Baitcon started many years ago, when I (aka Jailbait or JB) got tired of saying to my friends, “You should come up to my place sometime so we can hand crank some really good homemade ice cream.”
Having said it so many times, I decided that I should invite ALL of these people up, simultaneously, and make a party out of it. So I did.
Baitcon has never been my birthday party (that’s around the actual time of my birthday in Late October. 😉 or anything other than ice cream, and community.
Baitcon I (10-12 June, 1988) was held in 1988, at the Fabulous Segal Homestead, in scenic Pawling, NY, with the help of Mom and about 50 friends.
The next year saw 42 folks trek to The Fabulous Segal Homestead for Baitcon II:Ice Cream A La Mode (2-4 June, 1989). So we shrank a little, but we did discover PortaJohns. This was a Good Thing.
Baitcon III:Home for the Holidays (22-24 June, 1990) Took Off! 86 people, on 2/3 Acre. This was a bit much for Segal Facilities Management to deal with. So with the help of Littlest Orc Enterprises, we moved!
Baitcon IV:The Search for Space (28-30 June, 1991) moved to Evergreen, The Orcish Summer Palace, in beautiful (and remote) Big Indian, NY. We had 87 people that year. People were cautious about the new site. But what a wonderful place it was. That was the start of all sorts of things like Frob Hill, Rock Dam I, Hammock time with Davo, and of course, more fun, hanging out and ICE CREAM!
Baitcon V:The Search for a Subtitle (12-14 June, 1992) boasted 112 people, and more frolicking in the stream and cranking, cranking, cranking.
Baitcon VI:QSO Naked (25-27 June, 1993) was huge! 143 people! Hot! Fun! (in the summertime …) Naked Folks in the Water with Ham Radios!
Unfortunately, scheduling problems shrank Baitcon VII:The Baitcon That Almost Wasn’t (17-19 June, 1994) and we only had 84 attendees that year. However, Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream was introduced and it was a huge hit! And the folks who really make things happen (like the food, the port-a-johns, the ice cream, etc.) became more of an organized group talking *to* each other and working together. They are now known as BCC (The BaitConCom), and without them, Baitcon would not be possible.
Baitcon VIII:Insert Subtitle Here (23-25 June, 1995) boasted Boiled In Lead as our first headlining musical group, although they almost didn’t get to play as it massively rained on our parade. There was a great jam session on the porch later with harps, dulcimers, drums, guitars, recorders, and all sorts of odds and ends! LN2 continued to rock our ice cream world and made it possible to double the number flavors offered.
Baitcon IX:Our Latest, Best Hope for Ice Cream, or I Slept in the Wet Spot (7-9 June, 1996) was wet but fun! More great ice cream, a lot of people and even more rain.
Our 10th anniversary was wonderful!! Baitcon X:A Decade of Ice Cream (27-29 June, 1997) had over 140 people, special commemorative t-shirts (still available!), creative ice cream flavors and wonderful – nay, PERFECT! – weather. The BCC crew and the attendees made it great! We are *still* working on the album of pictures, comments/stories from all of you, drawings, recipes, etc. When it’s finally done, there will be a copy at Baitcon every year.
Baitcon XI:The Next 31 Flavors (26-28 June, 1998) featured 125 attendees and 40! flavors of Ice Cream (that was a new record!) and with the wonderful, generous help of the BCC crew, and the great attitudes and contributions of all of you, we’ve kept getting better and better, and we will for many years to come.
Baitcon XII:The Phantom Flavor (27-29 August, 1999) brought a huge change, to a new site, 46 flavors, 85 people, a new date, and yet more fabulous weather, great food, good times and wonderful memories.
Baitcon the XIIIth: We Know What You Did Last Summer! (23-25 June, 2000) featured over 50 flavors, a performance by Platypus Rex, 110 folks, and great weather, massage, and plenty of fun.
Baitcon XIV: 2001: An Ice Cream Oddyssey (22-24 June, 2001) reached a record 60 flavors, our 3rd Band, (Mazer Rackham), 108 people, and yet another amazing time.
Baitcon XV: SPOON! or Attack Of The Cones! (21-23 June, 2002) reached a new record of 62 flavors, the return of our 3rd Band, (Mazer Rackham), a bunch of people, and Metal Spoons on beads!
Baitcon XVI: SWEET SIXTEEN (June 27-29, 2003) featured a LOT of water, and not just from Kimberly’s super-soakers, but from the SKY. Despite the weather, nearly 120 kids and adults had a great time frolicking, great ice cream was made and much hot tea & cocoa was served!
Baitcon XVII: The Ice-Cream Maker’s Guide to The Catskills (July 29-31, 2005) featured a big crowd-157 people!- and an astonishing 83 flavors, 3 gorgeous days, the return of P-Rex, and, in general, a magnificent time.
Baitcon XVIII: Bertie Bait’s (Almost) Every Flavor Ice Cream Extravaganza (July 20-22, 2007) had us moving to a new site, the Mountain Campground of the Abode, in the Berkshires. New records – 177 people, 92 flavors – plus a contra dance, aerial silks, a circus band, a midnight tea party, mostly good weather, SHOWERS! and an all-around fantastic time on many acres of great land!
Baitcon XIX: Hey 19, or Party Like It’s 19… (June 27-29, 2008) saw a return to The Abode, a bit of rain, even more people (216!!), even more flavors (113 flavors during the weekend, 4 more after almost everyone left, and 22 creations by the kids of the con!), another contra, and much joy and merriment.
Baitcon XX!: Legen…wait for it…dairy! (June 26-29, 2009) There was a full extra day of celebration for our 20th Coniversary (it can’t be an anniversary – we skipped 2 years), about 217 people, and something around 170(!!!!) flavors of ice cream in 2 separate major runnings. Once again, a coterie of Odaiko New England drummers, a contra dance band and a troupe of areal silks performers all added to the air of fun and celebration. Oh, and very little rain, despite a month before that was FULL of it.
Baitcon XXI: No, No, It’s Just Ice Cream… (June 25-28, 2010) 185 people
Baitcon XXII: Eclectic Boogaloo (June 24-27, 2011) 210 people
Baitcon XXIII: 200 Flavors In To The Future (June 22-25, 2012) 181 People
Baitcon XXIV: TBD (June 28-July 1, 2013) TBD
Baitcon XXV: (27-30 June, 2014)
Baitcon XXVI: (28-31 August, 2015)
Baitcon XXVII: DMIC took place a year later than intended, due to a number of serious issues amongst the BCC personnel, but we were delighted to return again, in June 2017.
Despite the delay, Baitcon 26.5 took place over 10 hours in 2016, at Cornerstone CoHousing in Cambridge.