PITTSBURGH (THE CW) — There were a lot of wayward wanderers in Pittsburgh over the weekend.
While the rest of the city began celebrations to mark our bicentennial, there was something a little more paranormal going on in one of the corners of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center downtown.
Angels and demons and other beings of the mystical and occult descended on our town for a visit.
No, this wasn’t an early Halloween celebration.
This was the first stop ever in Pittsburgh for the “Supernatural” Official Convention presented by Creation Entertainment.
Fans of the long-running, hit show on The CW flocked – appropriately, some were even wearing wings – to see their favorite “supernatural” beings from July 8, 9 and 10. It all came to an epic conclusion Sunday when the two famous hunters of those beings arrived.
They play loyal brothers and best friends on the show, and they seem to have a brotherly chemistry off-screen, too. They are stars, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki, also known as Dean and Sam Winchester. Their co-star bond was on full display for fans, from bickering to family stories to general fraternal fun.
But while the actors who play Dean and Sam are the focus of all the attention, this weekend was all about their fans from the Pittsburgh area, and others who made the trek to the Steel City to see them in person.
In addition to Pittsburghers, there were fans from all across Pennsylvania, as well as Ohioans and West Virginians, as evidenced by the final fan question the guys took during their Q&A Panel Sunday afternoon.
After Jared brought the fan up on stage and sat her between himself and Jensen, she asked, “When will you guys solve a case in West Virginia?”
For those not familiar with the show, in a nutshell, after a complicated childhood, the boys spend most of their time in their 1967 Chevy Impala, dubbed “Baby,” a character on the show in its own right, and battle demons, monsters and other supernatural darknesses all across the country.
And, boy, did these guys bring people into Pittsburgh from many different states, and then some. There were also fans from Maryland, New York, New Hampshire, Kentucky, and more. There was also word of one international fan from Brazil in the audience.
As for the West Virginia questions; well, while the guys didn’t have a definitive answer, they said as long as the fans keep watching and supporting them, the show will eventually make it to the Mountain State.
And that’s what these guys do. Their characters travel the country, and the show brings fans from all over together.
Just as the brothers have a complicated past, losing their mother and living life on the road with their dad, the fans say they relate because they all have their own stories of overcoming challenges.
As one fan said, “Everyone has a different story.”
Depression, physical health concerns, family issues. “Supernatural” is a shining light, an escape if just for a little while, from those tough situations. Also, a reminder to keep going, and “give’em hell.”
And while getting up close and personal with the stars at these conventions is important for them; it’s also about coming together as a fandom, making friends, having fun and supporting one another.
“It brings together the broken and mends it together,” said “Supernatural” super fan, Amanda Mehlhorn.
The fans agree that when they come together, they have an instant connection. A support system, in that, as they watch the brothers go through and overcome struggles, so do they.
“It’s a blessing to have them do what they do,” said one fan, not just of the show the cast and crew of “Supernatural” create, but of the charities they support and the love they show to fans.
Scottish actress Ruth Connell, who plays “Rowena” the witch on “Supernatural,” may have said it best during her Q&A Panel, “What an amazing family to be in.”
And that family is colorful. Many attendees came clad in flannel, like the brothers and their mentor wear when they’re in character. Others wore fandom shirts. And then, there’s the “Castiel” loyalists in their trench coats, ties and angel wings.
Three of those fans include Mehlhorn, who came dressed completely in character including a huge set of black angel wings, then there’s Kelsey Harman, who came dressed as a Season 11 version of “Castiel,” and finally there’s Kyndal Christofferson.
Christofferson not only relates to the character, she also loves taxidermy. She showed off her “Supernatural” squirrels and other creative creations to all her fellow fans.
The convention itself had lots of fun to offer all those enthusiastic fans, from behind-the-scenes looks to a karaoke party called “Game of Tones,” to a Saturday night concert featuring one of the stars of the show, and appropriately, a costume contest.
There were even some touches of Pittsburgh. The actors making references to the Steelers and the Penguins. Then, there was the “Supernatural” towel wave during the Q&A session with the stars.
So, it’s no doubt, the Winchester brothers’ road has been a long one, but they’ve helped so many people in the process.
Sure, they are just fictional characters on a TV show. But it’s the stories, the journey the show – which is now TV’s longest-running genre series – has taken that has touched so many real people, the loyal fans.
And now that journey, “the road so far” as fans know it, runs through Pittsburgh.