CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly gave the date of the Southern Slime Convention as Saturday, Aug. 31. The convention has been postponed until Jan. 5, 2020. CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled Misty Willhoit's name as Wilhoit.
Chattanooga is jumping on the slime trend with the Southern Slime Convention, an event centered on the oozy, gooey globs the internet started going crazy over in 2017.
That's the year Southern Slime Convention owner Misty Willhoit was introduced to the newest version of slime by her 10-year-old daughter. The toy was first introduced in toy stores by Mattel in the '70s and has experienced a resurgence as of late.
Like many of her peers, Willhoit's daughter was watching Instagram influencers' videos on how to make slime and contributing to the craft glue shortages at craft supply stores everywhere. (The glue is slime's main ingredient.)
After taking her daughter to a slime convention that drew 3,000 attendees — and realizing that the Nashville event was the only one held within six to eight hours of Chattanooga — Willhoit decided that the Scenic City needed to get slimed.
"I saw the light on all their faces," she said of the attendees and slime vendors, most of whom are under age 15. "I love that entrepreneurship. Some of them run a very profitable business."
In a 2017 profile of Karina Garcia, aka the "slime queen," The New York Times reported the influencer made as much as $200,000 a month on her DIY slime videos through sponsorships.
Willhoit, an Ooltewah resident and investment advisor, is bringing in slime celebrities from Instagram and YouTube to the Southern Slime Convention, scheduled for Jan. 5 at the Chattanooga Convention Center.
Attendees can meet and purchase slime from their favorite slimers, who will be doing demonstrations and holding Q&A sessions. They can also exchange slime making tips and trade slime with other enthusiasts, and make their own at a DIY slime station.
The event also features hourly raffle drawings for prizes, as well as homemade slime contests to win Bash Cash exchangeable for any item at the event.
Tickets are $25 for general admission, $40 for VIP and $15 for parents. General admission covers all activities aside from the DIY slime station. VIP ticket-holders may enter an hour early and will receive a bag of goodies, including slime ingredients.
The Chattanooga Convention Center is at 1150 Carter St. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit southernslimeconvention.com. Enter the code "freepress" when purchasing tickets for a $5 discount.
Email Emily Crisman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story was updated Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019, at 10 p.m. with more information.