena Fest. A special thank you to our gracious host Fan. He really put a lot of work into organizing the fest and it showed! See you next year!
I am 34 yrs old. I work as a postal carrier (snail mail) in Sacramento, Ca. Female. I live in a nice house with my two cats and dog (who is also a Xena fan). I am into music, science fiction and fantasy. My favorite author is Anne McCaffrey. I am originally from San Diego, CA.
Favorite episode: A DAY IN THE LIFE (#39)
Favorite line: "I'm afraid chain mail would attract a kinkier crowd" A DAY IN THE LIFE (#39); Xena to Gabrielle: "Gabrielle, you are a gift to me" SOLSTICE CAROL (#33); Autolycus to Velasca: "Hey, I paid for an hour" THE QUEST (#37).
First episode seen: CRADLE OF HOPE (#04)
Least favorite episode: ULYSSES (#43)
Laine Lawless is a 47 year old single lesbian living in San Francisco who loves to write alt.fan fiction (http://lynka.simplenet.com), and is currently writing a screenplay set in ancient times featuring strong female protagonists. An avowed Hardcore Nutball Xenite, Ms. Lawless cannot make up her mind whether she wants to be Xena or marry her. Ms. Lawless is a subscriber and a frequent poster to the Xenaverse and Chakram lists.
Favorite episode: IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE
(#24); A DAY IN THE LIFE (#39)
Favorite line: Xena: "I have many skills." THE BLACK WOLF (#11); TIES THAT BIND (#20); HERE SHE COMES...MISS AMPHIPOLIS (#35); COMEDY OF EROS (#46)
First episode seen: WARRIOR PRINCESS (#H09); SINS OF THE PAST (#01)
Least favorite episode: FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS (#40)