This event will be “THE” steampunk event of the midwest. That is to say, Big River Steampunk Festival has the perfect environment, and a supportive downtown to create an amazing event. Situated on the Mississippi River, the hometown of Mark Twain (and Bean’s grandmother), the buildings on main street still have Victorian decoration, and lots of room to grow create the potential for an amazing anachronistic environment where steampunk couture, culture, and clubs can develop and thrive.
There’s a grand opening parade in downtown, cosplay contests, beard contests, human oddities display, hot air balloon rides, a steamship you can ride! Haunted tours, concerts, museum displays, history blending with science fiction; the crew at Big River Steampunk Festival have done an amazing job creating an event that spans the three day weekend of Labor Day. Even if you’re not a steampunker, you’ll find plenty of reason to enjoy this festival. Also some of our favorite people are there!
We had the pleasure of sharing MC responsibilities with DOC Phineas, and Vorteque. You can often see DOC on Pawnstars and Vorteque is busy in Chicago building up a new scene called “electro-swing”. There was a whole slew of talent from Chicago! Sammy Tramp entertained us with a vaudeville routine based on classic clown manuevers, tricks, and stunts of extraordinary balance. Gregory Dobbs was sorceror supreme for the weekend with card tricks, juggling, and not so random awesomeness. Mary Pat Letourneau dazzeled us with “Contortionist Dance” (seriously check out the video link on her name)
and Sanjula Vamana performed his own brand of human tricks so you could sit back and say “So… That’s what that would look like…” It’s not hard to tell why he’s called the “Sultan of Suffering”. Every jaw dropped when Violet Vendetta took the time to tease us.
Music is essential to any steampunk festival. The Steampunk Stompers brought a fun and full soundtrack to the weekend. The Time Traveller’s Ball and Variety shows had such a great polished and professional feel to them because the Stompers gave such a great base to build those festivities on.
Clearly Guilty had a number of great shows and I’m pretty sure they played on every stage available in Hannibal. Cat Connoly, the Steampunk Selkie, made her debut at Big River Steampunk Festival. A selkie, from what I’m told is an Irish version of a mermaid, but inspired by the beauty of seals. I guess that’s what happens when the Scottish keep all the sheep for themselves.
One of the most fun things we like to do at steampunk festivals is introduce people to Unwoman. The cacaphony of sound that she creates with an electric cello is astounding. Repititous rythms, haunting harmonies, and often macabre melodies create a concert experience that cannot be duplicated by any other performer. She had several sold out shows at Big River Steampunk Festival.
There’s still so many things we could talk about.: the Mark Twain actor, amazing cosplays, Prof. Jefferson Parker and his Penny Farthing, Tea Duels, Hot Air Balloons, steamboats, great food and drink, a wine bar with the best AC in town, fun downtown shoppes, Nerf Duels, The Midnight Wanderers, the Rockets and Airships musical… we’d be ashamed if we didn’t mention Steamworks and Shadows were there and we got a total of 7.36 minutes with them.
The ScallyWags were once again a crowd favorite. We’d like to brag and say ‘thank you ‘ to the Dubach in for hosting a bunch of smelly pirates and a cantanckerous wizard. Look at this:
Here’s a quick review we have of our stay…